BlackLine Blog

June 15, 2021

How CFOs Are Paving the Way to SAP S/4HANA with Modern Accounting

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Katherine Becraft

Senior Manager of SAP Solutions

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Manual Accounting Processes Are Simply Not Sustainable

Despite significant innovations in ERP technology, including SAP S/4HANA, the financial close still involves many activities performed outside the ERP landscape. These activities increase cost, heighten risk, waste time—and lower team morale. They also act as a roadblock to digital transformation.

In contrast, modern accounting solutions are:

  • Unified, helping you integrate systems and data, standardize your processes, and unlock global visibility

  • Automated, letting you reduce busywork by automating the ordinary, free your accountants to analyze the extraordinary, and focus on what matters most to the business

  • Continuous, equipping you to execute Accounting as it happens, deliver real-time information and analysis, and align with the needs of your business

Disruption Has Changed How Accounting Runs & Operates

Aware of these benefits, many finance and accounting (F&A) organizations were already taking steps to reduce their dependence on manual processes—and then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruption increased shareholder demand for transparency and frequent updates—something traditional accounting, with its reliance on spreadsheets and manual processes, is ill-equipped to deliver.

F&A teams rose to the challenge to support the new normal. And some of the changes brought about by the pandemic are likely to outlast the crisis. Indeed, when we asked over 6,000 customers last year what changes from 2020 had continued for their accounting organization, a whopping 40% cited more flexible work options, followed by prioritization of technology adoption (25%), new opportunities for talent development (17%), and an improved or easier financial close (15%).

Maximize Financial Close Efficiency & Reduce Risk Through Intelligent Automation

If you still rely on spreadsheets to perform critical month-end tasks and your organization is preparing for a move to SAP S/4HANA, we can help. Our cloud solution extensions enable your intelligent enterprise by integrating with SAP S/4HANA to help you simplify your transformation, incorporate leading practices, and realize value sooner.

As well as offering a purpose-built solution for the financial close, our solutions help you achieve quick wins ahead of your SAP S/4HANA transformation, integrate with your SAP and non-SAP data, and of course, enable a virtual close and remote work.

They also complement the RISE with SAP offering, which helps you transform your business in the way that works best for you, with comprehensive, intelligent, and customer-specific options that help you move to the cloud and adopt best practices.

More than 3,400 companies, including more than 800 running SAP solutions, trust BlackLine to help them close faster with complete and accurate results.

Our SAP Solution Extensions offer:

  • Quick time to value, with rapid implementation and payback periods averaging 9 to 12 months, helping you build momentum ahead of your move to SAP S/4HANA

  • Higher ROI and lower TCO, with a return of US$2.77 for every $1 spent, according to a Nucleus Research study, up to 50% of F&A resources freed up, and minimal IT support needed in a software-as-a-service model

  • Embedded leading practices that help you transform Accounting and move away from error-prone and traditional manual processes that bottleneck the close

Using SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine, you can achieve a Continuous Accounting approach that integrates the transactional and analytics world, based on a single source of truth. Combined with SAP Intercompany Financial Hub by BlackLine, this helps you efficiently and accurately:

  • Substantiate balance sheet accounts

  • Match transactions and automate journal entries

  • Proactively govern intercompany activities from end to end

Tap into our SAP Solution Extensions to achieve automation, visibility, and control during—and after—your transformation to SAP S/4HANA.

Beginning Your SAP S/4HANA Transformation

Ready to start your SAP S/4HANA transformation with F&A improvements? Join us at SAPPHIRE NOW.

In session #FIN605, BlackLine value architecture manager Jarred Rutherford will explain how our solutions complement SAP software functionality to help you modernize and automate the financial close. And in session #FIN307, SAP’s Massimo Ciotola and Home Depot’s Steve Gibbs will join BlackLine Solutions Marketing Director Molly Boyle to talk about financial transformation in a time of disruption.

You can also drop by one of our daily sessions at booth 331, where you can learn more about:

  • Clearing open items automatically in SAP software

  • Centralizing data across disparate systems

  • Optimizing intercompany processes

  • Streamlining the move to SAP S/4HANA

Join BlackLine at SAPPHIRE NOW to discover how optimizing accounting processes can jumpstart your F&A organization's modern accounting journey.

About the Author


Katherine Becraft

Senior Manager of SAP Solutions ,