The Modern Accounting Office: Balancing Risk & ROI


3-minute read

This is chapter four of a story of three visionaries who came together to achieve a fast and efficient virtual close. The characters are fictional, but the many companies that are on this journey are not.

Sitting in the CFO’s office, Connie took a deep breath. She, Morris, and Vinny had spent the last week studying BlackLine’s Modern Accounting Playbook and building their business case. After seeing what the platform could do, Morris had morphed into BlackLine’s biggest advocate. His help had been invaluable in anticipating their CFO’s concerns.

They showed Lori, the CFO, how a manual close wasn’t sustainable, and how BlackLine’s leading practices would help them move to modern accounting. But Connie had saved the best for last.

“You know how it usually takes us a while to put together reports for you?” she asked. “With BlackLine, we could pull any number of reports in minutes, at any time during the close. We’d have real-time visibility and my team could even provide insights to the business. We’ll never have any of these things with spreadsheets.”

Lori thought it sounded great—she needed more real-time reporting—but they still hadn’t addressed the most important factor to her: ROI. She couldn’t just greenlight a software purchase without proving it would pay off. “Morris, what do you think?”

Morris took his time answering. “You know I’m not really ‘pro-change’.”

Everyone laughed. So true, Lori thought, but this was also the reason she appreciated his perspective.

Morris continued. “BlackLine can help us unify our processes and automate repetitive work. As we continue to grow, we have to become more efficient without compromising accuracy.

“I love spreadsheets—I think I always will—but spreadsheets alone aren’t going to cut it. And the ROI is there, Lori. On average, BlackLine returns $2.67 for every dollar spent.”

“That’s all well and good, but does the team have time to take this on?”

Vinny spoke up. “As part of their playbook, BlackLine offers a guided 60- to 90-day implementation, so yes, we can definitely do it. And role-based training is included, so the team will be up to speed very quickly.”

“I’ve done the research,” said Morris. “BlackLine delivers a collaborative accounting experience. There’s an entire community of users who work together to share best practices and improve processes.”

Lori looked back at the proposal. The team had done their due diligence, interviewing other users. The testimonials were glowing: users loved BlackLine for its ease of use, scalability, and flexible capabilities.

“I’m giving the go-ahead for this, but Connie, you’ll need to work with IT.”

Read the full story to find out how Connie made her business case to IT.