October 2, 2019
How the Right Accounting Tools Facilitate Digital Transformation
Posted by Narges Attaran
A team from Armanino attended BlackLine’s annual InTheBlack Conference to present a session about how companies are achieving digital transformation. The attendees learned how we work with CFOs to revolutionize their accounting workflows using a combination of BlackLine and Sage Intacct software.
As an introduction to our presentation, we wanted to highlight some of the ways that the right accounting tools facilitate digital transformation at companies large and small. A 2018 Gartner survey of CEOs and senior executives showed that 62% of respondents currently have digital initiatives underway, yet many are still struggling to make technology the centerpiece of everyday operations. We have some suggestions:
Seamlessly Integrate Data
No technology offers a complete solution. Digital transformation requires companies to implement a variety of technologies and, crucially, integrate them all effectively. For example, Sage Intacct and Blackline are natural pairs for accounting because a specialized integration pack allows them to seamlessly share data. Thanks to this integration, both solutions include the most complete and current information available to ensure objective decision making.
Eliminate Manual Inputs
Asking accountants to manually input data and move it between systems is a waste of their time and talent. Worse, it creates a high risk of human errors compromising data quality. Using more technology shouldn’t require more work, which is why integrated solutions are ideal. Manual inputs become largely unnecessary once different components of enterprise IT can seamlessly share data.
Fill In “Last Mile” Functionality
Echoing the theme that all technology is incomplete, companies need to root out their missing features and integrations. Ultimately, these are the biggest obstacles to digital transformation because they lead to fractured (rather than seamless) capabilities. Instead of evaluating technologies in isolation, consider how they complement one another. For example, Sage Intacct is a powerful financial management solution, but the close process is lacking. BlackLine offers an extensive toolkit for close management with perfect data integration. Together, both solutions are complete.
Automate Routine Workflows
Companies expect digital transformation to make them more productive and efficient, not just more beholden to technology. For that to be the case, technology must be able to automate time- and labor-intensive workflows like the close process. Once technology is doing the lion’s share of the work, professionals can focus on more strategic efforts. In that way, digital transformation optimizes human talent.
Gain Enterprise-Wide Visibility
Sound financial decision making requires enterprise-wide visibility. Unfortunately, for reasons outlined above, data is often stuck in silos and excluded from important performance metrics. Decision makers can’t understand the true strengths or weaknesses of a company until they can monitor every aspect of it.
Fully-integrated technologies provide that visibility into all aspects of accounting. When data is always available broadly and deeply, decision makers can confidently avoid obstacles and engineer opportunities – exactly what digital transformation strives to do.
Armanino helps clients navigate digital transformation and achieve their end goals using a combination of next-generation technologies and expert change management strategies. Contact us to learn more.
Narges is a solutions architect who, as Manager, Channel Leader, heads Armanino’s BlackLine practice, conducted in conjunction with BlackLine, Inc. A Microsoft Certified Software Engineer, she has been a senior sales engineer supporting Oracle Corp’s small, medium and enterprise clients across a wide variety of industries. She is an Executive MBA Candidate at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.