BlackLine Blog

November 17, 2020

Planful’s Vision of Digital Transformation for Accounting & Finance

Digital Transformation
3 Minute Read

BlackLine Magazine

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Are you tired of clunky processes, siloed departments, and the burden of tedious, manual tasks? If so, Planful and BlackLine can help extend your organization’s financial decision-making capabilities by modernizing your close and reporting processes.

To be truly competitive and elevate Finance to a strategic position within your organization, you need to transform how Finance works. And, Finance shouldn’t be a bystander as the rest of your organization transforms.

Well, we’ve built a better way.

Register now for BeyondTheBlack and join us for our session on Thursday, November 19 at 12:30 pm PT to learn how we’re transforming Finance.

Keep reading for a quick overview of our vision of digital transformation and how Finance fits in.

Setting Digital Transformation as the Goal

Digital transformation is important because it changes the way organizations think about doing business. By embracing technology, processes are improved, and many times, fully reinvented.

But organizations frequently get lost in the mechanics of digital transformation, failing to ever fully realize the benefits. It happens because the focus on digitization overwhelms the need for transformation.

It may sound fundamental, but there are three common phases of digital transformation:

  1. Starting with digitization

  2. Moving to digitalization

  3. Culminating in digital transformation that spurs real and impactful organizational change

It’s important to understand each of these phases to see where transformations can get derailed and to underscore the importance of reaching full digital transformation.

Unpacking the 3

Digitization is the first phase of digital transformation, and most organizations have already made this move from analog to digital processes. They’ve done away with paper and pencil and have moved to digitize work when possible.

Think of digitization as moving the task of tracking bills from a handwritten checkbook register to an Excel spreadsheet.

Digitalization then embraces digital technologies to improve, accelerate, and ease business operations. It changes how people work by using technology to remove friction.

To keep with the checkbook example, digitalization moves you away from Excel and into online banking and dedicated software applications to automatically pay bills.

Digital transformation ultimately focuses on processes to change how organizations operate and collaborate. This combines the digital technologies leveraged in digitization and digitalization with organizational changes to apply new technologies in ways that fundamentally change how your business operates.

In the checkbook example, services like Venmo and PayPal use technology to transform how you think about and use your money.

Data Is Critical to Your Digital Future

The majority of business transformation efforts today rely on three key elements: people, process, and technology. Usually, these three pillars are independent of each other, and organizations focus on only one of them when looking at ways to improve.

More often than not, however, an organization’s data is not included in a traditional digitization process.

But overlooking data as a pillar of the transformation process can have serious consequences. The result is limited change, and ultimately, limited benefits because you end up supporting the existing data silos that impede transformational change. This then amplifies or fails to resolve inefficiencies, blocks collaboration, and undermines confidence.

Embracing true digital transformation, with data as the foundation, is critical to elevating the financial conversation and making better decisions more quickly, confidently, and strategically.

Join us at BeyondTheBlack

Why Finance Should Lead Digital Transformation

Finance, alongside IT, are usually the only two teams connected to and interacting with every corner of the business. So when Finance, Accounting, and the Office of the CFO are the tip of the transformation spear, they bring with them a perspective that encompasses the entire end-to-end business, the related processes, and the impact transformation will have across the business.

Finance itself benefits from digital transformation, obviously. But, financial processes across the organization realize tangible benefits from transformation, and only Finance has that financial perspective across every team, upstream and downstream. This perspective and relationship with the business also gives Finance a unique view into the ultimate impact digital transformation can have on the overall organization.

By being positioned at the center of the organization, and also working alongside every corner of the business, Finance can lead your digital transformation efforts, so they result in accuracy, confidence, and efficiency.

Join Planful at BeyondTheBlack to Learn More

Want to learn how Finance can deliver real digital transformation to your organization? It starts by combining BlackLine and Planful as best-of-breed point solutions to improve your close, consolidation, and financial reporting processes.

Register now for BeyondTheBlack and join us for our session, Modernize Your Close & Reporting Processes, on Thursday, November 19 at 12:30 pm PT to learn how to begin.

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