Why Modern Finance?

Susan Parcells

The modern business world is looking dramatically different from the world in which traditional accounting processes were created. Technology has changed the professional landscape, and this is very good news for accounting and finance professionals.

It has brought us to modern finance, a journey of continuous improvement in the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of accounting operations. By embedding process standardization, automation, and continuous analysis, modern finance transforms the way finance and accounting teams work.

Traditional financial close processes were not built for the modern business economy. Waiting until the end of the period to process data in the traditional record-to-report process risks damaging the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of results. Manual processes are error-prone and put incredible amounts of strain on employees, in addition to the increased cost incurred from the financial close each month. An automated process that is repeatable, organized, and transparent reduces your exposure to risk and gives executives confidence in the reporting outcomes.

The modern CFO is under increasing pressure to drive growth and deliver accurate financial data that provides the big picture of their organization. Over 50% of finance executives are spending too much time acting transactionally rather than strategically, and two-thirds don’t have time for process improvement and innovation, according to a Gartner study.

The move toward modern finance has ushered in cloud-based process automation tools that free up time for a greater level of analysis and insight, strategic thinking, and improvement on multiple levels. Finance teams are finally able to transform from traditional stop-start, batch-oriented processes, and start thinking continuously. For the first time, finance leaders have a real-time picture of the current state of the company’s financials. The results are already dramatic: 70% faster close cycles, doubled accounting efficiency, and a more satisfied, engaged finance and accounting organization.

A new generation of talent is entering companies, one that is not content to simply work on onerous, repetitive tasks. They’re looking to technology to improve their work and satisfaction, and expecting it to work the way they do. Clearly, smart use of automation is a significant opportunity to make this shift.

Finance and accounting organizations that embrace modern finance through process automation will be more strategic, agile, and responsive. They will be positioned to lead.

Visit Blackline.com to see our modern finance solutions.

This article originally appeared in BlackLine Magazine. It is republished by permission. 

Susan Parcells

About Susan Parcells

Susan Parcells, CPA, CGMA, is senior director of Finance Transformation and Product Expert for BlackLine. Throughout her career as both an auditor and various management positions within accounting, Susan recognized that the traditionally manual processes within the financial close were not only inefficient, but often exposed companies to risk. She began to focus on process improvement around the close, helping accounting teams reduce their workload and instead use their analytical skills to focus on other value-added activities, all while enhancing controls around those processes. She now spends her time attending conferences, trade shows, and other venues to educate companies on ways in which they can optimize their financial close processes along with having great control around them. Her greatest passion is helping others, which makes her role at BlackLine a perfect fit.