BlackLine Blog

July 25, 2017

The 2017 Gartner Report on Financial Close Solutions Has Arrived

Modern Accounting
3 Minute Read

Zach Deming

Share Article

Once a year, Gartner shares their insight into the state of financial close applications and technology. It’s widely viewed as the authoritative perspective on market dynamics, product innovation, and customer satisfaction in the space.

And the 2017 edition of the report is here.

We’re thrilled to have been named a Leader for the second year running in Gartner’s 2017 Cloud Financial Corporate Performance Management Quadrant. But to be honest, it’s not what we’re most delighted about. We’ll reveal that in a moment.

If you’re not familiar with Gartner, they’re the world’s leading research and advisory firm, providing more than 11,000 enterprises in 100 countries with objective insights to make the right decisions.

The Cloud Financial Corporate Performance Management Quadrant is a relatively new category, and marks an evolution in how organizations are deploying solutions to manage their accounting processes and their overall financial close.

Simply, if you’re looking to improve your reconciliations process, gain control of intercompany transactions, improve financial and management reporting, or better manage the myriad of tasks that occur during the close, then this Magic Quadrant is for you.

Powerful forces are underway in the technology that drives the Office of Finance. Gartner notes in the report that, “Through 2020, 80% of large organizations and 25% of midsize organizations in North America and Europe will use cloud financial corporate performance management capabilities for financial consolidation and reporting, and enhanced financial control and automation, to replace legacy on-premise systems and manual processes.”

In a nutshell, finance and accounting applications moved to the cloud, and traditional hard-to-change and costly-to-manage on-premise systems are amid a historic upgrade cycle.

If you want evidence of the trend, look no further than the fact that Gartner discontinued on-premise solutions in their coverage. CFOs and Controllers are now looking for best-of-breed solutions, designed from the ground up in the cloud to meet the challenges they face.

What It Takes to Lead

Looking at a Magic Quadrant can sometimes be a little mind-boggling. What do the two axes “Ability to Execute” and “Completeness of Vision” mean?

The first, “Execution”, is about how the company’s doing, covering aspects like strength of product, business viability, sales execution, customer experience, and operations.

The latter, “Vision”, is essentially about where the company is headed: Market understanding, product strategy, innovation, business model and other factors. Together, you get a sense of current performance and future direction.

But for us, the biggest focus areas have always been customer satisfaction and providing accounting teams with the products they need to be “Exceptional Accountants”. For this reason, what we’re most delighted about is that in speaking to our customers, Gartner noted that “BlackLine's reference customers gave it high scores for customer satisfaction and market execution.”

As BlackLine CEO Therese Tucker commented recently, “From day one, our commitment has always been to customer success.”

Since pioneering the category in 2001, customer satisfaction has been our passion, along with partnering closely with accounting analysts, controllers, and CFOs as they look to bring stronger controls, efficiencies, and trust to their close processes.

And our 180,000+ community of accounting users have been vocal about the results we’ve achieved together. Because for a provider, product, sales, marketing, operations execution, and taking care of employees really all culminates in one thing—achieving customer delight.

Looking to the Future

If there’s one thing true about business, it’s that winners don’t stand still. And this is why we’re aligning our solutions even more closely with our customers’ finance transformation journey.

We’ve learned from 1,800+ in 100+ countries that they’re more focused than ever on solutions that are closely linked to their specific needs. The cloud has enabled finance and accounting to be hyper-focused about deploying just the capabilities they need to address their issues and grow from there.

This move is part of a continuum. The market has long since moved away from the “mega-suite” for CPM―the giant disjointed bundle of software for finance and accounting departments that includes overpaying for a whole lot of unnecessary complexity.

This is why Gartner discontinued the one size fits all CPM quadrant a few years ago—which evaluated a one size fits all “suite” for the needs of both FP&A and accounting. Instead, the cloud enables accounting to more easily deploy best-of-breed solutions, which is the genesis of cloud FCPM.

But the market is moving beyond that, so we created BlackLine Solutions—specific configurations of our solutions designed for different accounting needs. Whether you’re looking for more controlled Close Process Management, to gain efficiencies through Accounting Process Automation, improve Balance Sheet Integrity, or achieve comprehensive Finance Transformation, we’ve built solutions to handle each.

And it means you only buy exactly what you need, all delivered in the cloud, to take the most efficient and best-value step on each stage of your journey.

See for Yourself

If you’re considering how to upgrade your accounting processes, or just want to stay appraised of state-of-the-art financial close management and automation, then the Gartner Cloud Financial Corporate Management is a must read.

In addition to providing an assessment of the vendors out there and how their customers are faring, you’ll also learn from Gartner about the trends and market dynamics in the category and what to look for in a solution.

It’s a comprehensive picture they’ve built from talking to finance leaders at organizations of every size, and synthesizing their vendor and product experiences, which is why we’re providing a complimentary download.

If you’d like to see BlackLine in action, we’d love to give you a demo or have you meet with us and our customers at one of our upcoming in-person events.

About the Author


Zach Deming