Finance Indaba 2017: BlackLine allows finance professionals to add true value

“Our platform exists to benefit finance professionals, so is designed to be usable and understandable by them. One of the most common comments we receive from CFOs and finance heads is their surprise in how easily they set up the platform and how quickly they began seeing results.” says Therese Tucker, founder and CEO of BlackLine, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

  • Finance professionals and accountants register for the Finance Indaba for free with code FB2017!

In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.

Do you want to hear how BlackLine is changing the mindset of the F&A department? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2017.

The Finance Indaba is the biggest annual event on the continent for financial managers and specialists who are seeking partnerships to drive progress. Thousands of delegates will gain valuable insights into realising financial performance and growth, becoming more efficient and accessing funding, among a host of other opportunities from leading players in financial services.

Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?
"Finance Indaba is the largest annual expo and conference for finance professionals in Africa, and as a company operating in the region seeing tremendous growth, it's a great opportunity to meet with industry professionals and discuss region-specific challenges and how we might tackle them together."

What will you be talking about or showcasing?
"We'll be talking a great deal about our Smart Close capability, which we developed following our acquisition of Runbook late last year. Smart Close enables a simplified, standardised, and automated financial close, embedded directly within SAP."

What are the challenges you can help finance professionals/firms with in 2017?
"Every department, including finance, is looking to deliver efficiencies, support business growth plans and reduce risk. Through BlackLine's focus on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Continuous Accounting, which embeds automation, controls, and period-end tasks within day-to-day activities, we can help finance professionals become more efficient.

"By automating processes such as financial close, it not only removes the inevitable errors inherent with manual spreadsheet entry, but it also frees up financial professionals to provide more strategic value to the business. They need, and want, to move away from being number crunchers. The knowledge and data available within the finance department is invaluable to a business and its growth plans, but only if it is accurate and can be delivered in a timely manner. Without automation often figures are already out of date by the time they reach the executive team."

What sets the Blackline Continuous Accounting Platform apart from the rest?
"What sets BlackLine's Continuous Accounting Platform apart from other solutions is its versatility and ease of use. We're ERP-agnostic, and can easily integrate with legacy systems and a range of ERPs. This not only means that deployment times are considerably truncated, but are also straightforward enough that the F&A department can handle them without the IT department.

"Our platform exists to benefit finance professionals, so is designed to be usable and understandable by them. One of the most common comments we receive from CFOs and finance heads is their surprise in how easily they set up the platform and how quickly they began seeing results."

How important is technology in your business?
"While our business is built on technology and we supply software to businesses, constantly innovating in our products, in reality our mission is far more focused on people and it has been from the very beginning. The platform isn't designed just to be a performance-enhancing tool - rather we're trying to change the entire mindset of the F&A department. We're moving finance professionals away from the rote, repetitive tasks that come at period-end close and towards the consultative, strategic and value-adding tasks they were trained for. The most important thing for our business is that our customers recognise this cultural shift, embrace it and see the benefits."