BlackLine Blog

August 09, 2022

Achieve Modern Accounting in a Microsoft 365 ERP Environment

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

BlackLine Magazine

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The F&A Landscape & Its Challenges

In today’s dynamic business environment, leaders are focused on re-establishing their strategic priorities to position their companies for long-term success.

As a result, finance and accounting leaders are increasingly being called on to do more and serve as strategic advisors to the business. This is changing the scope of roles. With this constant evolution, accounting teams are struggling with capacity issues as their required compliance, controls, and other record-to-report work leaves little to no time to meet the demands of their expanding roles.

Many corporate departments benefit from ever expanding technological solutions. However, F&A work isn’t always associated with cutting-edge technology. Finance and accounting teams at companies large and small struggle without the tech advances driving modern ways of working.

The consequences of this lack of technology means that without automating repetitive work, organizations are faced with F&A processes that take too long, cost too much, limit business partnerships, and negatively impact employees. In fact, according to an IDG survey, 94% of accounting teams agree that time spent on accounting, compliance, and the financial close gets in the way of strategic work.

It's time for an F&A digital transformation to achieve modern accounting.

A Finance-First Approach

To thrive today, organizations must adapt to the changing business environment. The need is more urgent than ever. According to EY, 72% of executives say they must radically transform their operations during the next two years to compete effectively in their industry.

A finance-first approach to digital transformation equips F&A teams with the technology needed to support world-class F&A work by enabling efficient, effective, and agile business processes. With an emphasis on leveraging data as an enterprise asset, this approach provides a foundation to maximize your investments and power meaningful insights for data-driven decision making.

Where ERP Systems Fit In

One of the biggest investments a company can make is in their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. ERPs, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, are the foundational element of a company’s tech stack—connecting sales, marketing, customer service, finance, commerce, and supply chain activities.

While the ERP is at the center of these activities across the business, many F&A teams perform financial close processes—like account substantiation or other high-volume transaction-level reconciliations between source systems—outside of the ERP. This can lead to inefficiencies, increased risk, longer close times, and breakdowns in communication.

What Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP?

You might be wondering: is Microsoft Dynamics an ERP? Dynamics 365 is a set of interconnected, modular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and services designed to transform and enable customers, employees, and business activities. It combines CRM and ERP capabilities, integrating data, business logic, and processes. Built on Microsoft Azure, it offers a trusted platform and a broad ecosystem of services.

How Do BlackLine & Microsoft Dynamics 365 Work Together?

Companies come to BlackLine because their current manual accounting processes are unsustainable. For companies running Microsoft Dynamics 365, BlackLine offers our Microsoft Dynamics 365 Connector. What sets this connector apart is that it’s an installation—not a build.

The solution offers pre-built integration that includes data entities and requires minimal time to configure. This connector extracts and formats the full range of Microsoft data and can import data including trial balances and transactions to then apply transaction matching and variance analysis. This streamlines monthly, quarterly, and year-end closes, matches transactions automatically, and flags accounts for unexpected variance with rules-driven analysis. The connector also enables the capture of point-in-time snapshots of data, enhancing audits and traceability.

Achieve Modern Accounting with BlackLine & Microsoft Dynamics 365

With the BlackLine Connector for Microsoft Dynamics 365, organizations can free up accounting and finance capacity by improving process visibility, eliminating manual steps, and minimizing risks. Companies realize benefits like reduced days to close, less time spend on manual work, better scalability, and incredible accuracy.



Get your copy of this white paper How Finance & Accounting Teams Can Enable Digital Transformation to learn:

  • Why companies are modernizing accounting processes and re-establishing strategic priorities for long-term success

  • How a finance-first approach to digital transformation equips business leaders to make data-driven decisions

  • How to establish an integrated and continuous finance and accounting model, including how BlackLine augments a Microsoft ERP environment

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