The ever-lingering pandemic has shone a light on the shortcomings of many businesses. Many of them are beginning just now to realize the need for combining automation with collaboration. As we enter a new year, companies are taking stock of what the future of accounting will look like.
The growing role of finance:
As a finance leader, you’ve likely been tasked with helping your business climb back while taking stock of outstanding receivables, pending liabilities, and cash flow. The heightened responsibility falls not just on the shoulders of CFOs, CEOs, and controllers but also on the teams they manage who help deliver these results. This expanded role includes reevaluating everything that works, but most importantly, what doesn’t. Many finance and accounting teams need to turn to automation to help manage complex reporting, track against KPIs, and even well-known accounting cycle processes like accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, etc. With remote work continuing to grow, leaders turn to tech to help collaborate in a mostly virtual environment. Now’s the time to embrace a future that includes automation.
Real-time information is non-negotiable these days. Rather than maintaining the status quo, companies that want to keep more timely financial insights must replace the traditional record-to-report process and look for new approaches like continuous accounting. Continuous accounting breaks the bonds associated with deadlines of month or quarter-end close and takes a process view of all accounting related activities, whether they are closely related or not. Continuous accounting installs a more frequent completion of tasks from reconciling a bank account to processing payroll.
Discernment and judgment are still key:
Machines can’t do it all—actually, they can, but finance and accounting are not so linear, it’s not static. Numbers are always changing, regulations and percentages are always changing, and with that, a need for actual human-beings to process that change and make sure that any automation keeps up with the times. Automation needs the collaboration of intellectual assessment, client relations, and keen judgment to be genuinely successful. That’s where your teams come into play. It’s not about automation replacing employees, it’s about a “meeting of the minds” that ultimately allows your staff to grow and helps you navigate a new working normal and a new future.
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