Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group providing innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins people’s daily lives, supports communities, and enables economic growth. Balfour Beatty has capabilities in construction services, support services and infrastructure investments. It was formed in 1909 and has 28,000 employees.
As a large international business, Balfour Beatty has many operating units and a number of accounting systems. This meant that reconciliations were undertaken within individual finance director’s responsibility areas without assurance of consistency or visibility across the group.
In order to address this challenge, Balfour Beatty undertook a centralization project and needed a new solution to incorporate accounts from across the business, and where possible, automate reconciliations. It would also allow for in-system sign off of accounts by finance directors and their teams. "It was important to have everything done in the same way and in the same system to give us a clearer picture of the business,” says Steve Whitelaw of Balfour Beatty.
BlackLine was chosen following a competitive pitch during which Balfour Beatty was impressed with its usability and simplicity.
Balfour Beatty previously undertook just over 6,000 reconciliations a month in the UK. By implementing BlackLine and centralizing its processes, it has been able to group some of these together and now completes just under 2,000 reconciliations a month.
“BlackLine has reduced our risk as everything is now in the same format, so we don’t need to jump between spreadsheets all set up differently to access what we need,” says Whitelaw.
Balfour Beatty has also made use of the BlackLine matching tool to automate the company’s main bank reconciliations. The previous reconciliations could take many hours, but with BlackLine, this has been substantially reduced.