The cost of providing bookkeeping services has fallen with the introduction of automated bank feeds and data capture. Accounting firms, realising they can now offer bookkeeping to their clients as a profitable service, have started to bring it in house.
This is true for small and medium practices all the way up to the Big Four. Deloitte and PwC have bookkeeping services (or, as Deloitte calls them, Client Service Managers!).
The ability to have real-time data is another reason for accounting firms to want to own the bookkeeping side of things. If they can keep their clients reconciled on a weekly or even daily basis using cloud accounting software then they can offer business advice on the spot, without needing to check the numbers first.
I asked Mel Power, Head of Bookkeeping for Xero, whether she thought all bookkeepers will end up in accounting firms. Rob Stone, territory manager for NSW and ACT, also explains why he is “bullish on bookkeepers”.
Image credit: NIPA