New Intercompany Hub from BlackLine Frees Modern Finance Depts

Global businesses with huge data volumes, non-standard procedures and insufficient automation can now standardize and control the most burdensome task confronting Finance & Accounting

LOS ANGELES — Nov. 17, 2014 — BlackLine, the leading cloud platform provider for Finance Controls and Automation, has unveiled the Intercompany Hub — the industry’s first cloud software to fully automate and manage intercompany transaction accounting, reconciliation and settlement. The BlackLine Intercompany Hub is designed to help ‘Modern Finance’ organizations that have unusually large volumes of transactions to reconcile between departments and/or global offices by serving as a clearinghouse supported by a single process for reconciling, netting and settling intercompany transactions in real time.

Intercompany transactions—internal transactions between two or more associated entities that file a consolidated tax return or financial statement—are the primary consumer of both cost and time within Accounting and Finance departments. From a reporting standpoint, the intercompany process is rife with human errors, especially for businesses with immense data volumes, non-standard procedures and insufficient automation. Different entities within organizations often produce hundreds of thousands of transactions in different ways using diverse systems and disparate processes. With entities located around the world, transactions also typically involve a wide range of currencies and tax treatments.

“In this era of globalization, the volume and complexity of intercompany transactions have increased immeasurably,” said BlackLine CEO Therese Tucker. “Using spreadsheets and multiple ERP systems, transaction settlement problems are common, fostering out-of-balance positions that can be material to financial statements. The BlackLine Intercompany Hub is a clearinghouse for intercompany transactions that eliminates after-the-fact manual reconciliations and settlements, freeing Accounting and Finance departments from time and energy previously expended on arduous, rote tasks and enabling them to focus their intellectual capital on more strategic pursuits.”

BlackLine’s Intercompany Hub is geared at multi-nationals, as well as mid-size companies looking to expand their global footprint. The Intercompany Hub integrates with all core ERP and general ledger (G/L) systems, collecting and distributing intercompany transactional data on a centralized basis. Intercompany transactions from various G/L accounts can be brought into BlackLine and reconciled using matching rules. Alternatively, companies running on legacy or multiple ERP systems can standardize within BlackLine to post all intercompany transactions.

Issues over currency values, transaction amounts and tax implications are eradicated, as the clearinghouse manages these complexities through its internal rules engine, which is based on the company’s intercompany transaction governance guidelines. The transactional information flows into the clearinghouse, and it doesn’t matter if this data is brought in from other systems or originates in the Intercompany Hub itself.

Another feature of the Hub is its ability to receive transaction outputs from multiple automated systems and even manually created spreadsheets. What comes out of the clearinghouse is equally flexible—pushing journals to the Accounts Payable system instead of to the general ledger, for instance. What happens at the back end of the system is also constructive. Many accountants invest an enormous amount of time doing the same thing over and over every month with slightly different data. The Intercompany Hub eliminates this repetition.

BlackLine also introduced today its new Finance Controls and Automation Platform – the industry’s first unified cloud-based offering designed to help mid-size companies and global enterprises alike automate and optimize processes across the entire Modern Finance organization by providing enhanced control and visibility over previously manual, mission-critical accounting and finance processes.

BlackLine was created to automate highly repetitive, manual accounting and finance tasks—tying up all the loose ends to liberate accountants to apply their talents to more strategic pursuits. The company’s introduction of its pioneering account reconciliation software in 2005 signified the development of an entirely new category of business technology, one erasing the drudgery, inefficiency and risk inherent in the previously manual, spreadsheet-based process, while offering unparalleled visibility into the underlying financial data.

Since then, BlackLine has added many new automated functions to its cloud-based technology platform, many created in tandem with the company’s enterprise-level and mid-market customers. Today, this robust platform comprises a variety of packaged solutions and key enabling technologies efficiently addressing multiple Accounting and Finance needs. The enormous amount of time accountants previously invested in manual exercises can now be reinvested in value-added activities, ensuring data transparency, enhanced controls and the integrity of data for reporting and compliance purposes.