The bookkeeping industry is changing at a frantic rate. Manual data entry will soon be a thing of the past. Cloud accounting paired with a litany of incredibly powerful tools is increasingly automating data gathering throughout a long line of business processes.You might think that the bookkeeping industry is in a state of crisis. I suppose it is for those that refuse to change with the times. But for the others, this rapidly changing environment brings an incredible opportunity to fill a glaring need that businesses are experiencing.A Broken System Looking for a HeroThe problem is that the systems they so direly need, although readily available and highly cost-effective, take knowledge, skill and a thorough understanding of the business problems to effectively assemble, activate and monitor.For a business, moving to a cloud-based, highly automated system is highly attractive, if not a desperate need. A perfectly spec'd system can save them a significant amount of time, provide easily accessible and accurate data and offer business insights that small business could never access before.But the system won't select and set-itself up. Business needs are too unique and processes are often messy from the outset. Decoding the current system, mapping out processes and pairing the business with the perfect set of tools takes time and know-how and bookkeepers are in the perfect position to offer the service.Bookkeeper to the RescueBookkeepers generally interact with a business on a regular basis. Weekly or monthly check-ins are the norm and wading through the paperwork gives bookkeepers a first-hand knowledge of the processes and challenges that a business faces. They are in the trenches with the business and likely have a more intimate understanding of operations than nearly anyone else outside of the business.Although cloud technology is replacing so many tasks that bookkeepers traditionally offered, bookkeepers themselves are often the first to embrace the new technology. Partly out of self-preservation, but the opportunity to offer even more value to a customer has just appeared and is ripe for the picking.Prepare for the New RealityBookkeepers are in a perfect position to diagnose the issues a business struggles with on a daily basis. With some training that's easily accessible online, they can have a thorough understanding of the best cloud-tools that play well together. Even becoming certified experts with their highest rated tools. They can build the system from scratch, connect the tools through integrations and turn on the new, custom-designed system for their client.The opportunity is far from over. As solid as they systems may be, they require some monitoring to ensure that everything is working as intended. But the real opportunity lays in the data itself. There is information in the system that was previously only available to big business with custom systems. With today's technology, even the smallest business with a well-planned system can access real-time data at a moment's notice and glean valuable insights to guide their decisions.The True Value is in the DataThose insights are a massive competitive advantage for small business but business owners are busy and not always in the best position to target and interpret key data. Here's where the true value of a cloud-era bookkeeper can offer their weight in gold. Regular, quick check-ins on the key data points for a business, followed by a quick chat can redefine the direction of a business, making them more profitable, less risky and much more nimble.For example, let's take a look at my area of expertise, cash flow and sales forecasts. We know the number one killer of business is a cash flow shortfall. But there's more to financial forecasts than predicting a shortfall. The numbers tell an incredibly compelling story that can help businesses deal with capacity issues, use capital at the right time to grow, protect their profit and streamline operations.They just need to see the story in the data that offers the insights. Bookkeepers can offer that valuable service, saving businesses thousands of dollars a year, earning them even more and safe-guarding against a crisis. And they can offer the services at a highly cost-effective rate that offers a business a return on investment that's impossible to ignore. Find out how Dryrun can help you communicate with your clients and offer them advice on their cash flow.