Digitization is in full swing, so to speak, and we have often been asked in recent months whether we wouldn’t be sorry that our technology will replace the work of so many people. On the one hand, the assumption that technology destroys work in the medium and long term is wrong in our view. On the other hand, the reality in bookkeeping and accounting is quite a different one: There is a shortage of bookkeepers and accountants.
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At first glance, you wouldn’t really believe that. Intuitively, one would expect that software developers, mathematicians or physicists would be most in demand on the job market. However, various studies show that bookkeeper, accountants, controllers, tax advisors and fiduciaries have always ranked first recently.
Highly Paid Simple Work
The effects of this development are serious for the costs of bookkeeping. I often hear that it is very difficult to find people, e.g. for accounts payable. So, for those bookkeeping tasks that are repetitive, purely processive and not formative. As always, when something is in short supply, of course the prices also rise.
The salaries, which are sometimes paid there, so I get it from fiduciaries and tax consultants, are partly quite comparable with those in software development. On the other hand, of course, there are not the same earnings opportunities in business. The consequence of this is that, despite all automation, ongoing, processing accounting becomes more expensive and a minus for fiduciaries and tax consultants.
Anticipating technological development as a price driver
If you ask people from outside the industry whether there will be a need for accountants in the future, the answer quickly comes that this will all be done by machines in the future. The stupid thing is that the reality is unfortunately different. The accounting software industry is sluggish and satiated and has not yet managed to make a real paradigm shift in the way accounting work is done. The reason is simple: there has been zero economic coercion to do so.
This public perception of the job profile leads to the fact that many young professionals avoid the bookkeeping & accounting sector. This leads to a shortage of skilled workers, which in turn causes salaries to rise, costs to rise and economic pressure to suddenly arise. This in turn increases the pressure on technology providers and creates, as in our case, excellent market opportunities.
“I love-hate my job.”
In the last 2 years I have been able to talk to hundreds of accountants and tax advisors through the development of our companies and if I have learned anything about the relationship of these people to their work, it is that most people have a love-hate relationship with simple accounting work.
“Entering and checking receipts, reconciling account statements is just great fun for me.”
Quote from “Nobody, ever”.
You hate it because it’s tedious and somewhat meaningless work. You love it because it’s a solid job and because you love what comes out of it, the picture of a company’s financial situation, the order, clarity and the basis for decision-making generated.
It’s like finding where you are, on a big map. THIS is cool, it’s fun because it provides orientation and can point the way to where you actually want to go.
Accountants are conscientious people – they deserve an upgrade.
With all the conversations, I started to really like accountants. They are very conscientious, clever people who are very ready for action. Almost everyone in the accounting department wants to go “move up” and do financial statements and creative or controlling financial work. And I think they deserve this upgrade.
Away with the banal work
I think the time has come for this paradigm shift. That’s why we do Parashift. At first, we thought that fiduciaries, tax consultants and accountants would perceive us as enemies or destroyers. But the opposite is the case; the arms with which we are welcomed could not be more open. If one looks deeper into the current tendencies in the market, one understands quickly why this is the case.
In the many conversations we could have with future customers, there is no talk of existing people being laid off. On the contrary, we see that by using our technology, this upgrade from trivial work to more sophisticated work is taking place. This is great and motivates us to proceed quickly and radically.
In the end, it seems, this is a development that only produces winners. And we don’t just care about the shortage of skilled workers – we are glad that it exists and will be passed on. It helps us to bring our vision of bookkeeping – fully autonomous real-time accounting – to the market faster and easier.