The future of bookkeeping: predictions for the next decade

 The future of bookkeeping: predictions for the next decade

As we navigate through an era of unprecedented technological advancements and shifting economic landscapes, the field of bookkeeping is poised for significant transformation. The next decade promises to bring about changes that will redefine the role of bookkeepers, the tools they use, and the way they interact with clients and data. Drawing from emerging trends and expert analyses, this blog post explores predictions for the future of bookkeeping, highlighting some of the less commonly discussed but potentially impactful developments on the horizon.

Integration of ai and machine learning

Artificial intelligence (ai) and machine learning are set to revolutionize bookkeeping by automating routine tasks, enhancing accuracy, and providing predictive insights. A report by accenture predicts that by 2030, ai will boost profitability by an average of 38% across industries, with the potential to increase economic growth by $14 trillion. For bookkeepers, this means a shift from manual data entry towards strategic advisory roles, where interpreting data and advising clients on financial decisions become the primary focus.

Actionable insight:

Embrace ai tools and software that can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for higher-value advisory services. Stay informed about new technologies and continuously update your skills to remain competitive.

Cloud-based collaboration

The adoption of cloud-based accounting software has been steadily increasing, a trend that is expected to continue and expand. The cloud enables real-time access to financial data, facilitating collaboration between bookkeepers, clients, and other stakeholders. According to a survey by forbes, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2023. This shift not only enhances efficiency but also allows for more flexible and remote working arrangements, which have become increasingly important to professionals across industries.

Actionable insight:

Leverage cloud-based platforms for seamless collaboration and access to up-to-date financial information. Ensure you’re proficient in using these platforms and can guide your clients in leveraging them for their businesses.

Focus on cybersecurity

With the increasing digitization of financial data comes the heightened risk of cyber threats. Bookkeepers will need to prioritize cybersecurity to protect sensitive financial information. A study by ibm found that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, highlighting the critical importance of cybersecurity measures. Bookkeepers will play a crucial role in implementing and maintaining these measures, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of financial data.

Actionable insight:

Develop a strong understanding of cybersecurity best practices and incorporate them into your services. Consider offering cybersecurity assessments as part of your bookkeeping packages.

Sustainable and ethical bookkeeping

As businesses increasingly prioritize sustainability and ethical practices, bookkeepers will need to adapt their services to support these goals. This could involve tracking and reporting on sustainability metrics, advising on ethical investments, or ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. A report by deloitte highlights that consumers are 4 times more likely to purchase from companies with strong environmental and social commitments, indicating a growing trend towards sustainability in business practices.

Actionable insight:

Familiarize yourself with sustainable business practices and consider obtaining certifications in sustainability accounting. Offer services that help clients measure their environmental impact and make more sustainable financial decisions.

Personalized and predictive financial insights

The future of bookkeeping lies in offering personalized, predictive financial insights that go beyond traditional reporting. By harnessing the power of big data analytics, bookkeepers can provide clients with forward-looking analyses, identifying trends, opportunities, and potential risks. This proactive approach will enable businesses to make more informed decisions, driving growth and innovation.

Actionable insight:

Invest in analytics tools and training to enhance your ability to offer predictive insights. Focus on developing a deep understanding of your clients’ industries and challenges to provide tailored advice.


The next decade will bring transformative changes to the field of bookkeeping, driven by technological advancements, evolving business practices, and changing client expectations. By embracing ai and machine learning, leveraging cloud-based collaboration, prioritizing cybersecurity, supporting sustainable and ethical practices, and offering personalized predictive insights, bookkeepers can navigate these changes successfully. The future of bookkeeping is not just about keeping records; it’s about providing strategic value that supports the growth and success of businesses in an increasingly complex and dynamic world.

David Curry