Progress often begins with a vision. This is how automation was introduced to corporate accounting, creating the revolutionary shift that is taking place within organizations. It opened the door for Continuous Accounting, an approach that embeds close activities throughout the month to smooth out period-end spikes and unleash accountants to become exceptional.
This is our vision for corporate accounting in 2017: manual processes are automated, data is connected, financial close activities are performed continuously throughout the month, and you are defining the role of the Exceptional Accountant.
This can’t happen all at once. It’s a progressive journey, and each step brings you closer to this ideal. As another year comes to a close, let’s take a look at how you can customize our vision and develop a new world of corporate accounting within your organization in 2017.
It All Begins With Finance Automation
As the volume of available data and analytics continues to increase, the importance of fully utilizing both to create competitive advantage is expanding as well. This requires a combination of skills that go beyond crunching the numbers to drive strategic opportunities, provide forecasts, and appreciate the wider consequences of business decisions.
This is an exciting time for accountants who were drawn to this profession because of their analytical and strategic skill set. Manual processes are time-consuming and responsible for the huge spike of work during the financial close, leaving very little or no time for analysis. As organizations automate these processes, it will accelerate their financial close and free accountants from tedious tasks to perform more value adding activities.
Whether you’re just beginning your finance automation journey or well on your way, download this free guide for a roadmap that will help you navigate the key areas of process, technology, people, and information.
The Gift of Continuous Accounting Keeps on Giving
Technology is only part of the solution. True organizational transformation requires a fundamental shift in philosophy as well, to combine process automation tools with a focus on reimagining legacy processes, empowering the best employees, and embracing a culture of continuous improvement. These are big concepts, but they represent how much room there is for innovation in the accounting and finance profession.
When used within the traditional record to report model, automation will save time. But it won’t gift you enough time for the amount of analysis and strategy that is required in today’s always-on, global business economy. This calls for the next level concept of Continuous Accounting. Instead of performing all of the period-end tasks only once during each period, they can be done in smaller batches on a more frequent basis to even out workloads, continually monitor for errors and inefficiencies, and deliver data in real-time.
This modern approach is an ongoing journey with achievable milestones that continually give accountants more and more time to spend on strategic research. They can become proactive business leaders instead of reactive operators, and equip the Office of Finance with real-time intelligence. These are the gifts that will keep on giving.
Download this free eBook for a Continuous Accounting Blueprint that will enable you to effectively implement this modern approach and begin building the future of your organization.
A Surprise Package: The Exceptional Accountant
With your most time-consuming processes automated and performed continually, something unexpected happens: your everyday accountants are unleashed to become exceptional. No longer weighed down by the manual work that dulls their value and their spirits, they are finally free to provide high-value services in areas like fraud detection, compliance, data analytics, technology strategy, and business advice. And they begin to love their work again, transforming the office dynamic as well.
Exceptional Accountants are the experts on their company’s business. They have the knowledge and expertise to instinctively discern mistakes, compliance issues, and the first indications of fraud, and also identify shifting marketing conditions that impact the bottom line. As they begin to define this new role and the elevated value they can bring to the broader business, they create an environment of continuous improvement that can inspire finance teams to stay engaged and deliver their absolute best.
The Exceptional Accountant is the role the accountant plays when our ideal vision for corporate accounting in 2017 is complete, but you don’t have to wait until finance automation and Continuous Accounting is in place to empower your accountants. You can create enviable work environments right now by giving your professionals the opportunity to utilize their strengths, communication to convey their value, and constructive feedback to enable growth and improvement.
A New World for 2017
The world of corporate accounting looks very different at the end of 2016 than it did in the beginning, and we expect to see an even more dramatic change by the end of next year. We hope the tools we’ve provided will help you move toward your company’s vision for 2017. We are here to support you every step of the way.