Will Accounting Software Replace the Human Bookkeeper

The growing number of online accounting software packages is indicative of the need for more streamlined, more efficient and more cost-effective bookkeeping as well as equipping business owners with tools to maintain a proper understanding of their company finances.

How can an accounting software package benefit my company?

With these accounting software packages becoming increasingly multi-featured, user friendly and (cost)effective, the question of whether the human accountant is still relevant is raised more and more frequently. Implementing bookkeeping software makes the user perfectly capable of handling complicated accounting tasks and staying informed on tax submission deadlines via automated updates, whether or not he or she has an accounting background. The accounting software packages don’t need holidays or salary increases and they work through lunch breaks, making them the ideal virtual bookkeeper.

Agreed, but… can we really do without a human accountant?

Although accounting software packages are exceptionally accurate and versatile, all that sophistication does not eradicate the human error factor entirely. And while relatively uncomplicated to navigate, using accounting software still leaves opportunities for the layman to insert the wrong information in the wrong box which can have far-reaching consequences. If, in the meantime, the accountant has already been asked to look for a position elsewhere, problems are compounded as ‘stuff-ups’ will require in-depth bookkeeping skills to sort out. The most convincing case for the human accountant is probably the experience, innovation and intuition factor. While a computer merely follows commands, critical thinking and new ideas are key factors in the success of a business. A human bookkeeper can offer guidance, formulate improved business strategies and more, which is critical to the development and growth of any organisation.

In closing

When it comes to the question whether the human bookkeeper and accounting software can and should coexist, the answer is a resounding: “Yes”. When looking at it more holistically, the human bookkeeper and his automated counterpart should form a strong allegiance as this can play a significant role in the success of your organisation. While the accounting software package can help reduce time and costs related to day-to-day accounting tasks; when it comes to formulating innovative business strategies and streamlining company taxes, the capabilities of the human mind remain unparalleled.

Sage Pastel is South Africa’s leading developer of accounting, payroll, ERP and business software for the small, medium and large enterprise markets. Sage Pastel has many years of experience and is the preferred choice of South African businesses.

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