CFOtech Australia logo
Technology news for Australian CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

FY2022: Why it’s a prime time for businesses to optimise their accounting operations

By Contributor
Mon 12 Jul 2021

Article by BlackLine regional vice president for A/NZ Claudia Pirko.

To say the last financial year was a busy and challenging one for finance leaders and their teams is a serious understatement. As businesses raced to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the economic whammy that came hot on its heels, finance professionals were in the thick of it: adjusting forecasts on the fly; implementing cost-cutting measures; liaising with creditors and debtors and keeping the accounts up to date — all the while working remotely.

Twelve months on, circumstances are looking decidedly more optimistic. While Australia’s borders remain largely sealed, the economy is roaring back to life. 2020’s steep decline in GDP — down by a record 7% in the June 2020 quarter — has been replaced by growth of 1.8% in the March 2021 quarter, and the nation’s economic output is 0.8% greater than it’s ever been.

Businesses that last year were laying employees off en masse, or furloughing them on the JobKeeper payment, are back in the hiring game and headlines are now focused on skills shortages rather than round-the-block Centrelink queues.

In New Zealand, gross domestic product rose 1.6% in the three months through to March, with economic growth being fuelled by a housing boom and robust retail spending. Annual GDP is up 2.4%.

ANZ Bank chief economist Sharon Zollner says, “Q1 data confirm NZ’s economic recovery has been spectacular relative to early-pandemic expectations. And while there are still pockets of weakness, they are getting hard to identify at the aggregate level.” 

Taking a strategic step forward

For many finance teams, this welcome reversal of fortune means they’re able to move out of survival mode and start thinking strategically. The dawn of a new financial year represents an opportune moment to examine current processes and practices, to determine whether they could — and should — be overhauled or optimised.

For enterprises that continue to operate with legacy financial software, the question of whether it’s time to upgrade to a cloud accounting platform is likely to be high on the agenda.

The advantages of doing so were amply demonstrated during the COVID crisis. Organisations that had already made the shift found sending finance employees home to work a considerably easier proposition than those whose operations depended on an on-premises solution. 

A BlackLine survey of finance leaders conducted during 2020 illustrated the extent of the problem. More than a third of respondents had difficulty accessing their on-premises solutions, while 46% stated their operations were disrupted by their inability to complete manual tasks in the office. Meanwhile, 41% struggled to share paper documents.

In the wake of that experience, the case for migrating to a cloud platform that finance employees can access safely from anywhere is both cogent and urgent. 

From repetition to automation

Carrying out repetitive accounting tasks manually is a labour-intensive business. As well as being expensive, the process is vulnerable to human error and represents a sub-optimal use of trained employees.

Robotic process automation (RPA) reduces or eliminates many routine tasks that collectively comprise the accounting function. Transactions and figures are processed and updated continually throughout the accounting period, rather than in a batch, at month or period end. The software’s machine learning capabilities allow it to literally ‘get smarter’ over time by applying business rules to high volume tasks and predicting future matches.

Thus, migrating to an automated accounting model can deliver significant efficiencies and cost savings, along with an enhanced insight into the organisation’s financial position in the here and now, not months down the track, when the books are closed off. 

By eliminating manual systems and processes, an intelligent accounts receivable solution can provide finance departments with a comprehensive, up-to-date view of their cash position at the moment of need and not when everything has been reconciled.

For businesses looking to optimise their operations as they recover from the COVID knock, automation represents an unparalleled opportunity to boost productivity and achieve additional value through the strategic use of technology.

Approaching the future with confidence

Having helped to steer their organisations through a period of unprecedented uncertainty, finance leaders and their teams face a new challenge in FY2022 — supporting their employers to tackle the opportunities the post-COVID-19 economy is generating. 

By optimising the finance function, they’ll be better equipped to do so. For finance departments that have yet to embrace automation and cloud technology, the next 12 months promise to be busy ones.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
Google and CSIRO use AI to help protect the Great Barrier Reef
Google has partnered with CSIRO in Australia to implement AI solutions that help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Story image
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Tech innovation crucial to growth, but barriers remain
Businesses in the A/NZ region believe tech innovation is crucial to drive future growth, but 76% say they’re being held back by complex data architecture.
Story image
Decision Inc. Australia enters partnership with Alteryx
Independent data and analytics consultancy Decision Inc. Australia has partnered with automated analytics company Alteryx, expanding its offering to clients.
Story image
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Three key security challenges facing the Australian insurance industry 
Insurance companies must ensure they proactively address security challenges and protect the privacy of customer data.
Story image
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Atturra partners with Focus HQ to support Aus organisations
Atturra has executed a partnership agreement with Focus HQ, to resell and support the company's Australian developed SaaS-based portfolio management platform.
Story image
Telstra, Google and Accenture launch 5G AR experience for AFL
Telstra, Google and Accenture are developing a new 5G powered augmented reality (AR) experience at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium for the footy season.
Story image
Remote Working
IT teams deploy powerful technologies to enable remote work
"We found that IT teams mastered the challenges of remote work last year in large part by employing powerful yet easy-to-use technologies."
Story image
Public Cloud
Cloud adoption still a work in progress, NetApp finds
NetApp has announced the results of the annual Cloud Infrastructure Report based on a survey of public cloud business and IT decision makers.
Story image
Employee Retention
Company values increasingly important in post-pandemic world
New research released today reveals that company values are the new currency when it comes to employee retention in a post-covid economy.
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
HubSpot launches 'The Great Upskill' week to inspire learning
Brands across APAC including Google ANZ, MessageMedia, Meltwater, Seismic and Aircall, will give their employees a full workday to dedicate to upskilling.
Story image
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Jabra investigates what makes an ideal hybrid work model
“The way we work has changed forever and the current state of knowledge work requires access to digital platforms and technologies to be successful."
Story image
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Employee Experience
Zendesk launches customer service and employee experience offering
"Zendesk is helping businesses embrace this new generation of conversational customer relationship management and turn customer service into growth.”
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Aussie data & analytic execs not confident in data strategy
Less than half of Australian data and analytics leaders are confident in their data strategy as siloes and lack of culture prevent innovation.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Voxel hits total funding of $18M following ongoing wins
Since raising its seed round in September, Voxel has grown at pace, by decreasing on-site injuries by upwards of 80% and increasing operational productivity.
Story image
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Airwallex launches new bank feed integration with NetSuite
Airwallex has launched a new bank feed integration with NetSuite, developed in partnership with NetSuite solution partner, Onlineone.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
CFOs using digital workers and AI to prevent unnecessary loss
New technology is now allowing CFOs to use digital workers to automate their accounting processes, making it easier for them to avoid unnecessary losses.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.