Recommended September Reads: Shaping the New Normal for F&A

We all know that life has changed—you don’t need to hear it again. What you may be wondering, however, is how to make the most of these changes and continue to be successful in your jobs and careers, given the new normal.

There’s a slew of information coming at you, and it can be difficult to figure out what is actually helpful and what’s just adding noise to the chaos.

I’ve compiled a list of great September reads that discuss virtual close success stories, how employees are feeling about digital transformation, and how to keep up with all the change.

Let’s dive in.

Is Working Remotely the Future of Finance?

According to Scott Settersten, the CFO of BlackLine customer Ulta Beauty, it is. He was recently interviewed about the process of embarking on a virtual close journey after Ulta closed every single store and sent corporate employees home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He states, “We already were completing most of the work we did in Finance… on a virtual basis. Moving the work to our homes made little to no difference in getting it done.”

This sentiment is seemingly shared by a number of enterprise finance executives weighing the merits of a partial or permanently remote work environment.

However, not every company has already come as far as Ulta on their journey to modern accounting with automation.

Read the full article on CFO.com

Employees Aren’t Feeling the Digital Transformation Love Yet

We’ve been hearing about the move to digital transformation for years, with many companies committing to a staged rollout over the next five years or so. That all changed with COVID-19.

This year, Finance and Accounting, along with other business units, had to make an unexpected mad dash toward modern accounting, leaving heads spinning.

Prioritizing the newly-mandated virtual close is a given, but where does this leave employees?

In a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, it appears as though “employee input into digital transformation efforts is lagging. Only 22% of employees feel they have active roles in decision-making.”

Additionally, “digital transformation requires people to acquire new capabilities. Both managers and employees feel hiring, training, and upskilling are the least successful elements of their company’s transformation, the survey shows.”

How do organizations and employees get on the same page about this? Education.

Read the full article on Forbes.com.

What It Will Take to Be a 21st Century Accounting & Finance Professional

CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Jeff Thomson penned this piece to provide insight into what it’s going to take to keep moving forward in our industry.

In a recent joint report, IMA and Deloitte project that the skillsets most needed over the next two years are “technical skills involving application of technology to finance and accounting processes.” Additionally, “Knowledge of cloud-based accounting solutions and data analytics and visualization were cited by more than 40% of respondents as key skillsets.”

The point of this article is to appeal to the finance and accounting professionals out there: don’t put off continuing education, especially around digital transformation and finance process technology. It’s going to be crucial moving forward.

Read the full article on Forbes.com.

What Do You Want as Your New Normal?

All three of these articles provide a different perspective on the virtual close and what it means for finance executives, accountants, and other employees involved in a company’s digital transformation efforts.

At the end of the day, it’s all about learning as we go. The working world will probably never be the same, so it’s up to us to shape our new one.

Visit our Virtual Close Hub for the resources you need to begin defining the new normal at your organization and closing virtually with confidence.