– BOOKKEEPERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE
Civilisations have always been obsessed with accurate records – for both legal and accounting purposes. Its nothing new, reflecting the perennial need to prove transactions in all areas, commercial, government and family.
Memorable examples abound – Egypt, Rome, their graneries and wine cellars; slave traders and their meticulous records kept of their “cargo” on atlantic crossings.
– NEW DIMENSIONS AND TOOLS BUT THE SAME OBSESSION
In the modern era we have wider horizons – the size and scope of society and enterprise has exploded – as witnessed by the size of companies on the world’s stock markets.
This has been enabled by the impact of computers which have changed what is possible and the speed of transactions.
However the same obsession with accurate books and their importance for life and business decisions remains.
Looking forward, the pace of IT change is relentless.
Remarkable things have been achieved so far, and even more will be achieved next 30 years.
Full automation and thinking robots capable of editing their own code are already here and may be unleashed into day to day life within 30 yrs – almost certainly within 100 yrs.
In 3 to 4 generations a machine may be able to do all the tasks of a bookkeeper autonomously.
BUT even then there will be an effort required of bookkeepers – not to do the gathering and recording but to check the validity of output and the direction the self programming machines have taken. Also, “full” machine automation with robots may or may not be a good thing for big business, but it is unlikely to be cost beneficial for small to medium sized enterprises, which still form the vast majority of registered businesses.