TRENDS INSIGHT: How bookkeepers are responding to technology disrupting their job roles

November 4, 2021

Australian financial technology leader, bookkeeping business trainer and esteemed keynote speaker Clayton Oates shares insights on how technology is changing the face of bookkeeping industry and how bookkeepers can optimise for growth.

First Class Accounts’ long-time friend and supporter, Clayton Oates, has challenged technology thinking of Australian bookkeepers for 20 years through industry-shaping keynote talks and training.

With the explosion of technology apps and software reshaping the way bookkeepers are doing business, more than ever, Clayton is fielding questions about how bookkeepers can better respond to this trend.

Here Clayton shares his insights about where this will take our industry and what he recommends bookkeepers can do to harness this power to grow their businesses.

Fear and inertia the nemesis of adaption

We started to deal with these issues a decade ago, but in some ways we haven’t. A certain anxiety about redundancy of traditional tasks has held us back from adapting as we could, individually and as an industry.

On one hand there is an un-productive tendency to go to the latest bright shiny technology tool and dabble in it. Then when things don’t quite work out as we’d hopped, we are reluctant to try again.

Let’s not paint this as a Pollyanna world but what are going to do? Throw in the towel?

To me it seems we must work harder to be aware of these innovations, be more discerning of what we adopt and keep searching for true and lasting partnerships, based on shared values that improve our businesses and industry.

We need to stop underselling ourselves using the outdated hourly rates model and leverage stronger partnerships

There is a lot of time and energy wasted underselling bookkeeping services using hourly rates for repetitive tasks that can (and will) be automated. Instead, a more sustainable approach is fixed and value pricing based on the value of the outcome to the client, not the effort of the bookkeeper to produce the result. This opens up a whole new world to leverage technology to scale.

Technology is an asset to the bookkeeping business which can help bookkeepers sustainably create and control growth.

I recommend looking at clients like partners and striving to see the gaps in efficiencies which can be solved using technology. This is a good place to start to see the value offered to a client beyond your traditional services billed in arrears at an hourly rate.

We’d be wise to stay up to date with new leadership thinking

There are plenty of insightful industry leaders who offer solid and up-to date advice on how take advantage of these industry and business trends.

I’m a fan of Mike Michalowicz, the Entrepreneur, podcaster and author of “Profit First”, which reconfigures the Profit & Loss Statement from “Sales less Expenses equals Profit” to “Sales less Profit equals Expenses”. A wonderful book that can help Bookkeepers bring new thinking to their clients and present bookkeeping results in a new and innovative way and enhance your value proposition.

For expert accounting technology insights, Industry associations like the Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) and the podcast, Cloud Stories, by Heather Smith, shares insights on accounting technology and apps used in the modern practice.

If you would like to align yourself with a team of other innovative bookkeepers and benefit from our in house training to future proof your bookkeeping business click here

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