AI-Powered automation for Accounts Receivable
Incorporated in 1935, Globe started as a wireless long-distance message service provider in the Philippines. Now known as Globe Telecom, the company has transformed to keep up with innovations and the changing needs of every Filipino.
In 2019, the company won the Industry Champion of the Year award and was recognized for the third time in a row as a Top Workplace in Asia.
Since 2011, Globe’s Collection Advisory & Audit Department had relied on the Audit, Reconciliation & Monitoring System (ARMS) for daily audit and reconciliation. Yet by 2018, ARMS couldn’t keep up with the sheer volume of data moving through the system.
According to Shiela Jimenez, head of collections assurance and advisory, Globe ARMS had “reached its end of life,” resulting in a continuous decline in efficiency. “It couldn’t handle one-to-many or many-to-one reconciliation rules. It had limited matching criteria and latency on processing multiple data. And creating new matching rules required extensive programming.”
As a result, staff had to rely increasingly on manual processes, including the generation of multi-source reports. According to Ivy Victorio, head of external collections assurance and advisory at Globe, “with different data as the basis of reconciled collections per department and multiple data sources from different internal or external systems, our timeliness of reconciliation and reporting was compromised.”
As ARMS grew less efficient, it also became more costly to maintain. The system required ongoing support from a third party, and support costs increased 5% every year.
“We realized that if the system broke down, daily auditing would also have to be performed manually,” says Norman Evangelista, Technical Support, Globe. “This would require a significant—and costly— increase in staff.”
Globe invited several vendors to participate in an RFP and system walkthrough process. BlackLine was the only vendor who provided a demo. “During the demo, the team realized how BlackLine aligned to Globe,” says Suzy Urbano, head of enterprise support, Globe. “It’s cloud-based, fast, and flexible. BlackLine can also adapt any changes in data sources from continuous internal or external systems enhancements or optimization.”
The team was especially interested in BlackLine Transaction Matching. “Transaction Matching would greatly reduce the time we spent on daily audit and reconciliation of collections, deposits, and settlement from our various collection channels and partners,” says Urbano. “We could define multiple match sets and pass rules, set up thresholds for variance, and convert and merge different file formats.”
BlackLine worked closely with Globe during implementation to address all audit and reconciliation challenges. “The implementation team from BlackLine was very knowledgeable and supportive,” says Menchit Briones, vice president for financial control division at Globe. “They provided useful recommendations and suggestions on how we could improve our reconciliation logic and approach.”
Increased transaction matching accuracy and speed. With Transaction Matching, Globe has automated much of the transaction matching process, including one-to-many and many-to-one matches.
“BlackLine’s matching rules are flexible enough to maximize available information in our data sources and convert it into useful matching criteria,” says Constantino.
“As a result, we’ve greatly increased the accuracy of matching results and reports. The best thing is that it doesn’t require additional costs to modify rules. Changes to the rules are handled in house.”
Transaction Matching’s flexibility also allows Globe to match more than just bank transactions.
“BlackLine can be used for other database matching functions as long as there is an identified match key,” says Ronald Andes, BlackLine project lead at Globe.
“With Transaction Matching, we can use any available common values or records of data sources as criteria or pass rules for auto matching. That’s just one of the reasons we highly recommend BlackLine for dynamic, evolving businesses.”
Reduced time to audit findings by 60%. BlackLine has helped Globe ensure greater compliance and lower risk by reducing the time to audit findings.
“BlackLine’s real-time reporting of matched and unmatched items has helped us meet a demand for faster reporting,” says Sheryl Hernandez, Globe’s collections auditor.
“Our reporting of audit findings improved from 30 days to 8 to 12 days, with an auto-matched rate of 90%. This is a critical control in mitigating fraud incidents so prevalent in collection activities.”
Increased confidence in accounting operations. With BlackLine, Globe has reduced the use of manual processes and enabled greater transparency. As a result, the team has greater confidence in accounting operations overall.
“The BlackLine dashboard enables managers to quickly see which accounts require more attention. They can immediately resolve any reconciliation issues,” says Victorio. “BlackLine has also made it possible for users to access the same source of data. As a result, during discussion of variances, we are aligned and referring to one and the same transaction.”
Improved efficiency. With BlackLine, the team is saving tremendous time across the close.
“In just one click, we have a cash validation report ready to be shared and escalated to responsible individuals, which triggers investigation and timely resolution,” says Constantino. “With BlackLine, we’ve saved six hours every month alone.”
Victorio adds, “There are so many ways in which BlackLine has made us more efficient. The platform offers easy, fast navigation, as well as search and filter functionalities. Both save time during analysis and audits. And as reporting is automated, we have more timely tracking of bank statement uploads.”