BlackLine Blog

January 23, 2019

How to Use Unified Reporting to Enhance Organizational Integrity

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

BlackLine Magazine

Share Article

It’s said that in 1957, Digital Equipment Corporation founder and CEO Ken Olsen remarked that he kept his company’s entire financial picture “in [his] head.” That may or may not be true, but it would be difficult today to find any CEO who could say the same.

Finance, Accounting, and Operations—every aspect of business—are more complex today than they were in the ‘50s. That trend is likely to continue, as data and the systems that transport it grow bigger every day.

Much of this data lands in the hands of Accounting and Finance. So, BlackLine offers advanced reporting tools, bringing much-needed visibility to the data and processes that influence business complexity.

Reporting Dashboards Increase Visibility

BlackLine’s new homepage dashboards deliver top-line visibility, and are configurable according to users’ job functions.

Accounting team members access controls as preparers and reviewers. Controllers, CFOs, and other managers have process and organizational controls. And administrators view assignments, deadlines, and other details.

Dashboard visibility helps maintain financial integrity across the accounting and audit work cycles.

Reconciliations controls show the status of any reconciliations in progress—
which ones have been prepared, approved, certified, and reviewed. Assignment workload controls help managers balance team productivity.

Rejections and reasons controls assist in evaluating project quality. Open item aging is a valuable risk-management control. And template standardization offers account descriptions for pre-audit visibility.

These reports—and others—help save time and maximize accounting accuracy. They also bolster trust in accounting processes and the data produced.

“It’s important to trust in your people, of course,” says Stephen Wolfman, Director of Product Management for BlackLine.

“But that can take time, going to meetings, getting consensus. For a growing
business, that can slow things down. So you should be able to trust in your
processes too, and in the automation platform that supports them.”

Bringing Order to Complex Processes

BlackLine’s unified architecture also adds to financial integrity by creating a central repository with consistent data, report definitions, and real-time updates.

A workgroup scheduling function provides up-to-date snapshots of reports,
available to the accounting team in the format they need: online, CSV, Excel, or PDF.

Also, BlackLine can exchange data with different ERP systems, maintaining
consistency and accuracy in accounting data, even for multi-ERP organizations.

“BlackLine’s unified architecture helps bring order to organizations with complex accounting processes,” says Wolfman. “They often have combinations of manual and automated processes, multiple ERP systems, and even multiple legal entities in different countries.

“BlackLine helps smooth out and standardize different accounting processes, and BlackLine Reporting pulls it all together using reports and dashboards, so users can see what’s going on and where the risks are, up-to-the-minute. Then they can catch problems before they happen.

“This helps the rest of the organization place trust in the finance function, and helps outside stakeholders place their trust in the organization itself.”

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn more about how to use data to uncover risk and accelerate business performance.

About the Author


BlackLine Magazine