In Memory of Our Old Friend, Dorothy
Dorothy was competent, dependable and predictable – but stuck in her ways. While we will miss her, it was absolutely time for her to go.
Wow, does that sound harsh? Good thing “Dorothy” hasn’t actually died, as she is fictitious. What we mean is that the idea of an imaginary persona “Dorothy”, who represents the era of bookkeepers of yore is “dead”. Or maybe should be encouraged to retire.
What can we say about Dorothy?
Dorothy’s main responsibilities were data entry, reconciliations, AP and AR, and financial statement preparation. This meant she dealt with receipts, lots of them, as well as little bits of paper, napkins, and ticket stubs. Some came with scribbled notes, others with coffee stains, and hopefully, most were kept in a shoebox.
Dorothy would sort them into piles before entering numbers into a spreadsheet. The process could take another couple of weeks. By the time the financial information was returned to the business owner, the data could be a month out of date.
Why Dorothy needed to die
There are still a lot of Dorothy’s around – and that can be a problem in the age of the cloud with paperless systems and a mobile office, real-time bookkeeping and cloud computing is here to stay:
- Modern bookkeeping is techy to the core, with plentiful access to online accounting tools and applications. It uses cloud-based accounting programs, so there’s no need to figure out the latest software program or worry about updates and backups.
- Today’s bookkeeping is in real time, accessible from anywhere in the world (using, of course, secure servers and policies). You still “meet” with your bookkeeper, but instead of finding her in a corner of the office, conversations take place through video chat, conferencing, text message, etc.
- Accuracy and efficiency are paramount. Systems are set up in order that transactions from your company’s bank and credit card financial accounts can now be automatically downloaded through a “bank feed”. Expense management tools eliminate or reduce managing all those paper receipts and even reconciliation is automated.
- Because no one has to do the manual work of data collection or spend hours tracking down inaccurate entries, today’s bookkeeper can direct his/her skills to preparing weekly, even daily sales, expense and payment reports, or whatever kind of report you require to make business analysis easier, e.g. cash flow projections, ecommerce reports, etc.
- Now you have access to all the information you need, 24 hours a day, so there’s no reason to print out files or lug them around in boxes. You can view your statements, invoices, or any data anywhere, anytime, from any device and know that the data is current.
You may have your own “Dorothy”
A lot of businesses have their version of Dorothy: detail-oriented but can’t handle a modern, internet-based environment. Dependable, but detests all the online linking, downloading and syncing that needs to happen in today’s bookkeeping.
While we can’t help you put him or her out to pasture (we strongly discourage murder), we can help you with setting up a modern, up to date bookkeeping system that will integrate seamlessly with your business (not the other way around).
So, what happened to Dorothy?
Well, maybe killing her is a bit much – we needed her for a long time! How about… she decided to take up a second career as a real estate agent. With some training and a new lease on life, she’s killing it in the GTA market! Way to go, Dorothy.