Technology Makes Everything Better, Right? (Right??)

Molly Boyle

Since 1750-something (the dawn of the First Industrial Revolution), we’ve been hearing how technology is going to make everything better. Faster, more efficient, cleaner!

From the steam engine to the assembly line to the home computer, technology keeps on promising, ad nauseam, to deliver more productivity, more time, and the Holy Grail of modern life: more happiness.

Trouble is, technology doesn’t always live up to the hype for the long haul.

Take spreadsheets, for example. The first ad for Microsoft Excel touted “a spreadsheet of unparalleled power with a lightning-fast database.” Excel was supposed to deliver “speed that never lets you miss a beat” and be the “business solution that will make as much sense five years from now as it does today.”

Does that sound like your spreadsheet-driven financial close?

We thought not.

In fact, a month-end close powered by manual processes today is a close that never really… closes. There are too many loose ends and not enough visibility. Too much chaos and not enough real transformation.

And transformation – of every financial process but especially the close – is what it’s going to take to be competitive, innovative, and successful in this digital age.

This is the age of self-driving cars and genetic editing, quantum computing, and intelligent robots. The bad news is that it’s also the age that’s making mincemeat of organizations unwilling or unable to embrace change.

What’s the good news? This shift is enabling technology to (finally) keep its promises. And that’s great news for accounting and finance organizations ready to embrace automation, artificial intelligence, and other Digital Age tools.

These are solutions that, unlike the manual processes of the past, really are increasing productivity, efficiency, and maybe even happiness (if happiness has an inverse relationship to manual data entry).

For modern finance organizations, this means a solution like a digital finance transformation platform

Future-focused finance organizations are transforming from a back-office function with last month’s data into a front-office, highly strategic business partner tasked with driving the business forward.

To do this, F&A needs a platform, i.e. technology, that keeps its promises – to make the financial close easier and more efficient, eliminate manual work, and free up more time for human brains to do very human things, like analyzing, innovating, and strategizing.

Maybe this is news to you. Or maybe you’re already in the process of convincing your organization to modernize your spreadsheet-driven, record-to-report close with a solution that increases visibility, efficiency, and scalability.

Whether you’re overwhelmed by the very idea of a finance transformation platform or trying to make the business case for one, “The Definitive Guide to Finance Transformation Platforms is for you.

It’s chock full of answers to burning questions like “Why should I care about a finance transformation platform?” and “Will a finance transformation change my life?” There’s even a section on how manual processes may be doomed, but you are most definitely not.

This article originally appeared on BlackLine.com and is republished by permission.

For more on this topic, read the “Continuous Accounting Action Plan” series.


Molly Boyle

About Molly Boyle

Molly (Welton) Boyle is the senior manager, Solutions Marketing at BlackLine, a provider of finance automation solutions. She is responsible for helping companies understand the value of BlackLine in the financial close and finance transformation space and supporting the go-to-market strategy with relevant content and collateral. Molly is based in Baltimore, MD and has extensive experience in public and corporate accounting.