Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, especially those that are struggling the most. In 2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care to persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. It has approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 providers that operate at 2,500 sites of care in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions to healthcare professionals and organizations.
Ascension was using a decentralized finance model with various divisions using many different enterprise resource planning systems. The accounting team for headquarters faced the task of 20,000 to 25,000 reconciliations that were typically tracked and shared on spreadsheets. As part of its larger strategy to improve its financial controls and automate processes, Ascension undertook the challenge of centralizing and standardizing its finance and accounting department in a shared service center.
After putting out a request for proposal, Ascension considered a few different accounting and reconciliation solutions before selecting BlackLine in October 2012. Ascension chose BlackLine for a number of reasons, including:
Ascension deployed BlackLine’s financials controls and automation platform to centralize and simplify its financial reconciliations. Nucleus Research found that Ascension was able to stand up BlackLine quickly and create an improved controls environment while realizing cost savings and increasing productivity. By leveraging BlackLine's automation capabilities, Ascension is positioned to expand its operations without corresponding workforce expansions.
Deploying BlackLine streamlined and simplified Ascension’s reconciliations and audits. Key benefits of the project include:
Ascension implemented BlackLine as a cloud-based solution and leveraged the ease of installation in order to eliminate IT involvement, which reduced deployment costs and time. Additionally, Ascension took advantage of the low maintenance the solution required and devoted one administrator to find and recommend process improvements to management. By leveraging BlackLine’s automation capabilities, Ascension is now able to onboard large new clients without hiring additional staff.