ERP Integration

BlackLine provides simple, secure and automated tools to import data from any system. The ease of integration allows users to send data from their ERP to BlackLine as well as from BlackLine to their ERP to support and realize the accounting efficiencies gained from using BlackLine’s Financial Close Suite.

Partial List of Past BlackLine Integrations:

AS400
Baan
Banktel
Cobalt
CostPoint
Deacomm
Deltek
Epicor
Filosoft
Flexi
GEAC
Great Plains
Homegrown
Hyperion Essbase
Hyperion HFM
Infineon
Infinium
Intaact
Jack Henry
JD Edwards
Lawson Fixed Assets
Lawson General Ledger
Lawson Project Accounting
MAS500
McKesson
Metavante
Microsoft Dynamics SL
NetSuite
Oracle A/P
Oracle A/R
Oracle Cash
Oracle Fixed Assets
Oracle General Ledger
Oracle Project Accounting
Outlook Soft
Pathways
PeopleSoft Fixed Assets
PeopleSoft General Ledger
PeopleSoft HR
QAD General Ledger
QuickBooks
SAP BW
SAP BPC
SAP Fixed Assets
SAP General Ledger
SAP Open Items
Scala
Workday
Yardi

See additional information on well-known systems in the sections below.

SAP

BlackLine is an SAP Partner and has also been certified by SAP® for integration with SAP applications. BlackLine’s application nicely complements SAP functionality.

A major concern for all new clients is extracting information from one system into another. BlackLine has perfected these processes so that the implementation process is genuinely easy. A number of  BlackLine clients have graciously contributed the work that they’ve done to interface BlackLine with SAP.

Importing Balances

General ledger balances may be imported into BlackLine from SAP via a file interface. The import file may be created in one of several ways. The download is so simple that many times, for trial purposes, the business people simply run an ABAP query. For a more automated approach, a simple BAPI program may be created. Finally, our clients have the option of licensing the BlackLine-SAP Connector, a small application designed to extract balances. Balances may also be imported from SAP sub-ledgers if desired.

Importing Transactional Data

Transactional data may also be imported into BlackLine. Clients utilizing “Open Item Management” for accounts may want to import open items directly into the reconciliation each month. The import process has business logic built in to automatically close items within BlackLine that are closed in SAP. Additional transactional data may be imported for research and analysis. Clients may choose their transactional data retention period.

Scheduled Imports

Most clients will upload their SAP data, automatically, on a nightly schedule. This allows the BlackLine application to proactively monitor for balance changes on certified reconciliations. Some SAP clients choose to upload data more frequently during the close in order to have the impact of late-posting journals flow through into BlackLine.

Manual Journals

Many SAP clients take advantage of BlackLine’s Journal Entry module. All of the necessary validation tables and rules are imported from SAP, resulting in a thorough validation process before the journal is ever posted. BlackLine’s workflow and ability to include supporting documents provide a complete package of all manual journals posted to SAP. The module includes the ability to post journals to SAP either in batch or on a one-by-one basis. All SAP document numbers, once assigned, are fully tracked within BlackLine.

Transaction Matching

If you have accounts that are not using open-item management but require detailed transaction matching, such as intercompany accounts, the information can be readily imported into BlackLine on a scheduled basis and utilized by BlackLine’s state-of-the-art matching engine.

Variance Analysis

A number of SAP clients also use the Variance Analysis Module. The rules-driven monitoring as well as the granularity allowed across accounts, groups of accounts, entities, etc. provide a level of detail not available in other systems.

Multiple Currencies, Multiple Languages

SAP fully supports multiple currencies, with multiple currency balances within a single account. Many of BlackLine’s SAP clients are global organizations. The approach to multi-currency reconciliations by European operations, for example, has been fully explored and developed within BlackLine to our clients’ satisfaction.

Like SAP, BlackLine can be displayed in multiple languages, including many based upon the Kanji character set.

Oracle Financials

BlackLine not only interfaces easily with Oracle Financials General Ledger, but also has extensive experience importing data from a number of Oracle sub-ledgers, including Inventory, FA, AR, and AP. Because of our extensive experience with Oracle, BlackLine can provide your IT group with “sample” queries that will make the import process into BlackLine painless.

BlackLine clients utilizing Oracle Financials typically start with the Account Reconciliations module. They bring in both general ledger and sub-ledger balances as well as transactional data as needed. These imports typically are placed on an automated schedule to happen nightly, with a greater frequency during the close or, as needed, on demand.

Oracle clients also seem to gravitate toward the Task Management module. This information does not necessarily interface in any way with Oracle, but rather supplements Oracle Financials.

Like Oracle, BlackLine is fully multi-currency, even allowing the reconciliation to multiple currencies within a single account.

BlackLine supports a number of different versions of Oracle and typically an Oracle integration goes quickly and smoothly. The email below from the CFO of Silicon Storage Technology illustrates the possible speed of a BlackLine implementation with Oracle Integration.

PeopleSoft

Some of BlackLine’s very first clients are PeopleSoft users, including BellSouth (now AT&T) and HealthSouth.

Balances are easily imported into BlackLine from PeopleSoft. Most clients also import PeopleSoft sub-ledger balances, including balances from AR, AP, and FA. Clients using PeopleSoft HR may synchronize BlackLine users from this system so that maintenance does not have to be duplicated. Transactional details, whether for analysis/research queries or for matching, also have been successfully imported into BlackLine.

The BlackLine implementation team has a library of “sample” queries that can be given to your IT team to facilitate the extraction of necessary data.

At times clients raise concerns that the PeopleSoft version they are using is quite old. BlackLine has successfully interfaced with some older versions. Please check with us if this is your concern.

JD Edwards

BlackLine has interfaced with JD Edwards to extract balances for a number of different clients.

A simple query will generate the equivalent of a trial balance report with balance information for general ledger accounts to be imported into BlackLine. BlackLine can assist your IT department with the generation of the extracts necessary for a seamless interface.

Lawson

BlackLine has interfaced with Lawson to extract balances for a number of different clients.

A simple query will generate the equivalent of a trial balance report with balance information for general ledger accounts to be imported into BlackLine. BlackLine can assist your IT department with the generation of the extracts necessary for a seamless interface.

Multiple General Ledgers

Many companies have grown by acquisition but have not centralized accounting operations. This can result in many different general ledgers in locations around the world. One of BlackLine’s first clients for the Account Reconciliation module had more than 70 different general ledgers in 280 locations. BlackLine was its first company-wide system. Typically in this situation, a consolidation system becomes an important part of the financial reporting process.

BlackLine has designed its application to accommodate many different general ledgers, even within the same instance. To facilitate the uploading of balances from many different ledgers, a local administrator of the BlackLine system will create an extract file that closely resembles a trial balance report. This extract file can be uploaded into BlackLine right through the application. This allows decentralized accounting regions to reconcile their accounts in a centralized system. Management at headquarters has full visibility into the reconciliations that are being done.

A module that has become increasingly important to our multi-GL clients dependent on consolidation systems is BlackLine’s Consolidation Integrity Manager. This module aids users in defining relationships between general ledger accounts and consolidation accounts. By defining these links, the system can then automatically tie-out balances between the systems, ensuring that all balances were uploaded and that balance changes due to late-posting adjustments have been recognized in both systems. By using an automatic tie-out process, the financial reporting group needs only to deal with exceptions, streamlining the entire process.

When multiple ledgers are in use, along with multiple currencies, clients typically upload the period-end currency exchange rates from their consolidation system (or system of record), facilitating a multi-currency reconciliation process.

Moving to a single general ledger can be a process that takes years. Many companies decide to implement BlackLine first so they maintain good accounting controls during their long conversion process.  Typically the BlackLine implementation goes so quickly that it does not delay the ERP implementation in any way. Additionally, BlackLine is flexible enough to accommodate changes to the chart of accounts over time as legacy systems are retired.

Other General Ledgers

BlackLine has interfaced with hundreds of different general ledgers. These range from “green screen” mainframes, to BPCS, to a variety of Microsoft Dynamics packages.

Most systems can generate the equivalent of a trial balance report with balance information for general ledger accounts. Usually the format can be tweaked for import into BlackLine. In more complex cases, we’ve implemented some creative solutions, to the point of screen scraping from a mainframe terminal. If, however, we can keep the extraction of data from your general ledger relatively simple, then the entire process will be less expensive.

Other general ledger programs that BlackLine clients currently utilize are below. If you don’t see your general ledger program in this list, please contact BlackLine to find out if it’s possible to work with your general ledger.

  • AS/400
  • Lawson
  • BPCS
  • MAS 500
  • Cobalt
  • Metavante
  • Costpoint
  • Oracle Financials
  • GEAC
  • Peachtree
  • Great Plains
  • PeopleSoft
  • Homegrown
  • QAD
  • Infineon
  • QuickBooks
  • JBA
  • SAP
  • JD Edwards
  • Scala

Consolidation Systems

In addition to interfacing with scores of general ledgers, BlackLine also has successfully imported information from a variety of consolidation systems, including Hyperion, Khalex, Cognos and OutlookSoft.

Balances, exchange rates, and entity structures are all types of information that have been pulled successfully into BlackLine from corporate consolidation systems.

Companies that rely on a consolidation system typically have a manual tie-out process during the close to verify that the balances in the general ledger(s) actually net to their corresponding consolidation account balances. The purpose is to find any discrepancies between the systems that may have been caused by late-posting journal entries or topside adjustments. BlackLine offers the Consolidation Integrity Manager, a specific module to automate and streamline that process.

With BlackLine Systems, companies can verify the accuracy of financial reporting results by quantifying the impact of the balance sheet account reconciliation process on consolidation account balances which may include topside adjustments.