BlackLine Blog

May 23, 2023

Why Controllers Thrive with BlackLine

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Jim Buchanan

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Controllers, and the accounting function in general, face more challenges than ever, including changing regulatory requirements, increasing business-process complexities, and a dwindling accounting workforce. Fortunately, there are ways to leverage financial platforms and technology to tackle these challenges and help controllers optimize processes to unlock greater value for their organizations.

Companies Expect a Lot from Controllers

Today’s controllers have more responsibilities—and more opportunities to contribute to company operations—than ever before. They’ve moved well beyond the back office and are now seen as valuable partners to business managers and executives.

Their prospects as business leaders are promising, but they face hurdles thanks to an ever-growing list of accounting complexities facing modern financial operations:

  • Increasing regulation—accounting departments must deal with a mounting barrage of regulatory requirements. As an example, the International Federation of Accounting (IFA) notes that increased regulation and associated disclosure rules are expected to have a massive impact on the accounting profession.

  • Growing business complexities—according to the Institute for Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances, M&A activity has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% since 1985 and reached an all-time high in 2021. “As a result of the pandemic and market disruption, organizations have reinvented themselves to shore up their position in uncertain times…(and) business changes, from supporting remote and hybrid work to reorganizing operations, have increased demand on accounting teams.”

  • A shrinking workforce—at the same time, it’s getting more difficult to find highly trained professionals who can take on the increasing accounting workloads. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 300,000 accountants left the workforce between 2019 and 2021, a 17% drop in employed accountants. More alarming, the workforce decline comes from both a reduction in incoming graduates and an increase in accountants leaving the field.


How F&A Technology Can Help

Technology can help controllers increase accounting efficiency and accuracy while building new capacity to support business growth.

Rather than adding piecemeal solutions to specific accounting problems, for instance, BlackLine technology can help controllers build automation functionality into the core of their operations, allowing companies to expand to new accounting use cases without the need for additional technology.

Scalable accounting technology can also help controllers speed adoption of automation processes while limiting dependencies on IT—an advantage that helps facilitate implementation and builds greater ownership among finance teams.

As for the dwindling workforce, controllers can maximize staff productivity through functions such as transaction matching and journal automation while advocating for preventive, proactive process controls over older-style reactive controls. Additionally, technology can provide instant visibility into the financial close to help the controller deliver powerful financial insights to the organization’s business partners.

Thousands of fast-growing organizations have modernized their accounting operations with BlackLine, resulting in increased efficiency, accuracy, and capacity to support business growth. Get your copy of 5 Reasons Controllers Thrive with BlackLine to learn how.

Watch this on-demand webinar where you’ll hear from accounting leaders—representing companies of all sizes—as they discuss the impacts of these challenges on their organizations and their strategies for equipping their staff to prosper in a fast-paced and unpredictable environment.

About the Author


Jim Buchanan