Using BlackLine at a Whole New Level


6-minute read

This article was written by Active Cyber—one of BlackLine’s Solution Provider Partners in the mid-market space.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard about BlackLine already. You are most likely in Accounting or Finance, and you have come across this because like so many other professionals in our field, you’re looking for a better, faster, and more accurate way to do your work or manage your team’s processes.

Maybe you’ve been through a string of acquisitions and find yourself with multiple ERPs, plus accounting teams spread out across the country or the globe. That is exactly the kind of challenge many of our clients are dealing with. And that’s when they make the decision to find a tool to help them bring order to the long, chaotic close process.

Enter BlackLine and the Modern Accounting Playbook. Here are three reasons why a recent implementation was such a success.

1.     Single Source of Truth

It’s no surprise that many forward-looking companies choose BlackLine, given its game changing capabilities. But what makes Active Cyber’s BlackLine deployment different from so many others is we have developed an in-house process to leverage your planning tool’s existing ERP connections to get your accounting and finance teams in sync. We create a single source of truth that spans across two or more planning and accounting systems which becomes the backbone in the Center of Excellence reporting up to the Office of the CFO.

Through a partnership with Active Cyber, you may have already implemented Workday Adaptive Planning or have some other existing planning tool. Active Cyber’s team of experienced implementation experts have helped many clients create a single source of truth for all their data from multiple ERP, CRM, and HRIS systems.

Instead of having to log in to pull separate statements and data from each of the systems, your team will be able to log in and see everything in one place. You may be asking yourself, “why are they writing about a planning tool in a BlackLine specific post?” The answer is—BlackLine works exceptionally well when implemented alongside many different planning solutions.

2.     Quick Implementation

Anyone who has ever been part of a system implementation of any kind knows it can be a painful process of design and discovery, with lots of long meetings hashing out every possible detail to provide the best possible solution. Successful implementations are built on a solid foundation of knowledge gathered on the front end in those meetings and refined during the deployment process.

There’s a lot of time and effort on the client side and the implementation team side. What if you could leverage that same discovery process for two different products? At Active Cyber, we have teams of implementers that are certified in both Workday Adaptive Planning and BlackLine. And that is exactly what many of our clients have been able to take advantage of, to save time and money when they decide to add BlackLine and use Active Cyber to help deploy it.

In the case of Workday Adaptive Planning, because we have designed the instance, we are already deeply familiar with the data, systems, and reporting needs. We won’t need an additional in-depth set of discovery meetings to learn about the organization, account, and dimensional structure because the discovery was already done! This enables us to dive right into the implementation in far less time than it would take an unfamiliar partner or resource.

3.      Time Saved

The other major benefit of using the same partner to deploy your planning tool and BlackLine is that there is a tremendous savings in time by leveraging the existing systems integrations that have been done to set up the planning tool.

One example we worked on recently involved a manufacturing client with seven different ERPs that they picked up through various acquisitions. After we created the system-to-system integrations with their planning tool, we were able to create a single integration point between the planning tool and BlackLine. This saved them a lot of time, effort, and money.

Not only that, but the BlackLine instance is set up so that in the event of future acquisitions, the new data will automatically feed through the planning tool without the need for an expensive add-on integration. Once the planning tool receives the new data, BlackLine also automatically receives that new data.

More time saved, more money saved, and the best part is that the accounting and finance teams are in sync at all times across the two different platforms. There is one data set they’re operating from as a single source of truth. We created what we’re calling a “Center of Excellence” with one accounting team, one finance team, one trusted partner, and two amazing products—all working together in unison.

The Results

The results speak for themselves. Our clients typically auto-certify about 25% of their monthly account reconciliations in the first few months, with a target to get over 50% in the next six months. Their days-to-close have been reduced and continue to fall as the team gains more experience using BlackLine. And everyone in the company now has a single set of numbers that they agree on to create reporting packages and PowerPoint decks (that we all love doing so much).

Making the move to modernize your accounting and finance processes will help your organization continue to grow and thrive into the future.

Learn more about BlackLine’s Modern Accounting Playbook which delivers purpose-built solutions built on leading practices to unify data and processes, automate repetitive work, and drive accountability through visibility.


About Active Cyber

Active Cyber is a rapid growth cloud consultancy partnered with the top technology leaders to address the most demanding challenges organizations face today. We accomplish excellence with our award-winning portfolio of Cybersecurity, Enterprise Planning and Data & Analytics partners.  At our core, we provide advisory and first-class professional services to ingrain best practices, continuous adoption and leading edge transformation. Our proven engagement models yield high time-to-value and nurture growth for our customers through innovation—contact Active Cyber.