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Software providers taken to task over bookkeeping practice management systems


The road to dedicated bookkeeping practice management systems is a “long, long journey”, as bookkeepers grapple with the growing digitisation of the profession.

By Jotham Lian 12 minute read

Speaking to The Bookkeeper, AGI Bookkeeping director Anatole Kabov said that while software providers like Karbon and Xero have practice management systems marketed at bookkeepers, they are often more in line with the accounting space.

Mr Kabov believes the growing profession of the industry means software providers cannot afford to ignore the needs of bookkeepers who are growing their practices.

“Bookkeepers used to be a cottage industry where the ATO statistics showed it was mostly females between the ages of 35 to 55, working 20 hours a week,” said Mr Kabov.


“Now it’s changing, it’s becoming a proper business with formal offices and employees, and systems and procedures need to adapt to it. You can’t just run a business on an excel spreadsheet.”

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers executive director Matthew Addison echoed similar sentiments, noting that bookkeepers often had management needs unique to the industry.

“You have each of the other software providers, such as, Intuit, Reckon, MYOB and Xero, that all have versions of practice management software, but typically they are more appropriate for the accounting space,” said Mr Addison.

“Am I really happy with the environment of providing good portals and practice management systems for the bookkeeping community? No, I don’t think we’re there yet.

“It needs to really fit our client management needs, our client billing needs, and if I look at the marketplace of add ons and apps and programs, there are bits of it but they are in five or six or seven locations,” he added.

“What would be really good is if these software companies did rapidly get on the journey of bringing those into one environment where we could do our client management, our workflow management, our billing management, our debt collection, our payment gateways, our preparation of compliance documents for the government and lodgement, and feedback of how that’s going all from one dashboard view.”

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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian


Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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