BlackLine Blog

March 08, 2023

2023 Predictions for Finance & Accounting: Process Optimization, Talent Upskilling & Finance Agility

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Jim Buchanan

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Look for organizations to focus on process optimization, talent upskilling, and finance agility as major drivers for business leadership in the coming year, according to BlackLine experts Dominick Fatibene and James Tilk.

Technology Powering Transformation

In the webinar “New Year, New Trends: 2023 Predictions for Finance & Accounting,” they predict how technology advances will power transformations to address the top priorities of business leaders in 2023. They also show that transformation is an area of significant concern among CFOs. The webinar points out that 82% of CFOs report that investments in transformation are accelerating, and 70% of CFOs feel that they would be at a disadvantage without financial transformation.

How are organizations doing that?

  • Hyper-automation which streamlines and automates key parts of processes with leading-edge technologies. “I think this is an area where we’ll be seeing some of the largest investments for enterprise-wide, organization-wide process improvement,” says Fatibene. 

  • Advanced analytics and reporting which involve increasing speed to insight and reporting visibility “To gain more opportunities to analyze information before making critical decisions,” he says.

  • Self-service tools that leverage technology to put power back in the hands of users, Fatibene notes.

  • Master data management is a critical resource, says Fatibene, because “When it comes to transformation, everything we do starts with data: how we organize it, how we prepare it and how we use it. That’s why a lot of financial transformation initiatives are revolving around master data management.”


Major Leadership Challenges For 2023

These include concerns about economic conditions, cost controls and access to capital, talent retention, and other workforce issues.

“Economies are going to continue to fluctuate, so prudent spending is a must,” notes Tilk.

Prudent spending is closely related to another challenge: workforce issues. Retaining top talent is always vital, but a new post-Covid challenge has to do with the uncertainties, for many organizations, around office real estate.

“Many corporate leaders are having to rethink real estate,” Tilk says. “For the last few years we’ve been working remote. Now companies are bringing workers back into the office on a part- or full-time basis and they’re also reevaluating what they’re going to do. Do they shrink their footprint or do they redefine their office spaces?”

Transformation & Technology Priorities

Throughout the webinar, Fatibene and Tilk examine other trends—in transformation and technology—that organizations will focus on in 2023.

According to Fatibene, keys to transformation success will be process optimization,

talent upskilling, and finance agility. “Process optimization should focus on improving the ways we interact with people, processes, and data, and how to drive value through improved, organization-wide processes,” he says.

Talent upskilling is essential for all businesses today, and finance agility comes about when finance can free up capacity in order to better partner with business-unit peers.

Other BlackLine Predictions for 2023

These are several other findings by BlackLine as we look ahead to the rest of 2023. In addition to predicting increasing emphasis on hyper-automation, the webinar hosts point to a growing need for cyber security and autonomous technologies.

  • Cyber security will be forefront. “This is more critical than ever because of today’s often-distributed workforces and the high costs of security breaches,” Fatibene notes. “I saw a recent statistic that said the average cost of a data breach is $4 million.”

  • Autonomous technology—organizations will adopt newer technologies that can help provide personal insights to employees who might otherwise not have the time or ability to discover them through manual research.


Ultimately, the webinar points out that the top-level key to success will, as always, be finding ways to make the most out of that most precious resource—time.

“Time is limited—you can’t make more time,” says Fatibene. Because of this, notes Tilk, it’s important that people constantly examine the work they’re doing and look for ways to do it more efficiently.”

Throughout the next year, it will be vital to find the best technologies that can help workers and organizations do just that, by putting their time to the best possible use.

Watch the on-demand webinar to:

  • Identify 2023 critical trends impacting finance and accounting

  • Explain how technology improves accuracy, saves time, and benefits everyone, especially during uncertain times

  • Identify leading practices for optimizing and automating despite disruptio

About the Author


Jim Buchanan