– 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 holders and traders and the meticulous records kept of their “cargo” on atlantic crossings in ships logs.
– NEW DIMENSIONS, NEW TOOLS BUT THE SAME OBSESSION
In the modern era we have new dimensions – 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 – these new tools of the trade have changed what is possible and the speed of the transaction.
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 adapting and changing are already here
and may be unleashed within 30 yrs, almost certainly and within 100 yrs.
So the timescale may be 3 to 4 generations for a machine to be able to do all the tasks of a bookkeeper.
BUT even then there will be an effort required of bookkeepers – not to do the recording but still to check the validity or IT output and the direction the self programming machines have taken, and critically, there will always be the scale of an enterprise to consider. Machine automation with robots may or may not be a good thing, but are unlikely to be cost beneficial for small to medium sized enterprises, which still form the vast majority of registered businesses.