November 03, 2021

Why BlackLine Positions You for the Future Instead of Binding You to the Past

4-minute read

At many companies today, executives are fully aware of the transformational power of digital enablement. But turning that awareness into a roadmap for change and then into results remains a stumbling point. Meanwhile, the landscape of possible solutions and new technologies has become more cluttered and complex than ever.

Closing this gap between intentions and reality in finance functions is the subject of our BeyondTheBlack session, Integration of BlackLine Into Your Ecosystem, at 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT on Tuesday, November 16.

We’ll discuss how to further your digital strategy and improve your execution skills so you can get the results that come with being a digital leader: better revenue growth and more resilient business performance. Regardless of your IT infrastructure or ERP, BlackLine serves as a leading platform driving maximum value for the modern accounting and finance operating model. 

A recent EY-Parthenon Digital Investment survey of 1,000 C-suite leaders across the world illustrates what’s at stake. Almost two-thirds told us that they lack a clearly defined digital agenda strategy, and a host of issues—including incomplete or poor-quality data, obsolete operating models, and a lack of talent—regularly limit the return on their digital investments.

But the digital leaders in the survey, who had both a digital strategy and the capabilities for executing it—representing about 9% of overall participants—reported about 40% more revenue growth than the others over the past two years.

These leaders also were far more likely to have:

  • Prioritized M&A and partnerships to accelerate digital initiatives (rather than relying on in-house development)
  • Shifted their focus to immediate cash return initiatives
  • Discontinued unnecessary digital initiatives
  • Accelerated new digital products, services, and business models

At its best, an agile finance function sets the foundation for delivering such goals—to help leadership better understand where value is created and where bets should be placed. So while BlackLine excels in reconciliation and close task management, its impact is far more wide-ranging: it also serves as an important part of your overall technology ecosystem, by easing the flow of data, orchestrating and automating activities, and freeing up your finance team to perform more value-added tasks.

Some of you may remember how, 20 years ago, one concern when investing in software tended to override all others: whether it would work smoothly within your current technology stack. With that in mind, organizations chose solutions that all fell within one vendor’s offerings and were developed specifically for close integration.

In a sense, the capabilities of each software and how they compared were irrelevant, unless you also purchased middleware to act as a connector or if you sought specialized customization—tactics that, over time, hampered the organization’s ability to evolve and tackle new disruptions.

Today, with new solutions built with interoperability in mind and based in the cloud, the landscape looks much different, although some vendors and consultants may continue making the old arguments.

Ecosystems and platforms are becoming an increasingly important part of the business operating model as companies rely more and more on a variety of applications and systems to run their business. A “best in breed” approach is viable, in which organizations can select the market-leading software to use with the future in mind, not just what they are captive to because of prior investments.

As a market leader, BlackLine fits the bill: it was created to work well with a variety of ERPs and remains a solution extension of choice for those that use SAP. Its ease of integration also extends to platforms you may use for insights and analytics. Its versatility and capabilities make it a powerful tool to confront the uncertain business environment of today and the disruptions of tomorrow.

Register for BeyondTheBlack to attend EY’s session, Integration of BlackLine Into Your Ecosystem, at 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT on Tuesday, November 16.

The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.

Ehren Meditz, Senior Editor–Writer, EY

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