The New Age of Accountancy: 2020 and Beyond
What does “change “ look like in Finance and Accounting in 2020? It means reacting to some of the most pressing concerns enterprises are facing with speed, accuracy and reliability. Because if your enterprise is not being supported through the “new and improved” F&A function, you can be certain your competitor’s is.
Consider, for example, that BlackLine, in a recent review of 2000 corporations, found 5 trillion dollars of required adjustments. The sheer volume of this amount, and the lack of visibility it implies, are enough to drive urgent and immediate change through the accounting function.
Cutting down on manual transactions is, of course, a critical strategy and one that many organizations are embracing – and not just in F&A. But the important question organizations need to ask themselves today is, what is the role of the “Accountant,” going forwards? It’s certainly no longer about processing: A recent survey of 200 business executives indicates that 75% believe they will have implemented AI within their operations in the next three years – meaning self-driven automation will be making the “right” transactions choices.
If that in itself does not concern you, consider this: A recent report by Forrester Research warns that by 2020 (and that’s just next year!) insights-driven organizations will steal 1.2 trillion dollars’ worth of business, per annum, from their less informed peers.
So, being “informed” is your ticket to success, if not survival. Forward thinking firms will take heed of an Accenture report warning that 70% of Finance professionals will be “data gurus” in future, connecting with the business in a new, partnering relationship.
So, how can Accounting not only reflect these changes but get out ahead of them? The solution is to target a more balanced distribution of work, for example through Continuous Accounting, explains Susanna Metzler, Manager of Finance Transformation at BlackLine. It works by embedding automation to more thoroughly mirror the business on a day-to-day basis. It’s a strategy that drives transparency over operations at any minute of the day, she explains, and is achieved by having one tech solution managing all the data coming in.
The resulting “soft close” has driven great benefits to firms like Roche Diagnostics, where these kinds of innovations are driving big wins through Finance. Less transaction time, in fact, has translated into more analytics time.
Within its operations, Roche Diagnostics has automated three key areas, which have transformed Finance’s value: journal entry, reconciliations, and task management. The benefits of automation include flexible reporting, which drives more relevant metrics to management at the right time, and the ability to seamlessly accommodate future growth.
Learn more by watching the webinar, How to Thrive in the Age of Change: Modern Insights for F&A Leaders where Dominic Racine from Roche Diagnostics shares details on how BlackLine’s Continuous Accounting solution is supporting his organization’s growth objectives.