Continuous Finance: Planning Your Journey To Better Accounting, Planning, And Performance  

13 February 2018:

 You’re not imagining things. The pace of change is accelerating, and there are no brakes. The business cycle is now continuous with a speed set to lightning.

According to Yale University, the average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 has decreased from 67 years in the 1920s to 15 years today. Another study predicts that 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies on the S&P 500 will no longer exist in 10 years.

How did we get here? Globalization and digitalization are two of the primary drivers. With businesses increasingly distributed, customers often offshored or outsourced, and operations moving to shared services, the business clock has changed to 24/7. But that’s not all.

Digitalization has quickened the cadence. Mobile apps allow businesses to run from anywhere, so you can now do tasks like approve a purchase order or close the books at your convenience. Use of robotics for common business processes is enabling tasks like approving sales orders or closing the books to be completed faster. Collaboration platforms are speeding engagement with and across teams. Analytics is enabling the measurement of processes and the gauging of opportunities to drive and pinpoint efficiencies. Machine learning is augmenting teams such as FP&A to improve the speed and accuracy of forecasts and plans.

Simply put, rapid technological change and digitalization are forcing organizations to reimagine processes, organizational structures, and resource allocations. Every part of the modern enterprise is seeing a shift to a continuous cycle, the acceleration of processes, and the pinpoint measurement of where to improve – whether in marketing and sales, service, or product development.

Finance is no exception. “Continuous” is arriving within every team within it: accounting, FP&A, and directly in the CFO’s office. Why does it matter? Because moving finance to a continuous model creates a more efficient, agile, and proactive function – allocating resources more effectively over the accounting calendar, while building financial planning that is more fluid and operationally relevant.

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Source: Digitalist 

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