BING What’s Stopping the Evolution of the Accountant? | BlackLine Magazine

Today’s accounting professionals are expected to be more than traditional bookkeepers. In addition to the pressure to close the books faster and more accurately than ever before, they’re also increasingly responsible for driving the business forward.

In practice, this means more efficiently identifying errors, ensuring seamless adoption of new accounting pronouncements, and providing analysis, data, and predictive insight into business trends.

It’s a welcome change for what was previously a back-office function mostly stuck in the prior month. And accounting and finance professionals are embracing the opportunity.

The stumbling block? More time and better data are what accountants need most to evolve, and because of outdated processes, those are in short supply.

Accounting professionals still spend the majority of each month managing increasing volumenew entities, new GL accounts, new systems, and more transactions. Late nights are the norm, rather than the exception. And while there’s plenty of data, little is available how and when it’s needed.

Traditional processes negatively impact every role in the accounting organization:

  • For a controller, the status quo involves a detective, manual control environment with a lot of double-checking and a lack of visibility to status
  • For an accounting manager, the status quo is a hodge-podge of spreadsheets, emails, information sitting on shared drives, and large volumes of approvals needed at the last minute
  • And for a staff accountant, it’s going through the daily motions, doing what you did the day before and what predecessors did before you. The same close, the same processes, the same journal entries.

No one has the chance to step back and say, ‘How do I make every day better?’”

Here are three key indicators that your accounting organization is relying on outdated, risk-prone processes:

  • Each close requires a monumental, manual effort
  • Data and supporting documentation is stored in shared drives, binders, or disparate locations
  • Access to real-time information is limited; instead, you have to wait until after the close to perform any analysis

In an age when start-ups can disrupt century-old industries in a few years, if not months, avoiding change exposes organizations to more risk—not less. But in the face of resistance, how can accounting and finance organizations transform the fear of change to readiness?

Read this white paper to find out. You’ll learn seven powerful ways to evolve your accounting processes and empower your teams.