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Bookkeeping is the future of accounting, says ICB | AccountingWEB | image of two people doing bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is the future of accounting, says Institute of Certified Bookkeepers


It’s a busy month for the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), after the 12th annual LUCA awards at the start of the month, this week is Global Bookkeeping Week, and the ICB’s Bookkeepers Summit is being held online on the 9-10 November.

9th Nov 2021
Head of Branded Content, AccountingWEB
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After 25 years of the ICB, it’s clear that bookkeeping as a profession is gaining a higher profile and is well-placed to benefit from the changes that will be affecting businesses as the rollout of Making Tax Digital continues.

Ami Copeland, director at the ICB, said: “Bookkeepers are going to be key to the future of accounting. We’re already seeing a move to more digital bookkeeping and although there are great software and apps that can let businesses do a certain amount for themselves, we know that they value having someone they can talk to and trust.”

Whilst it’s clear that many accountants are pleased with the delay to MTD ITSA, Copeland says that the same is not necessarily true for bookkeepers. 

“We’ve had many members thinking it’s a shame that the delay was announced. Whilst there are obviously clients who aren’t yet ready for digital records, the benefits of being able to get a better understanding of your business through regular bookkeeping are clear,” she said.

Closer collaboration will benefit accountants

The pandemic saw bookkeepers and accountants alike offer valuable services to help businesses continue to trade, whether that was by being able to support Covid-19 scheme claims with up-to-date figures, or offer advice on funding options, and claims for the furlough schemes. 

One of the sessions at the Bookkeeping Summit will see an expert panel debate The Bookkeeper’s Roadmap for the Future. Jo Wood from Jo Wood Virtual FD, who won Large Practice of the Year at the recent ICB Luca Awards, will talk about the changes she thinks will happen in the industry over the next few years.

She told AccountingWEB: “I believe that we’re likely to see much closer links between accountants and bookkeepers - working together is key. Bookkeepers already have regular contact with clients across multiple touchpoints. This helps us build good relationships with clients and is something that accountants will also benefit from as they look to move beyond just compliance and towards a more advisory role.

”During Covid, having the right information available quickly was vital for businesses. We were going way beyond simply bookkeeping, we were acting as a shoulder to cry on, as well as helping keep the business running by helping them access the right support.”

Join the debate

Are we going to see much closer links between accountants and bookkeepers in the future, even a blurring of the lines between the two professions? Accountants are increasingly bringing bookkeeping in-house, it will be interesting to see what happens and AccountingWEB will be following the debate over the next few years. 

You’ll be able to hear more from Jo Wood at the AccountingWEB Live Expo at the Coventry Building Society Arena on 1-2 December. She will be appearing in a panel discussion with Zoe Whitman on Why work isn’t working for families.

AccountingWEB Live Expo takes place on 1-2 December 2021 at Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry. Registration is now open. The full content programme is now live and you can register for specific sessions. Please visit the AccountingWEB Live Expo website for full details and to sign up for our newsletter.

Register now for free to attend AccountingWEB Live Expo

Replies (3)

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By Hugo Fair
09th Nov 2021 12:41

I was about to quote Mandy Rice-Davies in response to the headline ... but then realised it's not an accurate description for the article!

The ICB actually said: “Bookkeepers are going to be key to the future of accounting" ... which is not the same thing as "Bookkeeping is the future of accounting".

Can we please not have deliberately inflammatory headings that don't represent subsequent article.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
By rememberscarborough
10th Nov 2021 10:36

Ah, but then you wouldn't have got the reaction that many accountants get when confronted with what they regard as sub standard work by bookkeepers. Since many are now using owner friendly software e.g. Xero etc (specifically not aimed at qualified accountants) much of the leg work can now be done by non-professionals and will safe time preparing accounts. Mind you it may also mean a reduction in billing hours and we don't want that do we....

Thanks (0)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
By Paul Crowley
10th Nov 2021 13:02

misleading headline

A bit same old MTD
Bookkeepers Body joining up with others telling businesses with £12K income that their current system is inadequate.

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