This is an interesting article by Thomas Sutter, finance centre of excellence, Oracle NetSuite exploring the notion that remote working has significantly furthered the case of continuous accounting.
One of Phil’s key observations is that
‘Financial statements give
leaders a view of what happened – not what is happening with the business. When transactional and operational data is integrated and able to be accessed on demand, finance leaders can provide a real-time view of the company’s financials – including its cash position.
At Cloud Doing Good, we have often seen Oracle-NetSuite being used to increase financial ownership beyond finance teams, by aligning business leaders much more closely with financial information.
This includes processes in finance that move towards continuous close.
One of the most significant examples of this is in relation to reconciliation. Its hard to get excited about reconciliation! But, if a business leader is to be in a position to use financial information, she must know that the information is complete. Therefore, boring old reconciliation has a significant real world consequence: it enables business leaders to get a more real-time view.
In addition, if reconciliation is automated, the finance team can spend their time business partnering with the business leaders, rather than simply entering transactions.
So how does this relate to remote working? The pandemic has forced organisations working with legacy software – or manual processes – to reexamine their technology landscapes. Where individuals are in the same room it is sometimes possible to use manual processes, but this workaround gets increasingly difficult with remote teams.
So as we move forward into an increasingly fast moving and potentially remote working world, a shift towards continuous accounting may be a key element to forward looking finance professionals adding broad strategic value.