Dun & Bradstreet grows the most valuable relationships in business. By uncovering truth and meaning from data, it connects its customers with the prospects, suppliers, clients, and partners that matter most, and have since 1841. Nearly 90% of the Fortune 500, and companies of every size around the world, rely on its data, insights, and analytics.
Dun & Bradstreet wanted to establish global accounting and reconciliation standards across all its entities with a vision to be able to close the books from anywhere in the world. Prior to deploying BlackLine, the company used a combination of SharePoint, Microsoft Excel, and physical printouts to track and manage its account reconciliations, which numbered in the thousands from over 50 entities spread around the world. The complexity and volume of accounts forced accounting personnel to manually reconcile many of the accounts, which was time-consuming and inefficient. Dun & Bradstreet looked for a solution that could automatically certify and standardize accounts.
The company began exploring potential new accounting and reconciliation solutions in 2012, comparing BlackLine with another vendor’s solution. Users scored the software on ease of use and functionality. Ultimately Dun & Bradstreet selected BlackLine for three primary reasons:
User-friendliness and adoption. With BlackLine, Dun & Bradstreet users could accomplish their tasks with fewer clicks and reported that the software was easier to learn and use.
Functionality. During a trial period, users scored BlackLine on a number of functional criteria and concluded that the software could fulfill all the functional needs of the organization. The reporting capabilities within BlackLine helped Dun & Bradstreet remain compliant with accounting rules changes.
Support and customer service. The company found that BlackLine’s support and customer service went the extra mile to support its users on the product.
Dun & Bradstreet deployed BlackLine to streamline its global reconciliations process and reduce its audit costs. Nucleus Research found that the company shrank the time it takes to perform a financial close and automated many manual processes, eliminating time-intensive and tedious tasks. By developing a Center of Excellence with BlackLine, Dun & Bradstreet was able to implement best practices for its global reconciliation process and standardize policies across its operations.
Using BlackLine, Dun & Bradstreet was able to standardize its reconciliation process and improve control while automating manual processes. Key benefits of the project include:
Improved policy. Dun & Bradstreet was able to remove the burden of managing accounting and reconciliation from personnel for whom it was not their primary role. The company established a better separation of duties within the accounting department. Using BlackLine, Dun & Bradstreet established standard procedures for journal entries and reconciliations, so every entity followed the same guidelines.
Increased accounting productivity. With BlackLine, Dun & Bradstreet could group accounts and automatically certify them to reduce the overall number of reconciliations. Accounting professionals were able to manage by exception rather than certify every reconciliation. Dun & Bradstreet has increased its automated certifications so that accounting personnel doesn't need to touch about 40% of the company’s reconciliations.
Reduced audit costs. Instead of costly and time-consuming audit preparations, Dun & Bradstreet's accounting staff could collect and deliver the required information quickly and easily. Prior to implementing BlackLine, auditors came onsite to perform an annual audit; however, with the reporting capabilities of BlackLine, auditors no longer need to come onsite, reducing the overall cost.
Increased capacity. Dun & Bradstreet accounting professionals could use the capabilities of BlackLine to increase the number of account reconciliations they could perform without needing to add staff or reallocate resources.
Realized 251% ROI and a payback period of 0.4 years
Achieved an average annual benefit of $311,350
Eliminated non-value work
Quickly centralized key finance and accounting functions
Increased transparency, visibility, and accuracy during the entire close process
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