How Midsize F&A Teams Can Optimise Their Close Process


Closing the books—regardless of your business sector or the reporting period you operate against—is a task that every company needs to complete. And we all know that this process can take a frustratingly long time and be annoyingly labor-intensive.

Here’s the good news: just as ERP systems have become available to midsize companies, the automation solutions that traditionally only enterprises had the resources to implement are now readily available to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with our new Modern Accounting Playbook (MAP) offering.

What this means in practice is that midsized organizations can benefit in the same way as some of the largest firms in the world, and learn from the experience of other likeminded midsize organizations, including these two companies.

A Forbes Cloud 100 Fastest-Growing Tech Company

HashiCorp is a provider of a suite of open source tools to support the development and deployment of large-scale service-oriented software installations. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco but has operations across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

In just 30 days, the team implemented BlackLine’s Core solution from the Modern Accounting Playbook, which includes close task management, automated reconciliations, and high-volume bank transaction matching.

Jun Du, senior accounting manager at HashiCorp says, “With BlackLine, we have over a 90% match rate for our bank transactions, and we knew we could get a lot of value and save time by expanding matching to include our credit card transactions as well.”

A Leading Independent Power Producer

Another mid-market firm reaping dividends from BlackLine’s automation solutions is sPower, a renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) and the privately-held owner of operating solar assets in the US.

The firm is expecting to see significant growth in the coming years as the demand for renewable energy increases, and has been focused on systems optimisation for maximum operational efficiency, including its accounting and finance processes. With the goal of shortening its 15-day close, the company wanted to find an auto-reconciliation solution.

“We wanted to reduce errors, speed up our processes, and close more quickly, as we expect to grow significantly,” says Ray Willardson, controller at sPower. “We’re focused on putting systems and processes into place that will enable us to scale.”

As part of this initiative, sPower has implemented BlackLine Account ReconciliationsTask ManagementTransaction Matching, and Journal Entry—and their close time has been shortened by 66%. Other benefits include reduced errors and increased efficiency, increased access to real-time data, improved visibility for the controller role, and less need for manual follow-up on close tasks.

Companies like HashiCorp and sPower are blazing a trail to modern accounting for midsize organisations. Will you follow their lead?

Read this white paper to learn how your F&A teams can begin closing the ERP gap with the Modern Accounting Playbook.