Although the accounting profession is hundreds of years old, it has changed drastically within the last 50 years. Since the invention and adoption of computer technology, accounting has taken on a whole new look. Here are a few ways that accounting has changed since computers came onto the scene.
Storage of Information
One of the big ways that computers have changed the way accountants do business is in the area of data storage. When it comes to handling accounting tasks, there are typically a lot of documents and numbers involved. In the past, accountants often had to have many different filing cabinets and storage areas to keep track of all of the papers that their clients provided.
Now, with the use of computers, all of this has become largely unnecessary. Everything can be stored digitally on a small hard drive. If more storage is needed, the accountant can get a bigger server or an external hard drive. Paper documents can be scanned in through a scanner and stored digitally instead of going in a filing cabinet somewhere.
Not only does this cut down the amount of space it takes to store documents, it also makes them a lot easier to find. In the past, and account may have had to dig through a filing cabinet after filing cabinet to find a document that was lost or misplaced. In today’s world, the accountant can simply pull up the information on the computer in a few seconds without having to search for it for hours. This cuts down on the amount of time that it takes him to do his job, while at the same time saving space.
Another way that the accounting field has been changed by computers is in the area of calculations. In the past, accountants had to manually go through every line of a document to perform calculations. In today’s accounting field, most of the calculations can be done automatically by computer software programs. The account is just responsible for entering the data into the right field and double checking the calculations to make sure that they are right. The computer software program typically takes care of the rest of the calculations. This has cut down on the amount of time that it takes to perform calculations on a regular basis.
In the past, accountants have to send the documents back and forth through the mail or through courier. Today, this is no longer necessary, as most accounting documents can be sent electronically. When an accountant needs to send a financial statement to a client, he can simply attach it to an email and send it right over.
It is also possible to submit tax returns and documents online through the IRS e-file system. This makes it much easier to file taxes, as the accountant is not have to worry about filling out forms manually or mailing them to the IRS.
Overall, the accounting profession has changed drastically because of computers. It has made their lives easier, and allowed them to get more done.
Angus is a well known accountant in Sydney, Australia. He has been an accountant for the past 25 years has has seen many changes in technology since he began. Angus is looking forward to going on long service leave later this year.