Bots vs. Bookkeepers: The Battle for Small Business

It’s no secret that technology has completely transformed the way we operate. It has made us rethink which of our day-to-day tasks, both personal and professional, can be enhanced or replaced by our machine counterparts.

Virtually every industry – from communications and transportation to financial services, real estate, and countless others – has seen a massive shift in how operational processes and business practices are carried out due to different technologies and software. But there seems to be a looming question in regards to how we should react to all of this: Do we embrace technology, fear it, or reject it?

Are The Bots Taking Over?

When it comes to accounting and bookkeeping, “bots” have been inching closer and closer to mirroring the complex functionalities of bookkeeping professionals. Smart accounting software companies stay on top of innovative technologies – like machine learning and artificial intelligence – to help automate processes like transaction coding and other manual tasks. As these technologies get more sophisticated, the relationships between bookkeepers and their clients will also develop in ways where both parties can extract more value. How? Think about it. If technology is taking over basic manual processes, it’s pushing bookkeepers to upgrade their service offerings because clients will have higher expectations. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing, because it deepens the relationship and trust between bookkeeper and business owner, and makes for a much more fruitful partnership. 

Mathew Heggem, said it best when he wrote, “Bots will speed data processing but businesses that let bots entirely replace humans will find it impossible to stay competitive.” Technology has certainly made an impression on how bookkeepers work with small businesses, and will continue to do so, but it has hardly made the job bookkeepers do obsolete.

Why Does Everyone Keep Talking About Technology?

Not talking about the impact of technology is like not addressing climate change. It’s happening, folks. And we need to understand how to work harmoniously with technology to improve the way we do things, not deny it. That’s why it’s so important for small business owners to hire bookkeepers who implement the latest technologies. As a small business owner, you’ll know that you’re engaging with a professional who’s serious about providing best-in-class service, who’s proactive about applying the latest and greatest techniques, and who’s committed to delivering the most value. 

Be sure to ask the right questions when finding the right bookkeeper for your business type and working style. You also want to make sure you’re working with an experienced  professional who understands the importance of designing solutions around your unique needs. Additionally, see what other services your bookkeeper may be able to provide. Sure, bookkeeping is a lot of data tracking and record keeping, but it’s what your bookkeeper does to help make sense of these transactions and turn them into actionable business recommendations that make you want to keep them around.

Why Technology Won’t Replace Humans

The thought of technology running humans out of rat race is terrifying. But, it’s comforting to know that we’re nowhere near that reality, and hopefully never will be. Human-to-human relationships are necessary, especially in business, and they’re what keep things moving forward. Machines don’t have the capability to understand business goals, individual needs, frustrations, or expectations. Nor do they have the ability to communicate dynamically or empathetically, and collaborate with you on business objectives. But, we can’t deny how much technology has positively affected the direction of the bookkeeping industry, and it’s exciting to see where things will continue to go. 


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