A Look Back at the Past 10 Years in Accounting

Looking back now, it’s hard to believe how different the world was in 2008. A decade ago, the first-generation iPhone had just debuted, Blu-Ray Players were the latest in movie-watching, Google Chrome was launched, Twitter had just started, and GPS was not widely available – we were still printing out directions from MapQuest. Can you imagine life without these innovations now?

Even the way we work has changed drastically. We are constantly automating, improving, and speeding up our work processes. It’s almost funny to think about what we considered “high-tech” around the office 10 years ago! These are our favorite comparisons between office life in 2008 vs. today in 2018.

  1. Exchanging Information: CDs vs. Instant Cloud Access

CDs with customized labels were all the rage for exchanging secure documents in ’08. Now, most computers don’t even have a way to read CDs! Instead of using external storage options like CDs or USBs, we simply upload a document into the cloud to share it.

  1. Communication: Individual Messages vs. Collaboration

Who else remembers how annoying it was to be the middle man while coordinating with multiple people over MSN messenger or SMS texts? Today, we can chat and share information with whole teams of people at once with technology like Slack. We’ve even heard of some customers using it to efficiently communicate with clients!

  1. Lunch Breaks: Eating Out vs. Brought to You

We’ve noticed two big changes around our office when it comes to lunch time. First, rather than pack lunch from home or have to drive to go get food, you can use one of many apps to order from any restaurant and have it delivered at any time. We’ve also noticed a change in the foods we’re eating at lunch – 10 years ago not many people knew what quinoa was or used coconut oil in their cooking, but today these health foods are prominent in packed lunches and takeout!

  1. Booking Appointments: Phone/In Person vs. Online Scheduling

We used to spend so much time calling people, going back and forth looking at schedules, calling people to remind them about those meetings and to bring paperwork… Now, with services like Calendly, our customers can schedule an appointment with the click of a button, receive automatic reminders, and upload all of the necessary documents ahead of time!

  1. Water Cooler Chats: Cable TV vs. Streaming Media

In 2018, there’s no need to catch someone up on a missed episode of the latest TV show from the night before. Today, we can watch the latest episodes any time we want or binge-watch a season all at once on our favorite streaming services.

  1. Signing Documents: On Paper vs. E-Signature

In 2008, the fax machine was a necessity for every office in order to securely exchange signed documents. Today, our office doesn’t even have a working fax machine! It’s unnecessary with e-signature applications like DocuSign that make sending, signing, and returning documents to and from their secure file in SmartVault a breeze.

  1. Project Management: People vs. Apps

Gone are the days of one person managing a to-do list and deadlines for the whole office. With the creation of project management apps like Trello and Zube, work can flow between people and teams much more efficiently than 10 years ago.

  1. Storing Files: Cabinets & Paper vs. Digital Files

Remember how terrible it was to go into a room full of file cabinets, dig through hanging files, and look for the exact document you needed? Today we simply scan documents into the cloud and find them with a click of a button.

  1. Software: Generic vs. Dedicated Accounting Programs

When we first started SmartVault a decade ago, the most common “accounting software” our customers were using was Microsoft Excel. In the years since, the industry has been revolutionized with programs and apps built just for accountants.

  1. Collaboration: In-Person vs. Digital

In 2008 if we wanted to see someone, we needed to find a way to meet up with them in person. Today, each computer in our office is equipped with a webcam so we can collaborate across offices – even across countries. Eliminating travel has given us back valuable time to be more productive in our day and expand our office and client base across borders.