Part 6 of our Finance Transformation blog series. You can read the full series here.
One of the many challenges for accounting departments is the process of preparing, posting, and approving manual journal entries. Many general ledger postings can be automated, such as inventory movements or foreign currency revaluations.
However, entries that cannot be fully automated within an SAP environment are typically managed, prepared, and posted via journal entry by Accounting and Finance.
The accounting department at a sizable enterprise typically posts hundreds, if not thousands of journal entries each period. Entries must be prepared, supported, and approved during the close process, demanding significant effort.
Despite organizations’ best efforts to manage different types of journal entries and corresponding internal control and audit requirements, the process puts an unnecessary strain on valuable resources and introduces the risk of error.
BlackLine’s platform integrates with SAP and can help accounting and finance organizations create synergies that eliminate error-prone manual tasks while adding efficiency and confidence to the audit process.
Let's dive into the second most common question we get from SAP users.
How does BlackLine Journal Entry compare to SAP’s “Park and Post” functionality?
SAP’s Park and Post functionality provides workflow for journal entries. It allows a user to prepare an entry in SAP and “park” it there to allow for the appropriate review. The approver can then authorize it to be posted, ensuring proper segregation of duties.
While basic workflow is valuable, Park and Post has its limitations. For example, entries posted this way are still prepared manually in spreadsheets—increasing the risk of error. Supporting documentation is often stored outside of SAP due to size limitations or requires additional add-on functionality.
Park and Post functionality also lacks integration with the balance sheet substantiation, task management, and controls documentation process. As a result, it doesn’t allow for maximum automation, nor a closed-loop process.
What Differentiates BlackLine Journal Entry for SAP Users?
BlackLine Journal Entry allows for maximum integration of your manual journal entries with other critical close processes. For example, if a recurring journal entry also represents a core close task or key control, dependencies can be identified in BlackLine because the Journal Entry solution is fully integrated with Task Management.
This can allow for auto-certification of a key control or task once a journal entry has been posted.
BlackLine Journal Entry also allows for the highest level of intelligent workflow – routing entries to the appropriate approvers based on any criteria, including some not supported by SAP. And when journal entries impact the balance sheet, they can be easily tied to the related account reconciliation, eliminating the need to reattach supporting back-up or validate other entry details.
In addition to next-level automation and integration, BlackLine’s interface is intuitive and cloud-based, which means it can be accessed anytime from anywhere. And the solution is ERP-agnostic, which means it can centralize the journal entry process across multiple instances of SAP or multiple ERPs.
What’s left? The BlackLine SAP Connector means the journal entry process is fully integrated with SAP, and users receive real-time feedback and validation as if they were creating an entry directly in the ERP.
SAP is a leader in the ERP space, and BlackLine is the only SAP-Endorsed Business Solution for Financial Close. Cutting-edge companies are transforming their digital core by running SAP and modernizing their financial close process with BlackLine.
Read this brochure for a more in-depth look at how BlackLine extends your SAP investment and SAP functionality.