How accounting has been changed by technology

I was intrigued by this infographic and thought it was worth sharing. I recognise the picture of the modern accountant as I started in the profession just before accounting computer programmes were introduced to enhance our lives.

The infographic starts with Pacioli in 1494 and comes right uptodate via the introduction of visicalc in 1978 and then quickbooks in 1998.

Visicalc led onto supercalc and then to Lotus 1-2-3 which was the last spreadsheet software on which I received any training. It was later that I learned to excel 😉

Do you agree with the conclusion that today’s accountant has become a business consultant rather than just a mathematical tool?
How Accounting Has Been Changed By Technology Over Time


By |2013-08-15T09:44:49+00:00August 15th, 2013|Career development, Useful links|

About the Author:

Mark Lee FCA is an accountancy focused futurist, influencer, speaker, mentor, author and debunker.


  1. Chris Maslin 20th August 2013 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    I don’t agree we’ve become business consultants. SaaS bookkeeping packages are great (we’re a firm advocate of FreeAgent), but they don’t make normal people become qualified accountants overnight.

    We still have to correct a lot of entries, helping clients to get the basics right (most of our clients are small enough that the MD is also the bookkeeper). I don’t think this makes us poor accountants. It’s amazing how many firms promise “proactive expert tax advice”/similar…but don’t manage to get the basics right, with clients clueless as to what any of the numbers on their balance sheet mean (hence they’re often wrong).

    What SaaS has meant is that we have up to date information at our fingertips. This does help with (again, basic) tax planning.

    It’s changed the nature of the relationship between client and accountant (mainly much faster response expected), but not really changed the “what” that we offer.

  2. Blair Illiano 23rd August 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I do agree that technology has decreased accounting errors. And yes, many do recommend that accountants maintain a good, cordial relationship with their clients. But, we’re still mathematical tools, if you ask me. After all, no one becomes a CPA by relying on technology alone.

  3. Katherine Prince 3rd October 2013 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    I agree that the role of the accountant has changed, but is this not a mere reflection of the times? Those wanting to try and DIY accounting can use SaaS such as Nutcache ( True, they’re not an accountant, but many can offer skills (such as multilingual apps) that a physical employee or contractor cannot. I agree with Mr Maslin, that SaaS can offer instant information that is immediate and helps businesses know where they stand.

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