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How is GAAP Accounting Like Baseball Statistics?

The relationship between baseball and accounting is not immediately obvious until you consider how detail-oriented both are.The relationship between baseball and accounting is not immediately obvious until you consider how detail-oriented both are. Baseball relies on a byzantine set of statistics; Accounting focuses on a dizzying array of figures. Success or failure is evident through metrics alone.

The two are also similar in that their relationship to details is changing fast. Sport writer Keith Law recently published a fascinating argument in favor of newer, more sophisticated baseball statistics that rely on big data to unlock the secrets of America's pastime. His book Smart Baseball reveals how irrelevant the primary stats of the past – home runs, RBIs, strike outs etc. - are to winning or losing the modern game of baseball.

Accounting is similar. In the past, it was enough to focus on GAAP alone. The thinking was that as long as accounting departments met a baseline set of standards they were doing fine. Today we recognize how short-sighted and unambitious that same line of thinking is.

Just as baseball has developed a better set of statistics, accounting departments are starting to focus on metrics that reveal deeper levels of insight. These statistics empower accounting departments to play a guiding role in every aspect of an organization and take on a strategic leadership position. And they are transforming the best accounting departments into an indispensable resource.

This transformation is not automatic, however. In baseball and in accounting there are holdouts who believe so strongly in traditions that they are blind to improvements and evolution. The accounting departments that are making the most of advanced analytics, accurate forecasting, and automated processes are the ones who choose to embrace data and all its new possibilities.

Enthusiasm is the first step. Implementation is the second. Without the right tools, it's impossible to manage massive repositories of data without becoming completely overwhelmed. The search for insights presents nothing but confusion.

Leveraging data for the purposes of new metrics and smart accounting requires a centralized dashboard enhanced with intuitive tools. This dashboard brings all data together in one location, automates the heaviest workloads, and automatically generates analysis and reports. In short, it handles the burden of data management so that accountants and other stakeholders can focus on the future.

When accounting departments are ready to embrace a cutting-edge approach with fewer complications they use Sage Intacct. This advanced ERP solution has been designed specifically for accounting and finance departments. And it puts the ambitious and innovative accounting practices of the present into the hands of any organization large or small.

Baseball is changing, and so is accounting. Remaining committed to the methods of the past is only going to cause a team to fall behind. When you're ready to get the most from your accounting department, Sage Intacct is the tool. And when you're ready to get the most from Sage Intacct, AcctTwo is your facilitator. Contact us to have an in-depth conversation.

Topics: Financial Analysis, Ratios and KPIs Operational Reporting GAAP Metrics Baseball Stats