It’s Time to Stop Accounting Like It’s 1999

What do 19th-century medicine and 21st-century accounting have in common?

Tools that suck.

In the 1800s, the “leech craze” had doctors setting aside the effective (but old-fashioned) lancet in favor of a more “modern” tool, the bloodsucking Hirudo medicinalis.

In parallel, the 20th century saw accounting professionals in the midst of their own new tool mania with the advent of the “visual calculator.” Promising to reduce 20 hours of work to 15 minutes,[i] the spreadsheet rapidly attached itself to every accounting process, from balance sheet creation and transaction matching to close tracking.

Fortunately for 19th-century patients, leeches fell out of favor, as practitioners realized the bloodsucker was rather unpredictable and difficult to control.

Unfortunately for 21st century finance professionals, spreadsheets are still sucking the life out of almost every modern accounting process. And, like leeches, spreadsheets are highly unpredictable.

But, unlike leeches, spreadsheets are very, very dangerous.

It’s not just the aforementioned unpredictability. Or the potential for inaccuracies. Or how one wrong digit can be duplicated once, twice, and on into infinity. Spreadsheets threaten the very foundation of modern accounting because they simply can’t keep up with the pace of modern business.

That’s bad news for CEOs, CFOs, and every other leader who needs real-time data—not last month’s close report—to make smart, agile business decisions.

What accounting must have is what every other industry already has: modern, evolved technology solutions that enable speed, accuracy, and insight at the speed of business. Technology that automates boring, rote tasks to free finance to focus on the really great (and infinitely more meaningful) work, like analysis, forecasting, and strategy.

What modern accountants deserve is a solution that makes real-time accounting and finance a reality. Ideally, a platform that enables the evolution of the exhausting, spreadsheet-driven, R2R slog into the highly evolved process of Continuous Accounting.

A platform like BlackLine, the modern Continuous Accounting platform designed for true finance transformation.

Curious? Read the 5 Reasons to Transform Finance and Accounting ebook to learn more.


[i] https://www.cnet.com/news/the-man-who-made-pcs-useful/