This post was contributed by BlackLine partner Sensiba San Filippo
Take Advantage of BlackLine Reconciliation
Many companies don’t realize they can use BlackLine to achieve account accuracy, systematic consistency, accountability, and transparency while automating the reconciliation process—saving dozens of hours per month that can be redirected to more meaningful close tasks. If you’re already using BlackLine for task management, automated reconciliation software is an excellent way to get more from your investment.
Standardize Your Close Process
Using BlackLine, you can standardize your financial close process with various reconciliation templates that can help substantiate your balance sheet accounts. Examples of templates include standardized accruable, amortizable, bank account, and subledger. There are many other customizable templates to help you create systematic consistency for your company’s reconciliations.
By using these templates, you’ll benefit from:
Consistently documented purpose, preparation, and review procedures.
Established due date rules, dashboard visibility, and reports to monitor the timeliness of your reconciliation process.
Tracked monthly or quarterly reconciliation histories with substantiation.
System controlled segregation of duties between the reconciliation preparer and approver(s) to significantly mitigate risks.
Global or account specific:
Account reconciliation auto-certification rules with established thresholds to automate your account reconciliation process.
Reviewer/approver procedures and languages that are customizable based on your company policy (which is best practice for publicly traded companies and SOX compliance).
Controls that decertify a previously completed account reconciliation if an account balance is updated to ensure reconciliation accuracy is maintained.
Pre-built connectors that make it easy to import ERP trial balances into BlackLine in both the account and financial reporting currency using flexible frequency options.
Templates that can be used from account grouping into a consolidated reconciliation template.
Account groupings can be configured for a single entity or multiple entities.
One example of a typical group reconciliation would be a fixed asset group using the subledger template.
A multiple entity grouping can be used for intercompany accounts with their offsetting entity elimination.
Additionally, rules can be configured to auto-certify (review/approve) an account:
When there is no activity, and the account balance is zero.
Grouped intercompany accounts eliminate within an established threshold amount and/or % difference.
Subledger account support is within an established threshold amount and/or % difference.
Amortized account support is within an established threshold amount and/or % difference.
The certification can be configured to initially auto-certify the first two months in a quarter and then require manual certification by the third month in the quarter.
Sensiba San Filippo LLP (SSF) is a BlackLine Partner and award-winning tax, audit, and consulting firm. Our professionals help clients leverage BlackLine’s easy-to-use suite of powerful finance automation tools to improve their finance function’s efficiency and controls. We take the time to understand your goals and work alongside you through every step of the process—from planning and implementation to system optimization to training your staff. If you’re interested in learning more about BlackLine’s reconciliation templates, reach out to the Sensiba San Filippo team.
Read this white paper to learn the four steps to implementing Account Reconciliations.