September 01, 2021

BlackLine’s September Roundup

4-minute read

This monthly BlackLine update is published to keep you informed of customer success stories, upcoming events, helpful resources, best practices, and thought leadership from the leading cloud financial close solution.

In the News

TechRadar: Baptism of Fire: How to Survive the First Six Months as a New Tech CEO

Stepping into the role of CEO always comes with its challenges, but doing it in the middle of a global pandemic created a whole new set of circumstances for BlackLine CEO Marc Huffman. After seven years at Oracle and a decade and a half at Netsuite, Huffman became BlackLine’s second-ever CEO in January 2021.

“Having been involved in putting the pandemic strategy in place and communicating the plan to employees [before becoming CEO], I’m now fortunate to be able to help us emerge into a new era.”

While Huffman recognizes that company Founder Therese Tucker left big shoes to fill, he is confident that BlackLine’s leading platform and customer-centric approach will carry the organization into the future.

“As I look forward, I’m looking at our operations today and asking where they need to be in the next 24 months,” he said. “And also asking what we might use our balance sheet to acquire, to make sure our team is able to successfully solve the challenges of our customers: financial controllers.”

Customer Story

Big Ass Fans

When CFO Eric Evans joined the Big Ass Fans team, he quickly realized their accounting processes were not sustainable. He was tasked with finding a solution to bring the manufacturer’s F&A processes into the modern era.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Evans’ team was asked what they could cut.

“We had to determine what was critical. Everything was on the table, every piece of software, every person, the whole nine yards,” says Evans. “When I asked my team if we really needed BlackLine, they stood up for it. That’s really the ultimate validation, when you’re cutting expenses and your staff says this platform, BlackLine, is critical to the way they operate.”

Big Ass Fans has enabled a three-day close and error-free audits with BlackLine.

BlackLine Magazine

Finance Automation Is Lagging in Midsize Companies

Without the resources of large enterprise companies, midsize organizations have long viewed finance automation as a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity. These fast-growing companies often divert budget to revenue-generating activities rather than back-office efficiency.

But, to maintain that rate of growth, they need to be able to scale their processes without sacrificing accuracy. That’s where automation comes in.

Companies that adopt leading best practices for ERP integration, workflow management, automated reconciliations, close task tracking, reporting, and more reduce manual workloads, shifting focus and resources to your strategic business initiatives.

Read the rest of the article here.

Best Practices

Making the Case for Automating the Close

When pitching a finance transformation project to your internal stakeholders, you must be able to communicate the value of the solution to get buy-in from your team. Most agree that closing the books quickly and accurately is important, but how can you quantify that it’s important enough to allocate resources to a project?

Here are the three key steps to building a business case for automating the close:

  1. Address the People Issues – Identify key decision-makers and understand the benefits this project will offer their role.
  2. Define the Benefits – Quantify practical benefits your organization cares about.
  3. Document the Investment Thesis – Creating a detailed business case will go a long way in securing an investment.

Read the full article here.

Rachel Stolba

Modern Accounting