CFOs must embrace automation to improve their financial processes

BlackLine gets its message out there: It's possible to have finance automation control and visibility.

“We speak to a lot of CFOs, and they are specifically focused on transformation – especially of their finance systems,” says Mike Hibbert, director for Africa at BlackLine, a global developer of cloud-based finance solutions. “They are looking at how to improve their close processes.”

One of the observations that Mike has made from his exposure to CFOs is that they are trying to introduce efficiencies around financial close, every quarter-year, half-year and year-end. However, every year, they have to comply with new regulations from government or the industry, meaning that at every financial close, the processes and requirements could be a little – or a lot – different.  

“From a CFO’s perspective, it’s important to have visibility around the process, but they are often flying in the dark at month-end, and by the time they get visibility, the information is typically a few days old already,” says Mike. “But we’re living in a 24/7 world and they want to know their financial status now, not what it was three days’ ago.”

He adds that this kind of visibility is sadly lacking in every company he’s spoken to in South Africa in the last five years.

“So that’s really what BlackLine is all about. Our biggest message for the market is that it’s possible and advisable to bring automation, control and visibility to the close process with a cloud-based financial solution like ours. It’s possible to record and reconcile accounts in real time, all the way up to the reporting of financials.” 

BlackLine was a Gold Partner at this year’s Finance Indaba, where they spread their message of financial transformation, and has also come on board with an associate sponsorship of the CFO Awards.

“We thought that an associate sponsorship of the CFO Awards was a great way to align our brands and get the BlackLine name out there to the people who make decisions that we can help with,” Mike said.