Cutting Close Time in Half & Gaining an FTE Without an Increase in Headcount

Founded in 1977, Daylight Transport is a privately held expedited LTL transportation and logistics company headquartered in Cypress, California. The company has been nationally recognized as Inbound Logistics’ Top 100 Motor Carriers, Los Angeles Business Journal’s 100 fastest-growing companies four years in a row, and one of Los Angeles Business Journal’s 100 largest privately held companies.

The Challenge

Daylight Transport has innovation in its blood. 50 years ago, the company was the first to reduce cross-country transit times from an average of 11 days to 3 days. It was this spirit of innovation that recently drove Daylight Transport’s finance team to adopt new ways of working—and new technology.

“Our manual matching process was really challenging,” says Avron Cohen, director of finance. “We were processing 2,500 invoices a day and each one had to match to a receipt. It took our staff accountant an entire month to reconcile the bank statement.”

The manual process resulted in a soft close every month. “We closed in six days, but some reconciliations, as well as certain issues, were put off until the next month,” says Ellen Cleary, accounting manager. “The company was also growing rapidly, which made everything more complicated. It became harder and harder to manage processes manually.”

Why BlackLine

In the search for a new solution, the team reviewed several finance technology options. However, at the time, most lacked a key feature: the ability to automatically match transactions.

The team also wanted a solution that would integrate with multiple ERPs. “We were using TruckMate at the time but knew we were making a switch to Oracle Fusion,” says Cohen. “We didn’t want to manually transfer files every day. That’s one of the reasons BlackLine was so appealing.”

The finance team implemented BlackLine’s Transaction Matching, Account Reconciliations, and Journal Entry solutions. During implementation and rollout, they worked with a BlackLine consultant and attended BlackLine U training. Staff adapted quickly to the transition from manual spreadsheets to BlackLine.

“The employee responsible for matching transactions was frustrated with the manual process, so she was more than willing to try BlackLine,” says Cleary. “And as everyone was very good at writing matching rules, we achieved success very quickly.”

The Results

Enabled a three-day hard close. Previously, the team closed in six days but still required an entire month to wrap up loose ends. “Now we close in three days, and we publish the book on the fifth day,” says Cohen. Adds Cleary, “With BlackLine, it’s also easy for us to review and identify discrepancies or go in and see if anything looks strange.”

Gained an FTE without an increase in headcount. Prior to BlackLine, one accountant spent an entire month on bank reconciliations. With a nine-member team, that translates to having 11% of the team mired in one task all month.

“With Transaction Matching, most of our transactions are automatically matched. One staff accountant now spends

15-20 minutes a day looking through exceptions,” says Cohen. “It’s a huge win.”

The staff member responsible for bank reconciliations was initially concerned her role would be eliminated. “We reassured her that adding BlackLine wasn’t about eliminating her role but freeing her from manual work. We’re now able to assign her more value-added responsibilities. We’ve gained almost an FTE with BlackLine.”


Enabled valued-added work. Cleary notes that even long-term staff transitioned quickly to BlackLine.

“Just because you have people who have been in accounting for 10-20 years doesn’t mean they can’t learn new concepts. Nobody today wants their job to be matching transactions from a bank statement into the general ledger. With BlackLine, accountants have the opportunity to do more meaningful, valued-added work.”

Reduced errors and increased visibility. With BlackLine, Cleary and Cohen have more confidence that the books are accurate and complete.

“With spreadsheets, I worried about formula errors,” says Cohen. “That worry has been eliminated. Not only is the data transfer automated, but we have instant visibility. Our balances are updated every two hours. In the past, you’d have to look at a line in the general ledger, go back to the spreadsheet, and try to trace it through. Now, all of the information is available in our reports from BlackLine.”

Cleary notes that continuous accounting makes the close easier, as well. “We’re reconciling the bank every day, so we can see if there’s anything odd and fix it right away. We’re not waiting until the end of the month.”

Industry

Transportation & Logistics

ERP

TruckMate, Oracle Fusion

Region

Global

Company Size

Midsize

Business Impact

Enabled a three-day hard close

Gained an FTE without an

increase in headcount

Enabled value-added work

Reduced errors and increased visibility


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