Kempinski is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group with a history of 120 years. The company’s head office is in Geneva and was established in 1897. Since then, the company has entered the growing market of fully serviced residences and now operates a diverse spectrum of private and serviced residence products. Today, the company continues to add new, exciting destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and The Americas.
The Kempinski team began evaluating software solutions to automate the reconciliation process in 2009. The challenge was finding a solution that would both handle a tremendous volume of transactions and remain available to all users, regardless of time zone or location. Users had to be able to work from the office, from home, or on the road. And while data had to be accessible everywhere, security was also paramount.
In 2010, Kempinski implemented BlackLine Account Reconciliations and Task Management. Because BlackLine is a cloud-based service, Nina Eckerle, director of corporate finance at Kempinski, and her team can now access the entire platform from anywhere, yet still implement strict controls on who can see what and when.
The team always has complete visibility and control over global accounting operations, but each company is securely limited to viewing its own data. BlackLine’s reporting tools also provide visibility and allows Kempinski to track certifications and financial reports to help ensure compliance with growing regulations in Europe and abroad.
Ensured 24/7 secure access to data from anywhere in the world. Eckerle and her team can immediately access accounting data for any hotel, in any country, without searching through spreadsheets or paper files.
“The BlackLine solution is just perfect. We upload everything on a web-based tool, and we can access the details wherever we are, whenever we want, 24 hours a day. Reviewing and approving reconciliations can be done while senior management is traveling. It’s saved us so much time,” says Eckerle. “Everybody is more successful: the preparer, the approver, the reviewer. We’re so happy with BlackLine. Thank you so much to everybody involved in the whole process.”
Increased efficiency and saved up to five days per month by eliminating manual reconciliation tasks. Kempinski’s previous paper-driven financial close process consumed valuable accounting resources, with up to 10 days spent every month on reconciliation alone. Using the Account Reconciliation tool, which provides accountants with a streamlined method to verify the correctness and appropriateness of their balance sheets, the company has reduced time spent on reconciliations by 50%. “With BlackLine, we’re saving between two and five days per month on our reconciliations,” says Eckerle.
Enabled real-time access to data for auditors—and reduced time spent gathering data by one week. With companies in several countries, gathering paperwork for auditors was a time-consuming, inefficient process. Via BlackLine, auditors now have instant, real-time access to all data. “We’re not searching through files and copying documents anymore. Auditors get all the information they need directly from BlackLine. It’s saved us about one week,” says Eckerle.
Gained immediate visibility of tasks and deadlines. Via BlackLine Task Management, the finance team can easily assign and monitor tasks, and automatically notify those responsible when items haven’t been completed. This has been crucial to both identifying bottlenecks and streamlining workflow.