Part 14 of the Continuous Accounting blog series. You can access the full series here.
Continuous Accounting is not just another way to do account reconciliations, nor an impractical pipe dream attainable only by the largest companies or most agile teams.
This modern, philosophical shift is an ongoing, stepwise journey with achievable milestones.
Effectively implementing Continuous Accounting requires a holistic approach, combining a mix of process, technology, and people to realize continued improvements across the accounting organization.
Optimize Your Processes
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.
The essential first step of process improvement is to identify the bottlenecks, which typically stem from highly manual tasks. This is where you’ll find the greatest opportunities to streamline and improve existing processes.
Tap Into the Power of Technology
Using technology to automate manual tasks enhances the benefits of process optimization while increasing the overall productivity of accounting team members. And investigating the technology landscape while you’re reviewing processes can open your eyes to previously unimagined possibilities.
Technology has the power to reduce manual and rote workloads, freeing team members to be more productive and drive value for the entire business. End-to-end process automation is critical for keeping pace with change and elevating the strategic role of finance.
Empower Your People
Accountants are a strategic resource for the organization, with so much expertise and skill to bring to the table. When that talent is buried by repetitive, tedious tasks, no one benefits.
With new technology that can automatically discover errors, inaccuracies, and exceptions, accountants are freed to focus on the anomalies instead of losing days just trying to find them in the first place. The time saved allows accountants to apply not just their knowledge and expertise, but also their nuanced creativity and intelligence.
Measure Progress With Metrics
Modern business requires every part of the organization to be forward-looking and strategic. Adopting the right technology, improving process, and empowering people should have clear, tangible benefits to the organizations.
Understanding the benefits of transformation projects requires measurement. Evaluating KPIs for timeliness, accuracy, efficiency, and employee satisfaction enables organizations to establish baselines and review results to facilitate continuous improvements over time.
Additionally, these metrics give finance leaders visibility into how their department is performing, so they can efficiently manage their operations and enable data-driven decision making.
Begin Your Transformation Journey
When Continuous Accounting is done well, it delivers real-time processing, a greater level of analysis, and more exceptional accountants. It changes both the talent profile and the output of the entire accounting organization.
A Continuous Accounting approach also provides real-time intelligence and unlocks competitive advantages for accounting and finance and the entire organization they serve.
Read the Blueprint for Continuous Accounting ebook to learn more about how to begin this journey at your organization.