December 11, 2018

BlackLine Reporting: Above & Beyond

BlackLine Reporting: Above & Beyond

If you’re using BlackLine Reporting for little more than standard income, balance sheet, and cash flow statements, you’re missing out on a world of added value—value that can streamline auditing, reveal hidden business risks, and optimize process tuning.

Here’s how BlackLine Reporting delivers that added value.

Streamlined Auditing

Not only is auditing a generally tedious process, but with the new PCAOB 2017-001 audit rules, audits can now expose process weaknesses as well. BlackLine safeguards against this, while also simplifying and facilitating the auditing process.

For instance, auditors get direct access to data. They can slice, dice, and drill into real-time data, constructing reports without having to perform time-consuming data extracts. Also, cloud-based accessibility means auditors can run tests more frequently throughout the year, rather than having to wait until year-end.

Graphical, exception-centric reporting also helps auditors focus on the most important matters by conducting risk assessments on issues such as comparisons and variances around accounts, processes, products, and business units.

Risk Identification

Risk is as much a part of business as profit, loss, growth, and transformation. The elements of risk are often visible, too—not to the naked eye, but to well-designed finance reporting tools.

BlackLine Reporting can look both wide and deep, addressing key questions:

  • Are there any material issues around open account reconciliations? Incomplete or aging reconciliations can mask potential risks.
  • Which account variances warrant further investigation? Variance analyses use customizable business rules and time-series intelligence to highlight exceptions or changes over time.
  • Do any entities present intercompany exposure? BlackLine summarizes transaction amounts and provides the matrix of settlements to raise visibility of intercompany risks.

Process Optimization

Thanks to BlackLine’s unified cloud platform, all processes use the same underlying finance and process data. As a result, reporting analytics can look for the root cause of a discrepancy, seamlessly moving from the variance module to the reconciliations module, for instance.

Also, BlackLine Reporting possesses deep knowledge about process complexities and organizational structures.

The result is a variety of ways to build efficiency and reduce risk, including:

  • Balancing workloads. BlackLine combines data from automation levels, project rejections, task assignments, and other factors to help managers balance workloads on a continuous basis.
  • Evaluating risk timelines. BlackLine Reporting looks across processes to see where assignments may be incomplete, open items may be aging, or material variances may exist. All are conditions that heighten the risk of error.
  • Assessing best-practice comparisons. With BlackLine, you can compare detailed process metrics to similar, anonymized KPIs from other businesses in
    your industry.

This enables you and your teams to see trends across key accounts and corporate entities in terms of risks, productivity, and efficiency.

Not only does it enhance your own best-practice endeavors, but it creates a meaningful foundation for continuous improvement and continuous automation.

Read our latest issue of BlackLine Quarterly for more stories like this, and to learn how to make meaningful progress in your organization’s digital finance transformation.

BlackLine Quarterly

Modern Accounting