It’s a historical thing. Accountants over a certain age were trained to accept information once a year from their Clients in whatever form and whatever state the Client felt capable of producing. They were told by their Practise Mentors something like “Clients won’t pay for help with systems. Just get on with it. If you really want to help them tell them to get Sage.”

The silly thing was that most small business owners had no idea how to use Sage. Did the Accountant help them? Of course not. They simply extracted the data that looked reliable and ignored the rest. If the Bank records were properly reconciled they would use them. If not they would create their own analysis in summary form. The same with ledgers. If the Suppliers ledger contained a lot of negative balances it would be ignored and expenses calculated from the Balance Sheet entries. It was a patchwork quilt!

Why did Accountants not offer a Bookkeeping service to make things better? Well, in the days of hand written Books and early desk-top computers, distance and location was a factor. Paper was also a problem. In general it was just too difficult to provide a reliable service at a realistic price point.

Things are different now. The technology that created the Smart Phone has created a better way of keeping business records and as a major bonus giving business founders useful information to help them manage their businesses. The tool is Cloud Accounting and Smart Accountants all over the world are waking up to ways of using it to support SMEs in a new way. A revolution is about to happen!