Technology

Accountants – Can Your Job Be Done by a Computer?

Accountants – Can Your Job Be Done by a Computer?

In a study published in late 2013 by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne of the Oxford Martin School, 47% of all US jobs are susceptible to the risk of automation by computer. Surprising, it’s not the jobs may you think.

A heavy portion of the jobs listed in the study as ripe for automation included jobs in the accounting and banking fields. The Future of Employment provided the accounting world with the catalyst it needed to evolve its services in an automated world. The accounting profession itself was analyzed to have a 94% chance of automation. While another common profession, loan officer, has an astonishing 98% chance of being automated. As shocking as it seems, the technology market has already set this prediction into motion with fantastic new tools being introduced every month. Products like Expensify, for expense reporting; T-Sheets, for automated timekeeping; and Finagraph, for automated financial analysis.

The Great Awakening of the Small Business Owner

The Great Awakening of the Small Business Owner

In the last 10 years, the most often stated characteristic of the small business owner by bankers and accountants is the lack of awareness and sophistication. Being a serial entrepreneur who prided himself on understanding my company’s financial position and using technology to help me in that process, I usually felt slighted by this comment. What I didn’t understand was that I was part of the “early adopter” group of entrepreneurs.

An article on Capterra.com presented the results of a survey of over 500 businesses who use accounting software. One results stood out in particular. It stated that over 52% of users saw a decrease in financial errors by adopting accounting software. Over half is significant. I thought about the financial wake that’s bound to occur when small business owners are presenting higher-quality accounting information to lenders. Heck, think about the operational efficiency of managers within small business when they have a cleaner set of numbers to make decisions from. 52% means that the early majority of software adopters were experiencing positive results.

Advisory Services – Big Firm Services at the Local Level

Advisory Services – Big Firm Services at the Local Level

Just for fun I searched the Internet for trends in “accounting financial services.”  I wanted to see how my target audience was viewing the shift in the industry from transactional to advisory services.  My search revealed some interesting patterns. The one that stood out the most was the absence of small and mid-sized firms in the search results.  I sifted through 5 pages of listings before finding a firm name that I didn’t recognize.

How each subscription is like a grain of sand.

How each subscription is like a grain of sand.

A subscription based business model can be highly lucrative for a business, but a growing burden for the consumer.  As monthly subscription rates drop to prices “less than you spend on your morning coffee”, consumers jump on the idea of a product or service helping them.  Businesses are betting on the low cost/benefit analysis of their subscription to build an enormous customer base.  Both are adding a grain of sand to their monthly cash flow.  The question is when is enough, enough?