Accounting BlackLine

It’s Time to Focus on Finance Automation

Sponsored by BlackLine

New process automation tools free up time for analytics, enabling finance and accounting teams to transition from performing manual and spreadsheet-driven processes to becoming a strategic partner to their business.

Technology is changing the way business is done all around us, and it is time for accounting and finance to get fully on board. Increased regulatory scrutiny, rising business complexity, and heightened expectations for accurate and real-time financial intelligence is pressuring companies of all sizes to do more with less, and failing to automate leaves your company at a competitive disadvantage.

Many know this but are left wondering, where to even begin? Embarking on this journey requires an understanding of the limitations of legacy, ERP-based technology, and how to overcome them in order to modernize accounting and finance. Let’s start by taking a look at the four key areas of every improvement project: process, technology, people, and information.

Optimize Your Processes to Streamline Automation & Increase Efficiency

Left unchecked, manual processes together with expanding data volumes are preventing Finance from making the shift from back-office accountant to strategic business partner. Rote, human-driven, and error-prone manual procedures expose companies to the undue risk of inaccuracy, or worse, restatement.

Taking a gradual approach to modern process improvement allows an organization to realize incremental results and benefits at every level. The essential first step is to identify the bottlenecks, which typically stem from highly manual procedures. This is where you’ll find the greatest opportunities to improve and streamline existing processes.

Key questions to optimize improvement:

  • What are you doing today?
  • What’s working, and more importantly, what isn’t? And, why not?
  • How would you characterize the controls in your processes?
  • Are you at risk?
Tap Into Technology to Augment Productivity & Reduce Risk

Technology augments the benefits of process optimization while increasing the overall productivity of accounting team members. Process automation is critical for keeping pace with change and elevating the strategic role of finance, and the results are substantial. According to PwC, best-in-class finance organizations run at a 40% lower cost than their peers, yet spend 20% more time on analysis versus data gathering. Companies are also seeing faster financial close cycles, doubled accounting efficiency, and a more satisfied and engaged accounting and finance organization.

As high-volume tasks from transaction matching to account reconciliations are automated, efficiency is enhanced and data aggregation and formatting are streamlined. Risk is reduced as control increases and human error is removed from manual, transaction-level processes, including data extraction, recurring journal creation, and intercompany invoicing.

Key questions to assess your current state:

  • Is your current technology sufficient?
  • What are the gaps?
  • Do you have the technology to complement new processes and meet the needs of a growing business?
Empower Your People to be Exceptional

Accounting and Finance professionals bring tremendous value to the table with a skillset suited for driving business strategy through analysis. But when manual and rote workloads consume most of their time, their exceptional abilities are buried and under utilized.

Automation unlocks this value by taking over the tedious tasks so accountants can use their exceptional abilities to help guide the business. Companies using process automation tools close 70% faster, increasing productivity by up to 24% for each fulltime employee in addition to the productivity gains realized from process automation. This frees your most capable team members to focus on the value-adding activities that drew them into this profession in the first place, increasing their engagement and empowering them to become exceptional.

Key questions to evaluate your employees:

  • How would you characterize employee morale?
  • Are they overworked?
  • Are you utilizing your team’s skillset most effectively?
  • How can you get the best out of your team while avoiding burnout and increasing engagement?
Real-Time Information for Optimal Outcomes

Modern business requires every part of the organization to be forward-looking and strategic. Real-time access to financial data and full confidence in those numbers really is the only way forward, and by automating finance and leveraging the power of data, organizations can unlock competitive advantages for the entire organization. Better data that is available when it is needed means better informed business decisions, and that leads to superior choices and optimal outcomes. With faster analysis and informed decision-making, leading businesses can be more agile and rapidly respond to changing pressures as they arise.

Key questions about your outcomes:

  • Do you have the information you need, when you need it?
  • What could you do with real-time intelligence?
It’s Time to Begin

The results of using automation are already dramatic, with organizations seeing faster close cycles, increased accounting efficiency and transparency, and more satisfied and engaged finance and accounting teams. New process automation tools free up time for analytics, enabling teams to transition from performing manual and spreadsheet-driven processes to becoming a strategic partner to their business.

Modern Finance is a journey yielding continuous improvement in the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of accounting operations.

Are you ready to begin your journey? Download the Finance Automation Journey eBook to learn how to fuel your finance transformation.