Is bookkeeping dying

I have been involved with accountancy now for nearly 20 years, and one of the most startling developments I have seen in that time is how the role of bookkeeping has changed. Has anyone else noticed this?

When I started my career, it was commonplace to find accountancy firms with many bookkeepers on their staff, offering their clients bookkeeping as a key (and profitable) service. Now, bookkeeping is apparently in decline, with many clients electing to do their books themselves.

What’s brought this about? I believe one factor is the growth in the use of IT in both the home and in the office. Most people, even some senior citizens, are now competent in using the basic home computing packages and this means that they are able to input and manipulate an electronic spreadsheet that will do the necessary, basic calculations on their (or their accountant’s) behalf.

‘Doing the books’ has never been less stressful or complicated as it is today, and this is encouraging people to record and manage their affairs directly, removing what they see as an unnecessary, additional cost: a bookkeeper.

I have recently blogged about this subject (see attached link), and I am interested in other people’s views on the subject. What do you think about the future of bookkeeping? Is there still a place for it in the modern accountancy world? Let me know, either by commenting in the below or contacting me directly.

 http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=273263132&gid=2010919&commentID=165762950&trk=view_disc&fromEmail=&ut=2Cs1K1hTI1ZlU1 

Comments
There are 43 comments. Login or register to view them.

"Even senior citizens"

Alfie Bet |
Alfie Bet's picture

Possible bad choice of words

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

As a skill

andy.partridge |
andy.partridge's picture

Oddly I haven't found this

ChrisScullard |
ChrisScullard's picture

Further

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Not just software, but working practices too

Ken Howard |

Wait !

zarathustra |
zarathustra's picture

Practices

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Train the client to use a simple day control sheet

Ken Howard |

Not just book keeping?

Archon |

No

sarah douglas |

I agree

petersaxton |
petersaxton's picture

Easy to build in double controls at data capture/source stage

Ken Howard |

Control

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Import csv files

petersaxton |
petersaxton's picture

of course

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Just taking my last breath

Liz D |

This just in from Twitter

John Stokdyk |
John Stokdyk's picture

Will the new cash accounting really take off?

cfield |
cfield's picture

Some Businesses what more and our not just one man businesses.

sarah douglas |

Great thread

Paul Scholes |
Paul Scholes's picture

Is Book keeping dying?

SARAHTURNERBOOKKEEPING |

Forward thinking accountants

JamesL |
JamesL's picture

Yup

Mouse007 |

Thanks

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Twitter

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Just to clarify we are not employed. They are one of many client

sarah douglas |

two types of people

sash100 |

No it is not

kentfunny@yahoo.co.uk |

Apologies

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Future of students...

JAADAMS |
JAADAMS's picture

Sarah Douglas... Bookkeeping

winwater |

Bookkeeping vs data listing

tom123 |

Accounting packages in the hands of the untrained

Paul Scholes |
Paul Scholes's picture

Tom123

Liz D |

More lively debate

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Monkey with AK47

petersaxton |
petersaxton's picture

Live leak

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Very funny

andy.partridge |
andy.partridge's picture

everyone is a bookkeeper nowdays....

Mrs Muzzy |

Thanks Andy

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture

Ok, the video is funny :)

Mrs Muzzy |

I beg to differ

ccassociates |
ccassociates's picture