BlackLine Blog

November 16, 2020

Financial Transformation: Tame That Animal

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Steve Soter

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Financial transformation is a beast—even more so when the world is turned upside down, as it was early this year.

While systems and processes always have room for improvement, no one could have imagined that COVID-19 would drive the immediate need for secure remote access to data and applications, smooth collaboration, and the ability to connect across systems. It’s hard enough to manage disconnected processes when we’re all sitting next to each other, let alone when we are all working from home.

The Hershey Company was prepared. By early 2020, it was well down the financial transformation path—but not in the way you might think. While many equate financial transformation with huge enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrades and implementations, Hershey’s had the insight to be nimbler, and didn’t immediately jump with both feet into a seven- or eight-figure ERP upgrade that would take years to implement.

Instead, they saw opportunities to address specific pain points and inefficiencies in their processes that they could more quickly and cost-effectively address with BlackLine and Workiva, whose connected reporting and compliance platform helps simplify reporting processes. As a result, Hershey’s accelerated their financial transformation.

The Hershey Company will be sharing more about their financial transformation journey at BeyondTheBlack. Be sure to mark your calendar for “No-Go Status Quo: Why Financial Transformation Can’t Wait,” a 30-minute breakout session at 1:00 pm PT on Thursday, November 19.

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The Sweet Story Behind Re-Imagining Work

The timing couldn’t be better as many finance teams balance efforts to carry out transformation initiatives against a host of other priorities this year. When few of us have an extra minute or dollar to spare, it’s nice to lean on the experience of a company that’s done it, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Though we don’t all work for a beloved chocolate company, we probably face some of the same challenges that Hershey’s F&A teams faced before they started transforming how they work.

Challenges there included decentralized ERP systems, difficulty accessing real-time information, and change management, as well as how all three affected the internal control environment.

During Hershey’s session at BeyondTheBlack, I’m hoping to dig into how they started tackling those challenges, how they convinced leaders across the organization to buy into changes, and their input on how to accelerate finance transformation.

I hope you’ll join us for the conversation.

Register for BeyondTheBlack to join us for No-Go Status Quo: Why Financial Transformation Can’t Wait at 1:00 pm PT on Thursday, November 19. You’ll learn how The Hershey Company is connecting data, documents, and teams with BlackLine and Workiva as part of their finance transformation journey.

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About the Author


Steve Soter