BlackLine Blog

December 07, 2022

F&A Leadership Priorities: Recruiting & Retaining Talent

Future Of Work
3 Minute Read

Hilary O'Brien

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Today’s business environment is more dynamic than ever. Business leaders are focused on strategic initiatives to position their companies for long-term growth, to gain competitive advantage, and to drive shareholder value.

Top of mind for many business leaders are topics like revenue cycle management, remote work enablement, and digital transformation, to name a few.

As business leaders focus on making strategic decisions around these areas, accounting teams are being increasingly relied upon to provide data and insights and to serve as strategic advisors to the business. 

This post is part of a series discussing areas of focus that require active accounting input, why it matters to accounting leaders, and the risk of doing nothing.

The Ongoing Battle for F&A Talent

According to a Fortune & Deloitte CEO survey, 3 out of 4 CEOs believe that a labor and skills shortage will be the top external disrupter of business strategy over the next 12 months. When you consider other external pressures—including inflation, the risk of recession, and global conflicts—this is a big, and perhaps surprising, statement from CEOs. 

However, as the ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘Great Reshuffle’ continues (over 4 million people quit their jobs in September 2022), and the share of workers planning to leave their jobs remains unchanged from 2021 at 40%, it’s no wonder that organizations need to assess their recruiting and retention strategies to keep up with the competition.

Why Recruiting & Retaining F&A Talent Matters

Accounting and finance teams are being asked to do more than ever, and these unprecedented demands are putting unsustainable pressure on people. On top of managing the financial close more efficiently, collecting cash from customers, optimizing working capital, and other traditional F&A responsibilities, teams and leaders are also expected to:

  • Manage risk and compliance

  • Optimize business processes

  • Advise on various corporate strategies

  • Support mergers and acquisitions

  • Ensure financial integrity

  • Guide ERP upgrades

  • And many more critical responsibilities

These high-value contributions are welcome for professionals and leaders who have been clamoring for a seat at the strategic table for years. However, the capacity constraints on employees who are shouldering more and more work must be relieved by retaining current staff to maintain institutional knowledge along with some combination of adding talent and adopting automation.

The Risk of Doing Nothing

Proactive companies and leaders are taking a more active role in addressing talent by increasing focus on digital transformation and automation, re-evaluating compensation, thoughtfully managing return to office plans, and enabling hybrid teams.

On the flip side, companies that are failing to automate repetitive work, or that are not prioritizing process innovation, aren’t keeping pace with employee and candidate expectations. These failures risk exposure to costly and time-consuming turnover (costs can range from 16-213% of an employee’s salary), negative employee morale, and even stunted organizational growth.

While recruiting and retaining talent in this post-pandemic era is challenging, it’s critical that leaders take all possible steps to best position their teams and companies to both current employees and candidates. One key way to do this is by highlighting your commitment to employee development, which includes the ability to focus their capacity on strategic work, by leveraging technology and automation.

How BlackLine Can Help

Automation and digital transformation are becoming increasingly important in filling the gaps created by the Great Resignation. Many organizations can effectively redeploy and optimize current talent through the implementation of automated solutions.

As Thomson Reuters explains, “Firms looking to strengthen their talent strategy should not underestimate the power of technology and the role it can play in helping them attract and retain staff. This includes implementing technologies that enable remote work capabilities, drive greater automation, and improve workflow efficiencies.”

Leveraging accounting automation technology like BlackLine can help organizations recruit and retain top talent by allowing employees to focus on higher-value work, elevate their skills, engage in more value-add activities, and support strategic objectives in more meaningful ways.

Additionally, modernizing accounting processes with cloud solutions presents the opportunity for remote or hybrid work, a top three motivator for finding a new job. BlackLine elevates your organization by:

  • Enhancing employee satisfaction by significantly reducing manual workflows

  • Reducing or eliminating mundane, repetitive tasks

  • Optimizing top talent’s capacity and time

  • Developing more strategic, valuable workflows that empower F&A teams

  • Enabling remote and/or hybrid work to promote a healthy work/life balance

There’s no denying that the ongoing labor shifts and shortages are challenging and may be for some time. The good news is: BlackLine can be implemented in as little as 90 days and many organizations see ROI within months. And, by listing our market-leading accounting automation software as part of your tech stack, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to reducing repetitive manual work to your current and future employees.

Get your copy of this exclusive white paper—Steering Finance Through the Great Resignation—to learn 5 strategies to reimagine F&A for the future of wor

About the Author


Hilary O'Brien