Cost Savings of $1 Million Over 3 Years
Starting with Account Reconciliations enabled Australia Post to lay the groundwork to advance to Transaction Matching with a clean slate. BlackLine U training helped Australia Post accountants learn the system quickly and take advantage of BlackLine technology.
“Because of resource constraints and various priorities, we wanted to clean up account reconciliations and then look at process improvements,” Phan explains. “We started fresh by cleaning up the accounts, and then applying Transaction Matching.”
Phan’s team uses BlackLine to match transactions across invoices, payments, and bank statements at volumes that have grown from about 200,000 to 500,000 a month as usage expanded. This is achieved by utilizing the matching rules in BlackLine for all transactional high-volume GL accounts.
Phan says, “Today, less than 1% of accounts have aging items of 90 days or more, down dramatically from 50% of accounts, thanks to the greater visibility that BlackLine provides.
“The solution is not only used by our Reconciliation Team, but also by our StarTrack Cash and Banking Team, who uses BlackLine to allocate receipt to customers. And, they are now able to allocate 80% receipt to invoices, up 50% from before they implemented BlackLine.”
In terms of financial savings, BlackLine has saved Australia Post approximately $1 million over three years. There are opportunities for further implementation, such as maximizing the total number of accounts that can be grouped into the same categories, minimizing the downloading of supporting documents, and utilizing the auto-certified features, task functions, and variance analysis. These functions will enable their teams to focus on management by exception strategy.
Australia Post is exploring further use of BlackLine in two other areas to combat consolidation pain points: matching rules and variance analysis.
For example, intercompany imbalance has always been a pain point in consolidation. Reconciliation for payroll accounts for 35,000 plus employees can be tedious and time-consuming.
BlackLine matching rules will enable accountants to improve the reconciliation process and focus on analytical work.
Whatever its direction, Australia Post can draw on proven best practices and modern technology as it further builds its world-class accounting and finance function.
“Continuous Accounting, management by exception, and process improvement are big parts of our strategies, and we’ll continue to use BlackLine to reach those goals,” Phan says.
“Understanding processes, identifying gaps, and working closely with BlackLine are key best practices we’ve followed to deliver projects and realize results.”