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47% of Canadian Workers work Remotely – Study

Nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadian employees work from outside one of their employer’s main offices for half the week or more, according to new research by Regus Canada.

Some 39 per cent of respondents said they mostly work from home and 11 per cent said they work exclusively from home. Also, 54 per cent said they work remotely in order to remain productive while travelling to and from meetings within the same city or in other cities.

“These results show that today’s workforce is truly mobile,” said Wayne Berger, executive vice-president at Regus Canada. “Only a very small proportion of workers are true home-based workers spending all of their time away from the main office in a home office.

 

In 2018 Only 14% of Payments are by Cheque – Down from 97% in 1985

In 1985 97% of all payments in Canada were made by cheque. In 2018 that number had declined to 14%. Clearly things are changing at an incredibly rapid pace.

In the rush to automate the accounting function, a great deal more attention needs to be placed on how to manage records – both electronic and paper-based.

Artificial Intelligence vs Fake News

If we are to believe the hype that online accounting software makes things easier, then the relative number of public accountants and bookkeepers should be declining.

Fake News – Accounting Software Automates the Bookkeeping Process

In fact since 2001 the relative number of people employed by public accountants and bookkeeping firms has increased by 22% (Source: StatsCan 2017 Survey). It isn’t that accounting software isn’t well-designed. It is.

Since 2001 the number of people employed by public accounting offices, bookkeeping and tax preparation services in Canada has increased by 46.8% (or 22.2% in relation to total employment).

The problem is that the accounting software publishers are trying to sell their software solution as an alternative to using a skilled bookkeeper. In the hands of a skilled bookkeeper online accounting software is great. But buying accounting software doesn’t make you a bookkeeper any more than buying a circular saw and a nail gun makes you a carpenter.

Buying accounting software doesn’t make you a bookkeeper any more than buying a circular saw and a nail gun makes you a carpenter.

While the basic rules haven’t changed much in the last 30 or 40 years, accounting software publishers have tried to create an annuity for themselves by selling you monthly subscriptions to their software. This isn’t a bad deal – but what you’re getting isn’t a replacement for a bookkeeper, it’s a tool that enables better and more efficient collaboration with a skilled bookkeeper and a CPA – both of whom likely work remotely.

What online accounting software does provide is an effective solution for collaboration and online access.

Having secure access online to accounting data is a great benefit when dealing with remote workers and outsourced accountants and bookkeepers. For one thing there will be no more traffic jams (or parking headaches) getting to your accountant’s office downtown.

However you need to ignore the “fake news” about automatically allocating data from from your bank feed and/or images of receipts sent to an online services. It is actually important to have someone who knows what to expect, reviews the end result of the automation process. That way errors get cleaned up before the file is sent to your CPA at the end of the year.

So why Are the Numbers of CPAs and Bookkeeping Firms Increasing?

The sad truth is that bookkeeping done in-house by small businesses is typically lousy. So more work is required for remedial bookkeeping. It turns out that giving good tools to unskilled staff doesn’t improve the quality of the work. It merely allows small businesses to do a bad job faster – and at a higher cost.

The other issue is that the tax department is getting worse and harder to deal with. They don’t use trained accountants for small business compliance audits and are terribly inefficient. Their unionized labour force frustrates process improvements in the name of quality control – which looks an awful lot like job protection. In response management tries to control wages and is not able to attract skilled staff. They seem to have copied McDonalds’ business model instead of Google’s and the results are predictable.

The tax department seems to have copied McDonalds’ business model instead of Google’s and the results are predictable