Jonathan Bello is the Founder of One 8 Solutions and an Advanced Certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisor Jonathan has been named a Top 100 ProAdvisor for four consecutive years & was the 2019 QBO Integrations ProAdvisor of the Year by Insightful Accounting
What is the story of the origin of your firm?
Bello: So I’m going to tell you about my reluctant accountant story. I went into college to study pre-med. Quickly I found out that it was not going to work out for me and that I had to find a new major. I looked around the university, which I went to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (Go Minutemen), and I looked at either economics or business school as possible avenues. I transferred into the business school, which was a feat in itself because I don’t take too many transfers. And that I wanted up choosing accounting as my major, not because I was in love with accounting, but it seemed like the one that made the most business sense as a career.
As I’m going through school, I’m learning that I’m wasn’t interested in auditing, or in taxes,
but I did enjoy working with small businesses within the university system. I found that I liked helping to guide small businesses, even within the university system, on how they could understand what was going on with their accounting. In that particular case, they didn’t have much choice in their accounting; it was either do it manually or use the university ledger
When I got out of school, I got a job doing corporate accounting, and I absolutely hated it. So that began my, for many years, the art of my odd, obstinate look at accounting and not wanting to do it. But all along the way, I wound up supporting accounting by working for software companies that made either accounting software or accounting-related software.
That really set the table for what eventually became One 8 Solutions
. Still, it took a long time to get there.
Where do you see the future of accounting heading?
Bello: I see it still being labor-intensive. People will still be involved with it and monitor some of the transactional activity that is being automated. There’s a push about AI going to replace us, and we better be ready for it, which I agree, don’t turn a blind eye to it. But I still think when I see the results of artificial intelligence in the way it works with transactions, I don’t think it’s to the level that human and intelligence with working with data and clients transactions, but I have built up my tech stack, which Dext is an important part of.
I will continue to use technology as it comes out, augment the services that we support, and hopefully, find efficiencies in that technology to improve my profitability and keep people employed.
What is the role that tech plays in accounting?
Bello: For years, OCR recognition of transactions was something that we needed to get in place to help get those economies in recording transactions. No longer does somebody need to come in for a whole day and keyboard in 100 bills – that’s gone. So once the OCR technology came into place, it started getting more consistent and it became a part of our toolbox.
When I’m bringing on new people now, I’m training them on Dext first because that is the majority of the source of transactions in most of my client’s books. For example, I have a client that we’re probably processing 30 to 40 bills and other transactions daily – maybe even upwards of 100. With that hat type of transaction volume, we would not have been able to support it without the help of technology.
What does accounting technology enable you to do?
Bello: In my case, I want to bring on more clients because I am still growing my business, I’m not at the level that I want. If I don’t have to have one person doing a whole day’s worth of data entry, I can now have that person focus on working with other clients. And so I get to work with more people. I can bring on less seasoned people and train them on Dext first because, again, that’s where many of my data points are coming in.
Having a piece of the technology in place with training also frees me up to do the higher-level activities. Then I have the time to train somebody else to do it versus me being in the books and doing the work. One of my new hires will be the person who will act as my Operations Manager and stay on top of our workflow system.
To discover more insights from Jonathan, view his entire video interview here.