Continuous Accounting

Finance and accounting leaders are expected to deliver accurate and real time analysis of their organization’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.

The Old Model: Record-to-Report

Close activities and processes that were created and implemented twenty or more years ago were not built for the modern business economy. The traditional record-to-report process was designed to simply map-out tasks and responsibilities that were required to be performed after the period-end, whether directly involved in the financial close process or part of after-close reconciliations and analysis. The process was built to accommodate rigid ERP systems that do not integrate well with other data sources and fail to provide accurate visibility into the chart-of-accounts. Record-to-report represents items to be completed upon the completion of an accounting period – monthly, quarterly, annually.

 

The complex nature of 24/7 global business means companies leaving much of the close work to the end of period are at a competitive disadvantage.

Transactions created and processed around the clock stack up, and this increasingly large set of unreconciled transactions strains employee productivity during the close. A chaotic close exposes an organization to the risk of high rate of errors in preparation along with less time for thorough review. This model supports a start-stop view of how accountants approach reconciliation and close activities that necessarily produce backward looking and out-of-date results. Record-to-report is an antiquated approach to period-end accounting.

The Modern Approach: Continuous Accounting

BlackLine’s Finance Controls and Automation platform delivers a fresh approach that increases the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of the financial close and other period-end activity. This new approach is known as Continuous Accounting. The traditional model of record-to-report only focuses on collecting, reviewing, and verifying an entire period’s data after the period ends.

What is Continuous Accounting?

Continuous Accounting embeds automation, control, and period-end tasks within day-to-day activities, allowing the rigid accounting calendar to more closely mirror the broader business

Those who have embarked on the modern finance journey continually capture, validate, and analyze financial data in a timely and precise manner. As a result, organizations are no longer left with a look at where they were days or weeks ago, but now have a real time picture of the current state of the company’s accounts. Moreover, as close accounting processes traditionally left for the days following the period-end are spread throughout the period, workloads are more evenly distributed improving accuracy, allowing more time for review, and preventing employee burnout. Continuous Accounting combines modern finance strategies and cloud technology to deliver real time reporting, faster analysis, and unprecedented operational efficiency. Continuous Accounting is the modern approach to close accounting.

Click hereto download the Continuous Accounting Brief