BlackLine Blog

January 27, 2020

Make 2020 Your Most Successful Year Yet with These Resolutions for F&A

Modern Accounting
3 Minute Read

Susanna Metzler

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You watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, swayed along to Auld Lang Syne, and raised your glass to toast some well-intentioned resolutions. Perhaps to work less, focus on work-life balance, get to bed earlier, or actually use your gym membership… in short—new year, new you.

But what about your finance and accounting organization?

Work may have been far from your mind as you popped another cork in celebration, but now it’s time to get back down to business. Here are some new year’s resolutions that can help make 2020 the most successful year yet for you and your F&A teams.

I resolve to define my “end game”

Is there a particular area of your finance and accounting operation that you’d like to focus on this year? Begin by defining your end game and the key objectives or initiatives that can drive your success in 2020.

These six areas can help narrow your focus and achieve true optimization:

  • Confident financials produce greater accuracy and more informed decisions

  • A faster financial close delivers real-time data that enables agile decision making

  • An optimized finance function maximizes quality and enables smarter allocation of funds

  • Strong controls and efficient audits result in strong governance, mitigated financial and statutory risk, and efficient, clean audits

  • Trusted business partners provide proactive collaboration with the business and trusted financial guidance

  • Recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent will ensure a happier, more engaged team

Focusing on your end game allows your organization to increase efficiency within your finance and accounting processes while accelerating your modern accounting journey.

I resolve to implement effective change management

Being an accounting professional isn’t easy. Constant change is inevitable and often creates challenges, which is why effective change management is so critical for today’s F&A teams.

This often starts with elevating engagement. When your accountants are engaged, there’s a greater level of teamwork and collaboration, willingness to learn and train others, and ultimately, increased value delivered to the business.

Celebrate the wins, recognize the early adopters and those who go above and beyond, and tackle projects one step at a time.

I resolve to optimize my processes

Be open-minded about technology that can automate and optimize your standard processes. Consider processes that are time consuming, manual, tedious, and prone to errors. Don’t be satisfied with massive spreadsheets that fail to tell a complete story.

Added efficiency can free up time for your accountants and give them greater opportunities to partner with the business. By ‘owning’ processes, you can generate additional benefits within your organization while providing your users with powerful business management solutions.

I resolve to add more value to my organization

Accounting today involves a lot more than just number crunching. Responsibilities now include risk assessment, financial efficiencies, timely financial statements, and building strategic partnerships throughout the company.

By identifying potential issues before they arise, your teams can add greater value while minimizing risk, and become trusted business partners. Going beyond performing the routine tasks of the month-end close can help your F&A organization feel a lot more valuable to the broader business.

I resolve to invest in professional development

Like any organization, if you want to stay relevant and competitive, you need to stay up to date with the latest discussions, software, products, practices, and people. Investing time in the personal and professional development of your people is critical to cultivate growth, engagement, and results.

This will equip your finance and accounting teams to transition into internal business partners while acquiring the skills necessary to advance their careers.

I resolve to embrace the cloud

In today’s world of technology, it’s time to embrace the benefits of cloud-based solutions. Finance automation can boost productivity and significantly reduce time spent manually reconciling transactions.

Plus, when your accounting is in the cloud, you and your teams can work from anywhere. This means that you could approve account reconciliations or check the status of your month-end close from anywhere in the world.

I resolve to engage with the BlackLine Community

I hear your objection: “I’m an accountant, not a writer.” Well, if you’re already a BlackLine customer, 2020 is the year to ditch all excuses and get engaged with our global community of over 240,000 users.

Regularly visiting our new BlackLine Community will enable you to:

  • Get answers to any questions you have about BlackLine from your peers and BlackLine experts

  • Submit and vote on ideas to improve BlackLine

  • Take advantage of the learning resources in BlackLine U

I resolve to say yes to everything for one month

Try an experiment: commit to saying “yes” to everything that intimidates you for one month.

Raise your hand to take on a new project at work. Speak at a financial meeting about an issue or project close to your heart. Explore new technology that could continually improve your processes and deliver near-real-time data.

We want 2020 to be your year. Read this blog next to learn more about how your organization can make the move to modern accounting.

About the Author


Susanna Metzler