Gartner’s research found that 75% of organizations are currently optimizing their accounting close processes for digital. Trying to optimize processes that are soon to be made obsolete by new digitally enabled ways of working introduces lengthy periods of futile process mapping and standardization.
“Controllers need to take a step back and focus on building resilient processes before they begin to optimize, so that their teams are ready to go when new technologies are introduced into the close,” said Bulman.
Three Steps to Building Process Resiliency
Gartner’s research found that controllers who focused on building process resiliency first, before starting to optimize their processes, were more than twice as likely as to be digitally ready than those that only focused on optimizing processes.
The controllers who expressed confidence that their accounting close processes were ready for digital transformation took three distinct steps on the path to building process resiliency. They include:
1. Establish a Vision for Digitizing the Close Process – Organizations need a framework for determining whether interim digitization decisions are moving the close process in the correct direction. Establishing a desired future state that is measurable, task-specific and both aspirational and achievable are key elements in establishing a vision.
2. Build a Decision-Making Infrastructure – Ongoing alignment of the close process with ongoing digitization efforts require a two-part solution: First, building a framework for deciding the degree of autonomy each team can have; and secondly, continuously managing exceptions that threaten to undermine the established vision, so that they can be incorporated into digitization plans.
3. Sense Disruptions from Upstream Digitization Decisions – Leading organizations maintain mechanisms to identify upstream (non-finance) disruptions that could derail the close. These parts of the process not owned by finance are going through their own digitization efforts and have the ability to disrupt the closing process.
Gartner clients can read more in: Prepare the Accounting Close for Digital by Making it Resilient and the accompanying infographic. Nonclients can learn more in: Top Strategic Technology Trends in Finance.
CFOs and finance leaders can participate in Gartner research and get complementary access by joining the Gartner Research Circle.
About the Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference
Gartner experts will provide additional insights on the key issues facing CFOs during the Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference, June 6-7, 2022, in National Harbor, MD. The Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference delivers actionable, objective insight to CFOs and their teams to help them leap-frog forward on their digital journey by understanding what successful teams are, and are not, building, buying, and borrowing in the market. For the full agenda and to register visit: https://www.gartner.com/en/conferences/na/cfo-finance-us.
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