The world has gone through many phases of development across several centuries, and each aspect of the world has a rich and exciting history. When it comes to accounting, the reality is much the same, and the evolution of accounting can be traced as far back as 7,000 BC – when language itself was thought to have been invented (or discovered, depending on where you stand). But this is perhaps too broad a view, so let’s narrow down the field of vision and arrive at something more specific as well as relevant for audiences today!
A Brief History of Accounting Software
Accounting itself was recognized as a profession in the late 1800’s right, only several decades before the first world war happened. At the time of war, accountants were in large demand, owing to the necessity of calculating war expenses, and they had help – they used a machine that William Seward Burroughs had created, which could perform simple additions. This was the closest thing that existed to software at the time, and proved to be remarkably helpful!
In the latter half of the twentieth century, IBM came out with its large computers that were capable of doing complicated math – but they were not in widespread use, as these machines were very costly; therefore, not much existed by way of software at the time. This changed in the late 1990s when computers slowly became more accessible (at the time, for businesses), and they switched to ERP (Enterprise resource planning) systems software, which allowed them to streamline a lot of their internal business processes. This is what may be considered to be the first accounting software as such.
However, we must keep in mind that it was not dedicated accounting software. The main purpose of ERP systems was to ensure that businesses could track their internal processes and have a handle on everything that was going on internally. ERPs greatly simplified extremely complicated processes and ensured that it was easy to hold people accountable for specific tasks. Now, among the various functions it had an impact on was accounting – so it became simpler for businesses to handle payroll as well as other kinds of accounting. This meant that there was a greater appreciation for software as it catered to accounting needs and how software could enable accounting.
The advent of modern accounting software as we know it came in the first decade of the 2000’s – as artificial intelligence (and machine learning in particular) started gaining traction. As a result of the learning capabilities that this software offers, which could facilitate a lot of automation – thus saving up a tremendous amount of time as well as manual effort – there has now been a rise of software in the field of accounting.
Benefits of Using Accounting Software
Given that there are multiple businesses using accounting software, each business will have a certain set of features that will work out the best for them. It is not necessarily possible to present a thorough picture for all businesses across all industries – but stating the most general benefits will be the most illuminating.
1. Saving time on a lot of functions
The entirety of the accounting profession has always depended on certain tools to make their lives easier. Because a large part of their tasks tends to be mechanical, the accounts team needs to spend a long time trying to make sure that they do the right documentation and copy the correct data. Before the advent of bookkeeping system integration, this would end up taking up a significant chunk of their time.
However, with the aid of recent technology, they can leverage the power of automation to ensure that they don’t get stuck doing repetitive tasks.
2. More productive employees
With the knowledge that a large part of the mundane tasks can get automated, there is a greater possibility for increased engagement as well as the scope of initiatives taken towards ensuring personal growth and development. This is one of the benefits that doesn’t just help the employees of an organisation, but has a cascading effect across the rest of the hierarchy chain as well – everybody is much happier as a result of this!
3. Better support for scalability
Today, accounting software doesn’t need to be purchased in a box, like in the early days of the dot-com boom. Now, accounting software can be purchased much like a service, with payments on a monthly or yearly basis. And the good news is that these services are built with scale in mind – so whether your business has 5 customers or 50 or 5000, you can avail these services, and change your payment plan accordingly! This degree of flexibility greatly increases the benefits that businesses, especially small to medium businesses, get out of these services.
Before the 21st century, there was no real “accounting software” as such, and the rise in AI/ML technologies really allowed the field of accounting to boom in an unprecedented manner, by allowing the people involved to focus on the things that really matter. There are various advantages of using such software, and each business, regardless of scale or industry, can reap the benefits.
If you’d like to know more about how accounting software can help your business or would like to purchase one as soon as possible, you can take a look at Dext accounting software.