If you walked into any accounts office twenty years ago, you
would have seen piles of financial statements and reports in every
corner. However, now, there is an increasing trend towards the
Accounting teams, much like other office workers, are using
electronic copies to replace the traditional hard copies of
everything from tax returns to financial statements. But how has
this electronic revolution changed the accountantâs working
As you can imagine, accounting especially for larger
corporations generates a lot of paperwork. The actual accounts are
only a small portion of the accounting records. To start with each
transaction has to be meticulously recorded which before
computerized programmes meant a large number of ledgers. These
books were the basis for the accounts so it was essential that they
were accurately maintained. Each accounting function would operate
a different set of ledgers which would then be reconciled in the
process of generating the final accounts.
In each set of accounts, for each company the accounting firm
had to prepare the workings, otherwise known as T-accounts, the
trial balance summarizing these accounts, the [bank
reconciliations] showing the cash in hand, a draft set of
accounts and of course the approved set of accounts, with
accompanying notes to the accounts and this was just the
Each company was also expected to keep records of all tax
matters, in case of the need to produce them for an audit. This
meant hundreds or even thousands of receipts, bills and
invoices. All of which were summarized on the tax returns, again
Additionally if a company made use of management accounting
services, the number of reports which were produced increased
dramatically. Although these management reports were only internal
and as such did not need to be retained by law, it was common
practice for companies to store these along with the accounting
records for that year thus allowing easy reference.
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