Developing with the Customer In Mind


From the very beginning, BlackLine was driven by customer needs. Frankly, in a bootstrapping environment, you simply don’t build something unless someone wants it enough to pay for it!

The very first incarnation of the account reconciliation product was launched when a customer described to me how difficult it was to track who owned what reconciliations in a spreadsheet. That initial, simple program was the genesis of an entirely new market around replacing spreadsheet-driven processes with software that provides enhanced control and automation for accounting and finance departments.

The software has come a long way since then, encompassing six different products in the financial close suite, an Intercompany Hub, and a robust platform. Throughout it all, BlackLine has been and remains responsive to our customer needs and it is with that in mind that I am excited our latest upgrade, the May 2015 Product Release.

BlackLine’s Product Management team coordinated and prioritized the needs of the more than 1,100 clients and 100,000 users around the globe. That information helped define this product release and provide four major new enhancements along with a number of other features and fixes. You can read more about the May 2015 release by downloading this brief, but I want to tell you about two enhancements that will dramatically improve the account reconciliations process and visibility: Integrated Spreadsheets and ERP Drill Down.

Integrated Spreadsheets is a complete spreadsheet program that lives directly on the face of account reconciliations. This will save preparers and approvers so much time as all calculations and formulas can be easily seen at a glance, no more uploading or downloading supporting spreadsheets to and from the reconciliation. One spreadsheet, in one place, with its formulas locked-in when the reconciliation is certified, will bring our clients’ accounting departments an unprecedented level of convenience and control.

ERP Drill Down brings quick, easy access to an account’s details with a dynamic connection to your ERP. Not only will this help preparers get at the information immediately, when needed, it also makes it accessible to reviewers, too. This secure integration will give you all of an account’s information for the current period with one convenient hyperlink.

BlackLine has been driven by software for 14 years, focused on delivering products our customers tell us they will get value from. When clients told us they needed a way to monitor their financial close checklists, we built our task management solution. When they expressed a need for increased assurance in the integrity of their financial statements, we delivered our variance analysis product.

The list goes on, but we are relentlessly inventing new cloud-based software solutions to bring value by eliminating the monotony, compliance and inefficiency risks caused by unnecessarily manual financial and accounting processes. As a programmer at heart, it is important to me that this approach continues to drive innovation at BlackLine today.