BlackLine Blog

February 07, 2018

What Mitigating Risk Really Means for Controllers

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Shannon Maynard

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Part 5 of the Continuous Accounting blog series. You can access the full series here.

Change. Controllers may despise this word more than any other. And yet technology is making change the new normal, even in accounting and finance organizations.

Change has become inevitable for any company striving to create competitive advantage. Processes must evolve to keep up with mounting data and an accelerated pace of work. New skillsets need to be developed to analyze all of this data, and a carefully cultivated culture is required to attract and retain top talent.

Mitigating Risk Actually Means Change

It probably feels like the accounting and finance world that was once so familiar is changing almost every day. But when you begin to view these advancements as improvements, you can expand your outlook to see the beneficial opportunities that many of these developments have to offer.

As a Controller, the integrity of the books is on your shoulders and mitigating risk is your responsibility. This encompasses both protecting the company’s assets and ensuring that the numbers are captured as business occurs. And this is a heavy burden when you factor in multiple locations around the globe with manual processes that are prone to inevitable human error.

Reducing Risk with Automation

The solution to this mounting challenge is automation.

Thyra Hunter, former Corporate Accounting & Consolidations Manager at Decurion Corporation who is now a Product Director at BlackLine says, “To mitigate that risk we have to have useful technology in place. Humans equal risk. To mitigate that is to automate as much as you can.”

As you know well, this also means facing your fear of creating more risk and venturing into unknown territory. Which is why it’s essential to begin developing the ability to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Staying stagnant in an ever-changing business landscape is far riskier than moving forward with new technology that can continuously improve your processes.

How to Mitigate Risk with Continuous Accounting

“Continuously” is the key. Continuous Accounting is so effective because business is continuous. Stores used to close but now business happens 24/7, and accounting should also always be happening to keep up with that pace.

When you implement a Continuous Accounting approach, automated processes and controls are embedded within daily activities to align more closely with the operational calendar. With most manual tasks automated and accuracy built into automated processing, your teams can become proactive and drive value for the entire business.

Thyra states, “You’re no longer bogged down with ticking and tying, so you can do process evaluation and understand that there are gaps and how to fix them. You can start managing the automation and truly evaluate the benefits.”

This is not just about controlling the close – it’s about how you help the business become more aligned with their strategy. When you’re able to provide data that meets business needs on day five instead of day ten, you are accounting at an entirely different level.

Continue with Part 6 to discover why the risk of doing nothing is greater than ever.

About the Author


Shannon Maynard