March 11, 2019
Written by Teresa Oliver
Business owners! Do not be persuaded by the glossy images and comedic videos trying to get you to sign up for “automated bookkeeping”. It does not exist and will NEVER exist.
Yes, companies that are trying to sell this farce; Bookkeeping can NEVER be automated! Why, because bookkeeping is wholly dependent on the company you are doing the bookkeeping for. Companies’ spending habits, processes and overall running of their business is an emotional journey. Automation can never take the place of human emotions. How will AI know if a purchase from Amazon or Walmart is business or personal? How will AI know if it was an asset that was purchased or ink for the office printer? Believe me I am a huge fan of simplicity for redundant tasks and I have used some of the industry’s latest and greatest automation technology and it is not capable of making the distinction. Furthermore, the relationship between bookkeeper and client is a very personal one. It is in the build and nurturing of this relationship that we, bookkeepers, learn about how our clients think and the nuances of their decision-making. This bond allows us to complete their bookkeeping in a manner that makes total sense to them and gives them the information they need to make informed decisions.
E · mo · tion
1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied byphysiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, and anger.
2. Such mental states or the qualities that are associated with them, especially in contrast to reason: a decision basedon emotion rather than logic.
I think this whole joke of bookkeeping automation is leaving out a very key aspect of bookkeeping, it’s client facing! Yes, I know it is easier to automate for the purpose of filing taxes, but what about for internal use?
I am going to go on the record here and equate bookkeeping/accounting to lawyers….yes, I said it; just like every case is different for lawyers, so is every case/client for bookkeepers/accountants. Example: 2 clients have been charged with murder; one goes home scot free and the other is sentenced to death-row. Why, because the answer is in the details of each client and not necessarily the ability of their lawyer.
I am adding accountants because that is what we are, the formally trained ones anyway. It is because of state laws that we cannot formally call ourselves that even though we went to school and achieved our degree. It’s almost like we are being punished for not wanting to get a license for work we have no desire to do, but I digress.
Do not misinterpret this as me saying I do not believe in automation because I absolutely do! It helps me to be more efficient in serving my clients. However, I think the biggest issue I have here is the misinformation that is being slung around to unsuspecting business owners who will jump down this rabbit hole because they think they are going to be helped for a small price, but in reality they will receive the most basic service and then be nickel and dimed for anything beyond that. And let’s face it, most, if not all SMB’s require more than just basic service aka write-up work.
What is bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping involves the recording, storing and retrieving of financial transactions for a company, nonprofit organization, individual, etc.
Common financial transactions and tasks that are involved in bookkeeping include:
- Billing for goods sold or services provided to clients.
- Recording receipts from customers.
- Verifying and recording invoices from suppliers.
- Paying suppliers.
- Processing employees’ pay and the related governmental reports.
- Monitoring individual accounts receivable.
- Recording depreciation and other adjusting entries.
- Providing financial reports.
Bookkeeping requires knowledge of debits and credits and a basic understanding of financial accounting, which includes the balance sheet and income statement.