BlackLine Blog

September 26, 2019

How to Build Trust in Controls With Centralized Compliance

Modern Accounting
1 Minute Read

BlackLine Magazine

Share Article

Every business needs a system for managing policies and procedures for internal controls. From review workflows to risk management strategy, effective internal controls are essential to maintaining the trust of investors, regulators, and business partners.

Controls enforce trustworthiness. But, as they proliferate throughout an organization, a larger question comes to mind: can the entire control infrastructure—an increasingly complex network of permissions and approvals—also be trusted?

Filling the Gaps in Compliance Controls

“Compliance involves numerous intertwined systems, processes, and people,” says Brandon Seip, Product Director for BlackLine Compliance. “With so many systems, silos, and stakeholders in play, it’s easy for errors and omissions to creep in and cause gaps in controls.”

BlackLine’s solution centralizes the compliance function and integrates it with the company’s existing automated accounting and operations processes.

BlackLine Compliance boasts four interconnected libraries:

  • The File Cabinet stores documents, policies, walk-throughs, and narratives.

  • The Risk Library describes the high-level risks that each control mediates. Each risk in the Risk Library should link to one or more controls in the Control Library (and vice versa).

  • The Control Library constitutes the risk control matrix. It lists all controls

  • and provides related information, like whether a control is key or non-key, its frequency, and its process area.

  • The Issues Library empowers users to identify issues—or problems—as they occur and create tasks to manage remediation testing.

BlackLine Compliance also includes a program function to manage and execute compliance projects and audits.

“A lot of people need risk management information, from upper management on down,” says Seip. “The Compliance solution works in conjunction with BlackLine Reporting to give each of them a custom-tailored view, so they can drill into specifics whenever there’s a question.”

Maintaining Trust in the Company’s Ecosystem

BlackLine Compliance is a far cry from the manual processes of many businesses, which rely on archaic binders, spreadsheets, and point applications to create their control documentation and risk-control matrices.

Such systems will be hard-pressed to keep up with company growth or the rapid evolution of regulatory requirements.

“An ability to control the controls, as it were, is necessary if the business wants to be trusted to grow successfully,” says Seip. “A centralized compliance function is the best way to maintain trust in the controls themselves, and to help extend that trust out to the company’s ecosystem.”

Read this blog to learn more about how to elevate your risk and controls environment with BlackLine Compliance.

About the Author


BlackLine Magazine