LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
the humanity of accounting
bryan frew, tax director
Accounting has been around and in use since the beginning of human existence. Early forms were primitive, but by the time of the Roman Empire, the government had access to the financial information of its lands. However, accounting started to become more of an organized profession during the 19th century in Scotland, complete with associations and organizations, merging into the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1880.
Simply put, accounting is the art of counting another person’s money. With accounting being around since the dawn of civilization, it goes without saying it has changed quite a bit since the invention of the abacus. With the help of technology, an accountant’s services have evolved to go well beyond just debits and credits.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE ACCOUNTING INDUSTRY?
The accounting profession has benefitted as much as any profession through the advancement of technology. Even with complicated accounting systems, strict regulations, and an ever-changing tax code, one accountant can accomplish more today than a team of accountants twenty years ago. This is due to powerful software and innovative systems that improve the efficiency of an individual accountant. Also, affordable programs such as QuickBooks have made it possible for almost anyone to create reports and track account balances without formal training.
IS TECHNOLOGY REPLACING HUMAN ACCOUNTANTS?
Technology has and will continue to replace many of the functions of an accountant. Progressive firms invest in new technology to provide the best possible service to their clients as efficiently as possible. The days of a room full of accountants punching keys on counting machines are long gone. And as technology continues to improve, the need for services accountants provide beyond technical and computing skills will be even more important.
The accounting services humans provide will never disappear. Yes, it will continue to change, and in many cases, even diminish. However, technological advances should be embraced, not feared. Accounting firms should stay at the cutting edge of advancement to continue to improve client service. Accountants can rely on innovations to perform a lot of tasks, but certainly not all.
Small business owners consider their accountant as a trusted business advisor, relying on their advice for a wide range of business issues. Although technological advancements have made many traditional accounting skills irrelevant, the humanity of accounting has never been more important. Only humans provide empathy, creativity, and passion to a client making a big decision or complying with various regulations. Further, what starts as a business relationship may even turn into a friendship over time.
As technology changes the profession (for the better), accountants must also change. Accounting firms will continue to find innovative ways to serve clients using technology, and individual accountants will find it increasingly necessary to differentiate themselves by providing value in ways a robot never can. Want more information? Learn more about the five different ways technology is changing your accounting here!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BRYAN FREW + TAX DIRECTOR
Bryan Frew is a Tax Director at Lutz. He began his career in 2009. He is responsible for providing taxation services to businesses and individuals, as well as trusts and estates with a focus on medical practices.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Individual & Business Taxation
- Estate & Trusts
- Healthcare Accounting & Consulting
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Certified Public Accountant
- BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- Third City Community Clinic, Past Treasurer
- Volunteer Coach for Youth Sports & Camps
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