BlackLine’s Financial Close Suite is comprised of six modules which help companies optimize their financial close process by providing automated functionality, enhanced control, and unprecedented visibility.
The primary module BlackLine clients typically start with is the Account Reconciliation module. The module automates the once manual, cumbersome excel spreadsheet process, and replace it with a centralized system. In addition, users can upload supporting documents, sign-off on reconciliations electronically, and monitor the close process through real-time dashboards and reports.
Complementing this module is the Transaction Matching tool which replaces the manual “tick and tie” process and can automatically match one million lines of detail per minute. Data can be automatically imported into Matching from any editable data source in any format.
The Task Management module allows clients to track and monitor all activities associated with the close. Checklists associated with the close calendar, manual journals, department close lists, compliance controls, and PBC lists are excellent uses for the Tasks module. However, clients continue to find more creative ways to employ tasks.
The Journal Entry module allows clients to create, approve, and/or track manual JEs within BlackLine. All JEs can be routed through a workflow approval process, automatically validated, and tied to appropriate supporting documentation before being automatically posted to the ERP. Variance analysis is a rules-driven tool that identifies flux and alerts the appropriate account owners when accounts fluctuate outside of a certain, predefined range. This eliminates the process of manually identifying the account variances. Examples over these variances are month to month, quarter to quarter, and year to year, and budgeted vs. actual.
The Consolidation Integrity Manager (CIM) replaces the manual tie-out process between systems such as the GL and Consolidation System. Any multi-system tie-out process can be handled by the tool, which benefits from the same automation, control, and visibility as BlackLine’s Account Reconciliations module.
BlackLine’s Account Reconciliation module ensures that reconciliations are complete and accurate. It brings full transparency to required adjustments that may create risk. Many manual activities can instead be automated fully or partially as required, resulting in reduced labor costs. Replacing spreadsheets with BlackLine’s Account Reconciliations module fundamentally improves the transparency, accuracy and efficiency of the reconciliation process.
Consolidation Integrity Manager
BlackLine’s Consolidation Integrity Manager (CIM) module gives companies the ability to automate system-to-system reconciliations. This is invaluable if a company has a consolidation system and multiple source general ledgers feeding into it. Before BlackLine, the reconciliation process typically included an extract and manual comparison of balances from both systems, a procedure often complicated by the roll-up process. CIM automates these processes.
BlackLine’s Journal Entry module provides a controlled, template approach to centralizing manual journals. Companies can create, review, and approve journals, then electronically certify and store them with all supporting documentation. Journals can be posted to the general (or sub) ledger systems either on demand or in a batch on a schedule. Moreover, pre-posting validation means journals are not rejected from the general ledger due to entry errors.
High-volume reconciliations can be some of the most time-consuming and painful components of the financial close process. The need to tick-and-tie millions of individual transactions can occupy hundreds of hours each month. BlackLine’s Transaction Matching module can streamline and automate detail-heavy reconciliations, such as bank reconciliations, credit card matching, intercompany reconciliations and invoice-to-PO matching.
BlackLine’s Task Management module provides a configurable, web-based platform for all the task lists that companies track and manage. Some of the types of task lists commonly incorporated into the Task Management module include month-end close, auditor PBC lists, operational checklists, exception handling and research, tax filings, compliance controls and recurring journals.
BlackLine’s Variance Analysis module replaces the spreadsheet flux analysis that is manually completed by many companies as part of their risk identification and mitigation process. Using the Variance Analysis module is straightforward. The business owner identifies which accounts need monitoring, and when new balances are imported, variance analysis templates are automatically created for the accounts that deviate from defined parameters.
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