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Finance and accounting leaders are expected to deliver accurate and real time analysis of their organisation’s financial performance at all times. Yet many still wrestle with decades-old accounting processes that can only provide a view into the past, where the organization was, not where it is now. Continuous Accounting is a modern approach that empowers real time financial intelligence and allows finance and accounting teams to provide unprecedented value to the larger business.

This is according to BlackLine, an American enterprise software company who has published a blueprint for continuous accounting.

The authors say that to meet mounting demands, finance is shifting from traditional, rigid, and manual accounting processes to more automated, flexible, and agile operations.

“This shift is essential because it provides the productivity benefits that free organizations to deepen their focus on analyzing and reporting financial performance. Yet nearly 70% of respondents in a recent survey by The Hackett Group report that manual processes are still the biggest bottleneck in financial close and accounting operations, with most of these processes completed with extreme resource requirements at the end of every accounting period.

“It’s no surprise that more than half of finance executives report being frustrated by spending too much time on nonstrategic work. They are awash in transactional activity and two-thirds say they don’t have time for process improvement.

“Failing to transform core accounting business processes leaves companies at a competitive disadvantage. In order to make the shift from overworked cost center to strategic partner for their business, accounting and finance teams must step out from behind the spreadsheets and embrace the future. Technology is changing the way business is done all around us, and it’s time for accounting and finance to realize the evolutionary benefits of modernity.

“However, technology is only part of the solution. True organizational transformation requires adopting a fundamental shift in philosophy, one that combines technology with a focus on reimagining legacy processes, empowering the best employees, and embracing a culture of continuous improvement.”

According to the document, a world where the CFO can walk into any meeting and provide real-time – not only up-to-date, but up-to-the-minute – financial intelligence is achievable. Modernizing legacy record-to-report processes is not an option.

“Any company that avoids transforming its finance function is putting itself at risk. Beyond the risks associated with out-of-date accounting and finance practices, the increasingly complex nature of global business cycles means that companies that are slow to modernize their accounting operations are at a competitive disadvantage.”

To download the document, click here.