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Button Monkeys and Robots

7th Jan 2017
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It occured to me the other day, probably whilst reading a post by Portia, that a fair proportion of my work could fall under the category of Button Monkey. I tend to be sitting in front of Excel all day, together with Sage 200, and Sage Payroll - that pretty much encompasses all my work.

We also had the news that robots are going to take over our work. My 10 year old recently made a 'model' robot at school - a silver square headed tin foil man. I tried explaining that real robots were a bit different. I used to work for a bomb disposal robot manufacturer, and some of my current customers use robotics in their production lines.

This got me thinking about how my working life has changed over approximately 20 years.

When I replace our large office copier/printer this year, I will probably not specify a fax component - as we only get junk faxes these days anyhow.

In my first job, I used to have about 30 buses to tax each year - every six months - so was forever at the post office queuing up. Paying all our fleet car tax by direct debit these days is a dream.

However, for things to change dramatically, there would need to be a more direct means of accounting information passing between businesses - not just attachments to emails which then need to be printed out and re keyed.

This will come - I think the key phrase is Block-Chain - were everyone is in the same enormous ledger. 

However, in reality my 20 year younger self would still recognise my daily activities - even if he would be pleased about the ability of Sage Payroll to finally be able to re-print historical payslips!


Replies (3)

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By Democratus
11th Jan 2017 12:34

Yep, things have changed dramatically, yet double entry is still required. I recall in my first job the decision was taken to replace the telex machine, and the higher ups were discussing getting a fax machine. The old school won the argument and a new telex machine proudly installed and eclipsed a few months later by the new fangled fax machine.

Now you don't want a fax!

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By chatman
12th Jan 2017 10:43

Do you think the modern bookkeeping programmes like Xero have done away with the need to know double-entry bookkeeping, Democratus?

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Replying to chatman:
Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
12th Jan 2017 11:29

I don't think its needed on a day to day basis, processing standard transactions.

I think there is a modern breed of 'accountants' using cloud software who have little idea what double entry bookkeeping actually is.

However as soon as anything goes wrong or there's something 'outside the norm' - could be as simple as asset purchased on HP or the creation of a bad debt provision, then you need an understanding of double entry bookkeeping.

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