As I pen this article, I realize that I have seen four generations in the accounting sector in the past two decades. What I have seen in these two decades are large rooms filled with physical documents and vouchers adorned with red ticks, and multiple side notes in manual ledgers. With these observations, it is safe to say; it appears as though we were living in the “stone era,” is aspects of accounting and expense management.
What followed was an era of simple software tools to manage accounting and expense management. The introduction of these software came as a pleasant surprise to the traditional accountants, as it addressed one of their crucial pain points: the trial balance tallied on its own!
Traditionally, we spent days to post, tick, total, cast ledgers and painfully jot down the numbers on columnar green sheets. If the trial balance tallied even for a small client, it called for a celebration. As I recall, one of the most significant victories during my internship days was to see a manual trial balance match. That accounted for my most significant achievement of the quarter.
What followed the “stone era” was the “relief era.” As the name suggests, with the use of basic automation software, accountants no longer needed to supervise the process manually. What’s more? By rule, the entries also attained a tallied trial balance. This was a ‘break free’ moment in our lives.
The “relief era” was followed by the “invader era.” This was when accounting software starting using API’s and spreadsheets to import or export data. This phase required us to export sales data from the software to the Lotus 123 spreadsheet. This enabled us to witness the “sorting” process, for the first time. Here, we got in-depth insight into the top customers, segregated in terms of turnover. This was a new power we accountants received to address our accounting challenges. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to name this phase of progression as the “invader era,” indeed!
Even though the “invader era” eased some of our accounting challenges, we still dealt with a constant barrage of vouchers, bills, files, indexing, and searching. A missing bill would slow down the entire process. Furnishing a clean bill with no loose ends, was still a pain to achieve.
These eras that lasted for over three generations and spanning across two decades came to an end with the “AI era.” Here, accountants could use their intelligence and productive hours for higher pursuits of commerce rather than just keeping a tab of vouchers and bills.
This was when we came across Fyle; an expense management software that can effortlessly scan, authorize and validate spends. Additionally, it can help post to the accounting tool, and be a depository of bills. This simple mobile app helped address all my expense management challenges.
With Fyle, there is no authorization hurdle. Rules are AI-driven, accounts payable entry is done. All I have to do as an accountant merely is, review and click. With no physical documents stacked up in the office corner, we can now access reports, anywhere, anytime, with the device of our choice.
Just in 2 decades an accountants role has moved from trouble to value. It’s safe to say, that we have entered the “peace-era” where automation saves the day.
Two decades of expense management challenges. Three generations of accounting problems. One solution. One expense management software. Fyle.
It’s safe to say, the four letter word “Fyle” has helped replace my earlier word, “Pain.”
About the guest author:
Guru is the Founding Partner and heads the consulting and indirect tax team at Guru and Jana. Guru, a Chartered Accountant with a degree in law and commerce, brings over 20 years of experience to the firm. He specializes in business advisory services and heads the strategy and business development-front of the firm. He is also an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management and holds a diploma in counseling.
Guru has been a member of the Auditing Standards Board of ICAI and has authored seven technical guides on internal audit. He represents the India subcontinent in the HLBI Global Tech Group. He has published a book ‘Banter Beyond The Buck’ and is an avid global traveler and Tabla player.