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Then & Now: How Accounting Has Changed & Will Continue to Change

Considered one of the oldest professions, accounting dates back to the days when Luca Pacioli described the system of debits, credits, journals and ledgers in 1494. In fact, accounting finds its origins in ancient Babylon, Mesopotamia, Sumeria, and Assyria.

Fast forward to today, and accounting is a necessity in all businesses. It helps to record transactions, gives reports to stakeholders and taxes to SARS. But, with accounting being an absolute necessity, it should come as no surprise that evolution of the industry would follow.

How Accounting Has Evolved Over the Years

To say that accounting as a profession has changed over the years would be the understatement of the century. Gone are the days of bean-counting calculator crunchers who meticulously captured financial records in ledgers and journals.

One of the most notable ways that accounting has evolved over the years is through record keeping with technology changing the nature of the game. Computers and online software tools make accounting and data capturing a fast-paced and automated profession. Machines simplifying complicated processes that used to take hours, into minutes.

Transitioning from manual to automated capturing has had a flurry of positive benefits:

  • It lessens the load for certain expenses (ledgers, calculators, pencils)
  • Automated accounting programs mean the margin for error is less
  • When errors do occur, the process of finding the issue is far easier
  • Automation means the speed at which the job is done is much faster

But, with great advancements comes the murky aftermath.

With continuous advancements in the pursuit of automation, how has the role of the accountant changed? With machines on the job, how does that affect employability of future accountants?

To answer: the role of the accountant has been diverted.

No longer the passive nerd in the back room crunching numbers, accountants are now your active experts in financial consulting. They are now interpreters of the figures, who offer viable recommendations on ways businesses can increase their profitability while reducing costs.

How Technology Has Helped the Accounting Profession

In fact, technological advancement has brought with it more opportunities than disadvantages, provided that the accountant learns to grow with it. The shifted role of the accountant has provided the following advantages:

  • Shifting the focus from record generation to the interpretation of companies’ transactions
  • Accountants are no longer seen as passive data capturers and more as active advisors with decision-making powers
  • Encompassing more of a consulting role, where they offer advice to clients and within the organisations, they work

On the cusp of transformation, accountants should find ways to transform their services and educate themselves in new innovations. When it comes to hiring an accounting firm for your business, ensure that you are aligning yourself with one that is adapting to, and not fighting against, technological advances.

A firm that is preserving its manpower with a view to providing you with sound financial advice is a much better-suited partner for your business. At Reporting Solutions, we have learned to work with the curve, and not against it.

While we still identify ourselves as an accounting services provider, our expertise run beyond that of traditional accountants. If you are in the market for accounting and business services, make sure to check out our offering here.

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