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BlackLine’s move into mobile apps begins with a new product to help speed the certification process for high-value journal entries. BlackLine Mobile is targeted at busy finance and accounting professionals who want to expedite journal review workflows without being locked onto desktop computers.
The app, available on iOS and Android, is intended to give F&A reviewers, approvers, and managers real-time, proactive insights into high-impact journals, according to David Brightman, BlackLine director of product marketing.
“Many journal entries are fairly routine in nature and can be handled by business rules,” he says. “But other types of journals may require some human judgement. These include writeoffs, for instance, that are high-value and have a major P&L impact. They may need the attention of a key manager, and they may need it quickly.”
With the mobile app, the BlackLine workflow will send a push notification to the responsible reviewer. The reviewer, who might be traveling or out of the office, can approve it immediately to keep the process moving. Reviewers will still be able to see and access all supporting documentation, which will be optimized for the mobile screen.
Brightman notes the new app was tested by early adopters at some of BlackLine’s Fortune 500 customers. “These companies had been yearning for a mobile app for journal workflow, one that could help managers and executives keep a close eye on the health of their financial operations,” he says.
A Roadmap to Seamless Finance Operations
BlackLine chose journal certification as its first mobile app because of feedback from customers, Brightman says, and because of the importance of journals accuracy to other financial processes.
BlackLine’s vision is to provide untethered access to financial operations, reduce cycle times, and free process owners and managers from their desks by bringing more technology capabilities closer to financial operations for a more seamless user experience.
“We want to help companies reduce the risk of upstream errors in journals, and we want to help them expedite the review processes. The quicker and more reliably you can complete your journal process, the better you can do your analyses and complete your other financials.”
Brightman notes that future mobile functionality will come as part of BlackLine’s regular product release cycle. As with journal certification, new apps and functionality will be influenced by customer demand. The ultimate goal is to bring mobile controls and automated workflows to all of finance and accounting.
“Mobile journal certification is the start of an important journey for BlackLine,” he says. “We want to bring orchestration workflows into all aspects of financial operations, to free process owners and managers from their desks, and to help track critical aspects of their operations with full visibility and in real time.”
Learn more about BlackLine's innovations and why they're crucial to the success of F&A in this issue of BlackLine Quarterly.