New solutions announced in October 2021, including Credit & Risk Management, Collections Management, Disputes & Deductions, and Team & Task Management, have substantially rounded out BlackLine’s accounts receivable process portfolio for 2022.
However, says Director of AR Product Marketing Brian Morgan, the increased AR product breadth is just the tip of an iceberg shared by all BlackLine products. That iceberg is BlackLine’s cloud-based platform, which features a unified pool of data that underlies all products. It’s invaluable because it lets different BlackLine solutions share customer information that’s unpolluted by clumsy data exchanges.
“This means that AR professionals can share data they know is accurate and consistent across all BlackLine solutions,” Morgan says.
Expanding AR Solutions with BlackLine
These additions bring BlackLine’s AR family of solutions to six. Cash Application, BlackLine’s original AR solution, automatically applies payments to customer accounts. It can reduce unapplied cash by up to 99%, reduce manual labor by 85%, and process 80% of payments without remittances.
AR Intelligence joined Cash Application early last year. This solution gives companies the ability to quickly gain insights into customer behaviors to determine predictability of customer payments. This is valuable in building cash flow forecasts and measuring the impact of extended payment terms on cash collections and cash flow.
More About BlackLine’s New AR Solutions
Credit & Risk Management employs real-time analysis of data sources, including CRA, credit insurers, and payment performance data. These help AR departments build risk policies that can monitor debtor behaviors and automate credit limit reviews.
Collections Management optimizes collections strategies based on insights into customer behaviors, automatically escalating recover sequences that can reach customers by their preferred contact methods. Collections automation can increase human collection capacity by 35%, freeing up time for professionals to take actions that best drive results. The result: a fast and inexpensive way to add to working capital.
Dispute & Deductions Management uses automated workflows to log, monitor, and analyze invoice disputes. It gives companies immediate visibility into disputes and how they impact KPIs such as DSO and aged debt provisions. It automatically feeds dispute information into the company’s CRM platform and can apply payments back to the general ledger.
Team & Task Management helps manage risk and cash collection by monitoring and analyzing user performance and prioritizing and/or re-assigning tasks based on workload or absence. The solution creates more time for people to add value to the organization by building customer relationships.
Unified Versus Integrated Data: There’s a Difference
Each of these solutions sits atop BlackLine’s pool of unified data, and that’s a key differentiator from other vendors that feature integrated solutions, according to Morgan.
“With integrated solutions, the various solutions look at different sets of customer data,” he says.
“Different solutions have a hard time communicating with each other. To get a unified view of the customer, AR professionals have to send the data from each solution to a spreadsheet, then use that to get a full customer view. It takes time and creates risk whenever you’re moving large amounts of data around.
“With a unified platform, there’s a single version of the truth, and all processes share the same data pool,” Morgan says. “So rather than having a one-dimensional view of a customer, if I’m the credit manager and I want the customer’s credit worthiness, I can get to all the data I need quickly. And I know it will be accurate.”
Learn more about BlackLine's innovations and why they're crucial to the success of F&A in this issue of BlackLine Quarterly.