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What Is Continuous Accounting and What Are the Benefits?

Posted by Graham Hulme on Nov 3, 2021 11:59:14 AM

Continuous accounting is a key factor to achieving a more strategic finance and accounting function in a corporation. And yet, many accounting organizations have fallen back and are reporting an increased use of spreadsheets.  

During a webinar in November of 2019, SOFTRAX SVP & General Manager, Tom Zauli, explored the complexities of this topic during the two-part live event, “The Future of Finance: A Practical Path to Continuous Accounting” and outlined a practical list of steps towards that goal. The steps Mr. Zauli shared remain applicable and challenging today. 

To learn even more about continuous accounting, SOFTRAX's latest webinar, “The Future of Finance and Revenue Recognition,” will be held on November 18th, to address the challenges behind this topic further with specific steps that can be taken today to prepare your organization for the future. Register and save your spot for the free event today.

What is Continuous Accounting?

The concept is to enable a high level of automation, thereby allowing companies to close the books at any time, rather than necessitate an extended monthly close. The goal is to automate out mundane, repetitive tasks, freeing resources to focus on strategic efforts that add value to the business. This represents a significant paradigm shift in terms of how the problem is considered. However, the results can be tremendous, leading to an organization with more accurate financials, controls, and real-time visibility into past, present, and predicted financial performance. Importantly, business volume can grow without the associated need to scale human resources in kind.

Why have things gone backwards?

Simply put, things have gotten more complex. Business changes, such as the subscription-based economy and Internet of Things (IoT), have added complexity. There have been massive regulatory changes in many areas, including revenue recognition (ASC 606), lease accounting (ASC 842), and statutory tax rule changes.

The challenges preventing Continuous Accounting

ERP and other platforms have not been able to keep up. Businesses attempt to solve this with customizations but risk vendor and version lock-in. Alternatively, they resort to increased human effort and manual workarounds, requiring more controls, and complicating the close process. In the webinar, Mr. Zauli provides detail on the compounding problems that each of these approaches incur.

How do I get there?

Regardless, companies must continue striving for a transition to contemporary practices such as continuous accounting to remain competitive. However, this level of automation is not easy to achieve, and there are plenty of traps to fall into. These are all covered in the original webinar available here.

For more information on automating the back office and the business insights your business could benefit from with back-office automation, register for our upcoming webinar, “The Future of Finance and Revenue Recognition.”

This virtual event will delve into the latest developments in revenue recognition automation, the benefits of continuous accounting, and the steps you need to take to get there. Join us on November 18th for this and more, with examples of how companies have improved their financial results through back-office modernization.

To learn more about how to place your company on track towards continuous accounting with SOFTRAX solutions, contact us. Or, connect with Tom Zauli to chat about where your company stands and specific steps that need to be taken starting today.

Topics: Revenue Recognition, Complex Billing, Revenue Management, Eliminate Spreadsheets, Accounting, Financial Reporting, Finance, Blog, Financial Security, ASC606, continuous accounting

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