Until recently, however, MedComp’s own accounting and finance processes were ailing. It took three finance team members a full week each month to reconcile hundreds of accounts across nearly a dozen entities with laborious manual work in Excel. The monthly close dragged out to as many as 30 days, while MedComp lacked visibility into financials to help guide critical decisions.
“It was just too much manual work in Excel,” says Lee Lambert, MedComp’s director of finance and treasurer. “You could find out in your next reporting period that you missed something in the quarterly close, and that your P&L wasn’t correct. I wanted to know where our financials were on a daily basis.”
That’s changed since the 100-person company deployed BlackLine Account Reconciliations and Task Management, making dramatic gains in efficiency, visibility, and control across accounting and finance.
Lambert had used Trintech in the past, and saw in a BlackLine presentation, and through hands-on experience that BlackLine offers much better ease of use, a more mode experience, and better support. “BlackLine is a lot simpler and easier to use, and things flow more easily,” Lambert says. “BlackLine is just a more updated system than Trintech, and customer service is better. With Trintech you’re lucky to get a call back.”
With some support from BlackLine, MedComp did a self-implementation of Account Reconciliations and Task Management in late 2016 with relative ease. “Implementing software can be a nightmare, but BlackLine was a pleasant surprise,” Lambert says. “Our BlackLine rollout was pretty simple and easy, and we were up and running in three weeks.” Lambert estimates MedComp could have had BlackLine set up in as little as a week if it had worked full-time on the project.
Aligning with a Sage Intacct ERP solution that replaced QuickBooks in late 2015, BlackLine has helped MedComp boost accounting and finance productivity by 50 percent. The company is closing its monthly books up to five times faster than before, even while trimming its finance team size in half by leaving vacated positions unfilled.
“BlackLine is a terrific tool that’s made our lives a lot easier,” Lambert says. “It’s reduced our staffing cost, it’s accelerated our close process, and it’s given us a better understanding of our financials.”
Reduced the finance team by one FTE. By cutting manual work with BlackLine, MedComp eliminated the need for one full-time equivalent (FTE) in accounting and didn’t refill a vacated position. Sage Intacct has also helped MedComp reduce manual work previously done by another two FTEs. In all, MedComp has trimmed finance team size from six to three individuals with cloud-based BlackLine and Sage Intacct.
Accelerated close times 5x with continuous accounting. Monthly close cycles that ran 20 to 30 days are now complete in five or six days since BlackLine was implemented. “BlackLine is continuous accounting, so you know where you stand every day,” Lambert says. Task Management has proven particularly valuable to streamline workflows, eliminate oversights, and strengthen control in the close.
Cut work from a week to two days with daily reconciliations. Reconciliations work across 400 accounts and eight entities now consumes about two days’ time, versus a full week in the past. Moreover, MedComp is now reconciling accounts daily instead of its previous end-of-month process. The ability to auto-reconcile about 100 inactive and zero accounts in BlackLine has contributed to the time savings.
50 percent productivity gain opens time for analytics. The MedComp finance team is 50 percent more productive with BlackLine, allowing more time for value-add activities. “BlackLine has given us a lot more time to do analytics work and focus on other areas of the company,” Lambert says. “We’re working on processes and procedures, analyzing accounts to make sure they’re profitable, and helping out other departments.”
Gained new visibility and sped audit cycles by weeks. MedComp now has timely, accurate data on a daily basis on available cash, expenses, AR and AP balances, and budget vs. actuals, helping guide decisions. And it’s cut two to three weeks from annual audit cycles by giving auditors read-only access to BlackLine. “We don’t have to go hunt for documents, because information is at the auditors’ fingertips in BlackLine,” Lambert says. “We don’t have boxes and boxes of paper anymore, and that’s a good thing.”
Next up, MedComp is exploring the use of BlackLine Transaction Matching to replace manual processes of reconciling bank statements, which takes about an hour each day. With BlackLine, Lambert expects to cut that cumbersome workload substantially while improving process integrity and accuracy. It would also further improve on job satisfaction for the finance team.
“People are no longer stressed out about getting things done on time,” Lambert says. “Now that we’re able to close faster with BlackLine and Sage Intacct, people can leave work on time. Our finance employees are happier, and it’s really important for us to keep our staff.”