Data could deliver a full stop to typing

Frank Woods, UK & Ireland General Manager of Bankstream By Frank Woods

30 October 2014

Frank woods suggests advances in technology are reducing people's need to type.

In the past 30 years or so, typing has become an essential skill in most working environments; yet it is now set to largely disappear over the next three years, especially from workplaces such as the accounting practice.

Already, the rise of connected systems, shared data and intelligent software is eliminating data entry from the lives of accountants and their clients. Bank statements are no longer typed in - the data is automatically received into the accounting software where the transactions are reviewed by intelligent software which can recognise characteristics and code them automatically. Receipts are no longer typed in either - a scan, or even just a photo from a smartphone, allows these to be digitised and processed automatically, before the cloud enables them to be shared.

Invoices exist with apps on smartphones so that small business people no longer have to sit at the computer typing them up at the end of the day. Instead they can simply produce an invoice on the spot, and receive payment from their customer immediately using mobile payments - even the receipt is automatically created and sent to the customer. It's clear that at every step of the accounting process, data entry (and hence the need for keyboard and mouse) is now set for rapid decline.

Better security

Driven by the desire for increased security rather than reduced typing, even the humble password is fast disappearing in favour of biometric devices such as fingerprint readers. Smartphones and tablets are now unlocked with a fingerprint, while Barclays bank has recently announced infrared vein scanning for businesses accessing internet banking.

Looking beyond data entry to written communication - texts, emails and letters - voice recognition has improved vastly in recent times. While still not perfect (occasionally hilarious in fact) in its understanding of dictation, voice recognition is already significantly reducing the amount of time people spend hitting the keyboard. For this reason, the keyboard itself, once such critical component of the computer, is now reduced in size or, in the case of tablets and phones, missing altogether other than in virtual form, popping up only when required.

Increased speed and accuracy

Some may be saddened to see the art of typing disappearing from our lives; relegated to the sidelines of our working day (where it will keep company with its forebear, handwriting).

But for those of us who have never quite managed to reach the dizzy heights of 50 words-per-minute, we can take great comfort in watching our computers and other devices share, recognise and even process data before our very eyes, achieving speed and accuracy that even the most skilled amongst us could never muster.

About the Author
Frank initially trained and worked as an accountant before moving into accounting systems early in his career. Since then Frank has worked for various accounting software providers in Australia, consulting to thousands of accounting practices seeking to use technology to the greatest benefit of their practice.
In 2012 Frank and his wife relocated to London to head up the UK and Ireland business for Bankstream, leading provider of data and software to accounting practices and their clients.

Topics

  • Development of the profession
  • Technology

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