Accounting has been falling behind the times, but that’s all about to change.
Thompson Reuters surveyed over 300 practicing accountants about how they predict that their field will be changing by 2028. The results were overwhelmingly high-tech.
95% of everyone surveyed believed that their role is likely to change because of technology such as cloud-based tools, with 74% of that being those who believe these changes are “very likely.”
Over 70% of these accounting experts believed that bookkeeping and data collection will be automated in 2028.
And these respondents specifically believe that digital cloud technology will be the most vital area of new technology for them to understand.
One of my key rules of tech investing is to “ride the unstoppable trends.” You can take it right from the mouths of these survey respondents that the trend towards digital, cloud-based accounting is unstoppable.
Accounting on The Cloud
Keeping up with the transforming face of business accounting can be a daunting task even for a Fortune 500 company, let alone a small business owner.
Fortunately, there is a great company that’s ready to take care of all the heavy lifting of keeping accounting up with the times for their clients.
It’s a great example of what you and I have been talking about for some time now – almost every part of a company’s back-office operation is going digital.
It’s a trend that’s only going to speed up as the 5G wireless rollout makes cloud-based services an even better prospect for businesses.
Now, this transformation is going be a huge opportunity for all sorts of businesses, as you can see right here, but the company I have in mind today is run by a CEO who is a computer scientist and certified yoga instructor. And did I mention she has pink hair?
Enter Blackline Inc. (BL), the provider of an automated, fully cloud-based accounting solutions.
This high-octane firm boasts more than 3,000 customers in over 150 countries.
Standing Out from The Rest
Make no mistake. This quiet company is the real deal. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
For the ninth year in a row, the firm was named as one of the 100 best performing software companies by the respected Software Magazine.
Blackline ranked as the 68th largest company in the world, no small feat. And among Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) firms, Blackline came in at number one. That’s up from seventh last year.
The accounting cloud company also just won the “Top Rated Award” for financial software, as voted on by users of the leading TrustRadius review platform.
One of the things I really like about this company is its conservative forecasts. Blackline estimates its addressable market at $18.5 billion, of which it has about $271 million.
This is a bona fide growth machine. And it’s run by a CEO who is a breath of fresh air from the moody millennials that usually grace the top job in these disruptive tech firms.
Granted, she does have pink hair and has been known to sport jeans and a hoodie, but founder and CEO Therese Tucker was a geek before most millennials were coding.
And she has earnings in her bones in this very cutthroat industry. Her determination, instincts, and creativity have built this into a great firm with lots of upside for the stock.
Blackline’s reputation for support and simplicity is worth a hundred marketing campaigns. Companies are going to be begging for their help.
But stimulus payments tracking isn’t the only new difficulty facing accountants today. As you’d expect, the sudden shift to working from home has made old accounting and reconciliation practices unworkable.
Anything that relies on paper receipts, fax machines, and person-to-person contact is now impossible.
According to Blackline, 44% of American accountants have seen this change in collaboration and communication cause issues. But 40% see this shift leading to the adoption of new workflows and technologies.
The Right Time to Buy
That’s exactly what Blackline offers. It’s fully cloud-based platform makes it easy to collaborate on accounting and reconciliation wherever the employees happen to be.
The firm automates simple and repetitive tasks, makes document sharing easy, and allows authorized users to see, change, and close the books wherever they are.
Think of it this way: Blackline does for a company’s accounting what Zoom does for their meetings.
To help its client further take advantage of this trend, the firm recently announced Beyond the Black, a two-day online event delving deep into modern accounting.
Featuring keynote speakers, training sessions, and networking, the November event will be hugely useful to any business owner – especially ones dealing with stimulus programs.
But there is a lot more going on here than just a novel way to engage with clients.
It’s a look into how the company has become such a strong performer.
Over the past three years, Blackline has grown its per-share profits by an astounding 209%. At that rate, they more than double twice a year.
Even better, you can pick up shares at a discount from its former flight path after a classic Wall Street overreaction sent shares down by more than 20%.
The Street freaked out that in the most recent quarter because earnings merely doubled.
The stock already appears to have entered into a solid rebound. In fact, it’s had two great sessions in a row with volume yesterday that was roughly four times its average, a very bullish sign. So, I suggest getting in now before the stock really takes off.
By making this digital journey with Blackline, you will be setting up your portfolio to profit for many years to come.
Cheers and good investing,
Michael A. Robinson