Has automation made the accountant in SMEs redundant?

Automation changes the world. Whereas bookkeepers used to check boxes full of receipts and expense claims. Nowadays, this work is fully digital. Even accountancy, also subject to automation, is a changing profession. In this blog, we will look specifically at the accountant’s position in SMEs.

28th January 2020 | Blog

Automation of the purchasing process – specifically purchase invoices and expense claims – ensures that both the external accountant and the internal financial administration have less paper to digest. This doesn’t necessarily mean the end of all financial jobs, quite the contrary. It has never been a better moment to sharpen the lines between the accountant office and your organization.

Despite the fact that most SME companies don’t have to carry out statutory auditing, the benefits from working with an external accountant are numerous. The data stored in digital systems can be used by the accountant to compute his advice. When the accountant’s knowledge is combined with (big) data, a digital advantage is realized.

Originality cannot be automated

An accountant can calculate the outcome of important decisions. It is therefore advisable to involve the accountant before making a decision to take action. Research on cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing activities can also be supported faster and better due to digital data availability.

Laws and regulations grow each day. It is important to work with an accountant who has relevant and up-to-date knowledge of your sector or industry. A specialist accountant can come up with original solutions that another would have missed. Robots aren’t nearly as sophisticated at this moment.

An accountant offers much more than administrative support

If there’s no automation, external administrative support can considerably reduce profits. It is advisable to involve the accountant’s office in overall management, for a fresh perspective in the wake of large decisions. Money is not only earned by selling products and services.

So, is this the end of accountancy? No, definitely not. The Big Four (PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG) show healthy year over year revenues. Together they generate more than 100 billion euros, of which more than 40% is generated revenue from accounting services.

Automation will keep on changing the workplace for decades to come. At the same will the accountant become ever more valuable for SMEs.

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