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How has the accounting industry changed over the past few decades?

Not that long ago, all accounting happened with paper and a pen. It was a slow, arduous process that limited the scope of what an accounting specialist could do for your company. But with the advent of new technologies, the pace of progress has changed dramatically. Here's a quick look at the changes that have happened in the accounting industry as the years have gone by.

The origins of accounting go back to ancient times, with the roots of modern accounting developing in Renaissance Italy. But some of the most dynamic changes in the industry have happened over the past few years. As computers began to be used by large corporations, the possibilities of using this new technology for accounting purposes began to become feasible. The development of the personal computer by IBM in the mid-1980s made the use of computers for business purposes much more reasonable.

Initial attempts to integrate accounting into PCs involved using spreadsheets to record and calculate financial data. Lotus 1-2-3 was initially used to set up spreadsheets. Data could be transferred between computers, but required significant expertise to ensure that the formulas were correctly calculating the resulting information.

The first dedicated accounting software packages were launched in the late 1980s, led by TurboCash and followed by several other DOS-based programs. Because these computers were not connected to the internet, updates were few and far between. As Windows was released and became a popular operating system, more frequent updates of the accounting system were required to keep up with the changes in the operating system.

As internet connectivity became more common, additional features were added to make the different packages competitive. Cloud connectivity provided the opportunity for remote use of the software. Eventually, this developed into software-as-a-service, allowing a subscription-based approach and a lower cost of acquisition.

These changes in the accounting industry mean today's accounting specialists need to keep up to date. But doing so requires your business' accounting personnel to take time away from your business needs to do so. When you work with an outsourced accounting specialist, the time you're billed for only covers the hours spent working on your company's needs. If you'd like to get started, please feel free to contact the experts at AccountRely today for more information.

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