BlackLine Systems Automating End-to-End Finance for Errorless Accounting

CIO VendorTherese Tucker, Founder and CEO
Minor errors during the financial close process can prove to be a costly affair. Many times, the blame goes to manual handling of account records involving spreadsheets. With many finance aspects at stake, including budgeting, forecasting, tax calculations, inventory, task management, and account reconciliations, the risky spreadsheets are a concern for everyone. Born to address such circumstances is BlackLine Systems, a Los Angeles based financial software company. Therese Tucker, the Founder and CEO of BlackLine, founded the company after her exasperating experiences developing a wealth management solution for a renowned U.S. bank. The bank expressed frustration over the manual processes involved in reconciling its books each month. “A programmer at heart, I went on to develop an automated solution for account reconciliations and re-shifted BlackLine’s focus to address the need in this previously un-served market,” says Therese.

BlackLine’s flagship product, the BlackLine Financial Close Suite empowers accounting and finance departments with end-to-end functionality to automate and streamline manual, spreadsheet-driven accounting processes. By implementing BlackLine’s centralized automated system, companies gain critical, real-time visibility into their financial closes while optimizing workflow, saving time and enhancing accuracy. The company delivers its technology as an enterprise-class, flexible, and secure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform and helps clients that are required to comply with multiple standards and regulations, including the latest International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and local GAAP. The BlackLine application helps managers gain unprecedented decision-support capabilities, with ondemand visibility into content and statuses even when business units are remote. Finally, auditors gain efficiencies with the ability to electronically review supporting documentation, request information and monitor progress.

“There is a preconceived notion that ERP does everything, which is incorrect; they can’t pull data off the spreadsheets, and can’t reduce the need for other specialized modules which handle different parts of the finance process,” says Therese. Though the BlackLine Financial Close Suite for SAP® Solutions is an SAPendorsed business solution, BlackLine offers an ERP-agnostic tool that works with virtually any ERP system to pull the data off spreadsheets and reconcile the transactions that make up the account totals for each balance sheet, while reducing the need for additional specialized modules. BlackLine’s SAP Connector seamlessly integrates BlackLine to SAP Financials solutions for enhanced performance.
“There is a preconceived notion that ERP does everything, which is incorrect; they can’t pull data off the spreadsheets, and can’t reduce the need for other specialized modules which handle different parts of the finance process,” says Therese. Though the BlackLine Financial Close Suite for SAP® Solutions is an SAPendorsed business solution, BlackLine offers an ERP-agnostic tool that works with virtually any ERP system to pull the data off spreadsheets and reconcile the transactions that make up the account totals for each balance sheet, while reducing the need for additional specialized modules. BlackLine’s SAP Connector seamlessly integrates BlackLine to SAP Financials solutions for enhanced performance.

Along with offering a holistic financial close solution, securing and protecting customers’ financial data is another aspect that is paramount to BlackLine. “We offer security at every level of code we write. Customer data is encrypted while moving to the data center, as well as at rest. The data center also houses information for some of the largest government, technology, media and healthcare organizations in the world, which is a proof of fact that BlackLine offers a full security platform to deal with any external threats,” says Therese.

"No matter what industry you are in, BlackLine can help streamline your financial close"

As an experienced provider of software to the Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 across many market verticals, BlackLine has garnered major clients including eBay, Best Buy, AT&T, Boeing and Atlas Air. Atlanta based Cox Communications, one of BlackLine’s clients that specialize in broadband and entertainment services, had 18 different field locations nationwide. Each of these field sites develops their own processes and formulas to perform balance sheet account reconciliations for the company’s 30,000 accounts. The accounting process was slow, error-prone, and lacked consistency. BlackLine Systems’ Account Reconciliation and Task Management modules helped Cox Communications to automate key financial close processes, reduce IT consulting and accounting contractor fees, improve employee productivity, boost accountability, and improve overall operations. Cox saw over 227 percent ROI within six months of their collaboration with BlackLine.

Going ahead, the company wants to strengthen its presence globally including Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific and keep its pace with innovation to tackle any account and finance related problems faced by its clients.

Company
BlackLine Systems

Management
Therese Tucker, Founder and CEO

Description
BlackLine’s fully integrated Financial Close Suite replaces manual, error-prone, spreadsheet-based processes with automation, control and visibility