Adam Smith, the father of economics, believed that economic progress was most possible by the division of labor into specialist groups. That an organization could be hugely more efficient by breaking down production processes into many small tasks, performed by specialists. Facebook does it; users can tweak filters to see only the content they want to consume. So does Apple where users can pick which apps they want. When it comes accounting and bookkeeping, this all boils down to one salient principle: business owners only want to pay for the accounting and bookkeeping services they need.
A la carte services
Fee and price structures will become more a la carte – just like a restaurant. With cloud solutions endemic in the marketplace, we’ll continue to see a lot of small businesses trying the DIY approach. Specialization will be a feature of the accounting and bookkeeping professional just as it is one of the driving factors of disruption in every industry.
Accounting firms have re-opened their bookkeeping divisions after many decades of closure. As an historic fact, in the late 1970’s a Harvard University student invented the spreadsheet, which put hundreds of thousands of clerks out of business and changed the shape of accounting. Like many industries, computing power re-invented accounting and bookkeeping with more accountants and bookkeepers now in practice than ever – hence the specialization revolution.
This is a revenue source because bookkeeping services can be largely automated within the confines of professional supervision. It can be yet another specialized service. Despite its lowly image (against high value tax and advisory) specialized bookkeeping service can be a valuable addition to a professional practice.
Growing the skill set
Not only is specialization great for growth, it’s good for morale because, while there are surely people on your team who like to be the jack of all trades, most people enjoy their jobs better when they can focus and specialize. With specialization comes a more intimate (and wider) knowledge base that can then be parleyed into a product offering to business owners.
Savvy bookkeeping firms are sensing that is a place in the in their service offering for specialized services over bundled prices.