What BlackLine’s Collaborative Accounting Experience Brings to Finance Transformation


3-minute read

“Change management is hard for everyone,” BlackLine Chief Transformation Officer Tammy Coley noted at the start of her BeyondTheBlack keynote. But, she asked, “What if you and your accounting team had a safe space and extra support so you can innovate?”

This is the essence of BlackLine’s Collaborative Accounting Experience, first announced at last year’s BeyondTheBlack and now being fleshed out with a growing portfolio of solution offerings.

These offerings begin with BlackLine’s Modern Accounting Playbook, or MAP, which serves as the foundation for a growing repertoire of Accelerators and Catalysts.

The Modern Accounting Playbook includes functions such as a central workspace with automated trial balance import, standardized automated reconciliations, close activities tracking, role-centric reporting with proactive alerts, bank file transaction matching, and enhanced controls.

According to Coley, it serves as a foundation that can “help customers identify their most pressing accounting challenges and apply BlackLine’s market leading technology and unique experience to deliver exceptional value.”

Accelerators: A Growing Success Plan Library

Next come BlackLine’s Accelerators, on-demand service offerings that sit atop the MAP foundation.

“Accelerators are typically combined in a growing library of success plans that are completely packaged, virtual, and in many ways, customized,” Coley says.

Examples of success plans include:

  • Best of the Basics—Makes use of Teams, Reporting, and other basic accounting functionality

  • Standardized Reconciliation Optimization—Optimizes balance sheet account reconciliations with auto certification, templates, and other functions

  • Metrics Driven Continuous Improvement—Consists of accelerators focused on measuring and optimizing user settings, and tracking and reviewing metrics to help guide process development

  • Remote Audit—Takes advantage of BlackLine’s unified platform and auditor-specific roles to support remote collaboration, improve audit transparency, and by reducing manual effort and preparation time, avoid unexpected auditor fees

Catalysts: Targeted Use-Case Solutions

Coley says, “Once you’ve built your foundation with the Modern Accounting Playbook, and once you’ve optimized those initial solutions, you are ready for more. And you can take advantage of the next component of the Collaborative Accounting Experience: Catalysts.”

Catalysts are targeted use-case solutions that help customers take advantage of additional functions like enhanced automation and include guided implementations that focus on leading practices.

“The possibilities for Catalysts are almost endless,” she says. “Many will take advantage of advanced functionality like automated journals and intelligent matching to save even more days of manual work.”

Identifying Accounting Efficiencies & Driving Value

BlackLine’s Collaborative Accounting Experience is intended to help customers in two major ways: by increasing accounting efficiencies and by driving up the value of BlackLine’s process automation solutions, according to Coley.

“Many of you are here today because you want to identify efficiencies, and better ways of working for your accounting organization. Many also are here because you want to drive additional value from your investment in BlackLine.”

BlackLine’s Collaborative Accounting Experience is intended to help customers do just that—to help shift accountants’ valuable time away from manual, repetitive work, and focus more capacity on supporting their organizations’ strategic objectives.

“The Collaborative Accounting Experience is BlackLine’s way of meeting you where you are and helping you get to the next level by tapping into the knowledge gained from working with our nearly 3,600 existing customers.”

Get your copy of our latest issue of BlackLine Quarterly for meaningful, actionable insights that will help you make better use of your—and your company’s—valuable time.