BlackLine Blog

September 26, 2018

Setting the Record Straight: How BlackLine Complements SAP’s Universal Journal

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Molly Boyle


Elizabeth Milne

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Part 5 of our Finance Transformation blog series. You can read the full series here.

A primary focus for today’s accounting and finance organizations is simplifying the IT landscape.

Maintaining multiple systems, instances, vendor contracts, and master services agreements lead to disparate and disconnected operations, which increases inefficiency and risk—something organizations are trying to avoid.

This is especially true in an era where real-time financial insights are creating competitive advantage.

This is also one of the many reasons companies are upgrading their SAP solutions. And with the breadth of SAP offerings and the investment organizations are making in ERP solutions like SAP S/4HANA, it may seem like there are no processes that they don’t fully address.

But that isn’t always true: especially when it comes to the financial close.

BlackLine’s solutions are purpose-built to help you optimize the historically spreadsheet-driven financial close by automating processes, strengthening controls, and streamlining core tasks. The cloud-based platform complements any ERP environment, including the most advanced SAP landscape, and extends your ERP investment.

To help illustrate the value of BlackLine for SAP organizations, we’re answering the three most common questions we get about the complementary solutions in this series. Let’s dive into the first one.

If I have SAP S/4HANA and/or capabilities like the Universal Journal, do I still need BlackLine?

Yes. SAP’s newest innovations may automate certain entries and eliminate system-to-system reconciliations (i.e. subledger to GL).

The Universal Journal is one of the newer functionalities within SAP. It delivers tangible benefits by eliminating redundancies. The Universal Journal allows SAP organizations to simplify financial master data, as it combines transactional data previously stored in multiple tables into one large table.

This also allows for real-time insights for better decision-making.

However, no ERP solution will eliminate an organization’s need to record, support, and approve manual journal entries, nor the requirement to substantiate the balance sheet.  And that’s where BlackLine comes in.

How BlackLine Complements SAP

BlackLine solutions add intelligent process automation and workflow to processes like balance sheet substantiation and journal entry processing, posting entries directly into SAP and pulling balances from the general ledger.

BlackLine also simplifies the audit process by allowing organizations to capture all manual entries and related supporting documentation in a single platform—eliminating the challenge of isolating/identifying manual journal entries in SAP.

BlackLine Journal Entry also permits reportable fields not supported in SAP, adding visibility into the types and reasons of the entries being made. It allows additional validation beyond standard SAP validations and offers auto-population of fields based on logic.

Read this brochure for a more in-depth look at how BlackLine complements the ERP environment and extends your SAP investment.

About the Authors


Molly Boyle


Elizabeth Milne