Automatic Cars and Automatic Accounting

Filed in Accounting, Business, Xero by on October 2, 2012

A recent automatic car story made appreciate Xero automatic accounting even more. A new California law then allowed automatic (driverless) cars.

Automatic cars use computers, distance sensors, GPS, maps and telemetry records of professional driving to negotiate difficult racecourses. They guide drivers or fully take over, recreating pro laps almost to the inch. Then they do it again, exactly.

Expert driving will soon replace dangerous, uncoordinated, inefficient traffic systems. Robots never get distracted, sleepy, lost or angry. They act instantaneously and right, signal lane changes and never tailgate or text. They can communicate and cooperate to safely maintain close following distances, merge fast and avoid stop-and-go traffic due to driver reaction time. This increases roadway carrying capacity, at a fraction of the cost of new concrete. There will be preferential insurance rates, HOV lanes, reduced tolls and no congestion fee for areas like San Francisco and Manhattan.

Automatic cars should sharply cut our $400 billion (2.6% of GDP) annual cost of U.S. auto accidents and congestion (lost productivity, wasted petroleum, etc.). We should actually gain far more, as many use travel time for phone calls and creative work. This will make manual driving too costly and dangerous for many areas.

As futuristic as this seems, the story does not consider many was to use automatic cars. They will easily automate car pools with cost, benefit and comfort rules. Manufacturers and service stations can help us schedule unattended refueling, maintenance and repairs. That will cut prime time congestion and waiting, while smoothing service demand. Car dealers, states, insurance companies and finance companies can automate licensing, insurance, replacements, loaners, rentals, loans and payments. Schools and events can help us schedule for mutual benefits and more car pools. Merchants can help us schedule many items in one unattended trip, with frozen foods last. What else can you think of?

Xero automatic accounting is like automatic cars. We began seeing a flood of automatic accounting patents 40 years ago. Xero still lack much that I dreamed about then, but is already revolutionary. Today it: 

  • Link to 12.000+ bank, credit card and other financial institutions
  • Automatically and accurately downloads entries, one to four times daily
  • Records entry dates, amounts and other data
  • Classifies entries in accounts, based on user rules

Soon after the introduction of QuickBooks, a CPA conference keynote speaker told listeners that they were wrong to think they could fight QuickBooks. He said the war was already over and QuickBooks won. This now applies to Xero and automatic accounting. These automatic accounting companies have 50 million users, growing by 40% a year. However, Xero added 120% more international users a year (100%/10 months * 12). I believe this is the fastest growth in the fast growing automatic accounting industry.


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