BlackLine Blog

August 01, 2019

How to Embrace New Technology & Inspire F&A Teams

Modern Accounting
3 Minute Read

Shannon Maynard

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Therese Tucker’s inclusion on the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting comes as no surprise to anyone who knows her or works with BlackLine.

Finance automation has become the new boardroom buzzword, but Therese has been building her business around it for almost two decades.

Therese grew BlackLine by listening to the needs of her customers and adding the solutions and functionality they need to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. This has paid off in spades.

In a recent cover story, Inc Magazine confirms that analysts credit BlackLine with inventing an entirely new market for accounting software.

Accounting Today writes, “Closing the books is a recurring nightmare for businesses and their accountants, but Tucker’s efforts to streamline the process through software are paying off, leading more and more firms to partner with her company to benefit their clients.”

BlackLine embraces this role, continually striving to communicate the many ways in which technology can benefit accounting and finance professionals, elevating their engagement and contribution to the greater organization.

Keep reading to learn what Therese identifies as the three biggest benefits technology provides to F&A, and how you can equip your own teams to thrive.

Technology Creates Competitive Advantage

To thrive amid accelerating change, accounting and finance professionals need to become more strategic and learn how to create competitive advantage. This begins with process automation.

For decades, accountants have been tackling the month-end close using manual processes. Until a few years ago, repetitive, brute-force effort was the only option.

But now, innovative technology is automating recurring tasks and workflows with rules-based systems, and the sophistication of these solutions is growing with robotics, machine learning, and AI.

According to the Economist, 75% of more than 200 business executives surveyed say AI will be actively implemented in their companies within the next three years. Accenture sees 30-50% of shared services—typically transactional roles—vanishing in the next five years.

This will lead to a dramatic shift in accounting and finance organizations, and it’s just the beginning of the far-reaching changes that are to come.

Technology Enables Business Partnering

Business partnering has been on the accounting and finance agenda for years. But double-checking financial statements, tracking down reconciliations, and chasing down intercompany document trails have all taken precedence, and rightly so.

These tasks require substantial, if not all-encompassing effort.

When the business looks to Accounting and Finance for support and timely insight into business decisions, they need data immediately―not after the month-end crunch is over and the reporting is complete.

Leading organizations are rebalancing Accounting’s role by applying the technology that leads to big business partnering benefits. They’re using self-service analytics and nurture skills to interpret data and translate insights, playing an increased role in business decisions.

This pushes Accounting to be forward-looking and enables teams to provide a real-time picture of financials, rather than limiting visibility until month-end. By applying intercompany eliminations and reconciliations, account balance reconciliations, and other processes as they happen, the financial picture is always up-to-date and ready for analysis.

Technology Attracts Talent

For tomorrow’s finance organizations, thriving hinges on talent.

Accenture says that “together with analytical skills, the finance workforce of the future needs an appetite for risk, a stomach for ambiguity, and the guts of a savvy business advisor. Attracting, retaining, and building these skills means profound changes to finance talent strategy—because the work of finance, who does it and how, will never be the same.”

Successfully embracing change begins with developing a culture that attracts top talent and enables your people to compete on a whole new level. This looks like automating rote processes and implementing a Continuous Accounting approach, so your highly-skilled accountants have the time they need to partner with the business.

We’re at a pivotal point for technological change that will elevate the accounting and finance organizations that embrace and effectively prepare for it. And in turn, the individuals who successfully build their skill set in preparation for the rising tide of intelligence will be rewarded.

Not Just Technological Advancement

It’s important to note that on top of being an influential finance and technology leader, Therese has paved the way for female entrepreneurs who want to make their mark on traditionally gate kept industries.

Therese has become a role model, impacting both female employees and the audiences she speaks to at STEM events. “It’s important for young women today to see what I’ve done and know that it’s possible,” says Therese. “To know that you can build a business from absolutely nothing, through a successful IPO, through life as a public company. Women can do that.”

It certainly makes sense that a person who pursues progress in all things—technology, corporate culture, industry norms, and social equity—would end up on a list of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.

Ready to equip your accounting and finance teams to thrive? Read this white paper for seven powerful ways to evolve your accounting processes.

About the Author


Shannon Maynard