AI-Powered automation for Accounts Receivable
With over 50,000 customers, Resimac is one of Australia and New Zealand’s premium non-bank lenders. Resimac saw double-digit growth in fiscal year 2020, despite the disruption of a global pandemic.
Founded in 1985, Resimac helps people from all walks of life to achieve their lifelong dream of owning a home.
“We work with people who have full-time jobs or part-time jobs, contractors, and the self-employed,” says Santo Ahmed, group financial controller at Resimac. “Every loan is different, so we have a support network of more than 12,000 brokers who tailor each loan to the customer’s need.”
Thousands of broker payments, compounded with operations across two countries, require Accounting and Finance to navigate a complex month-end close. “Even though we are a non-bank player, we’re still made up of 88 entities, and each one of those entities has over 300 GL accounts,” says Ahmed. “The heavy workload at month-end needed a streamlined solution and simplification of processes.”
However, prior to implementation of BlackLine, little of Resimac’s reconciliation process was automated. Thousands of reconciliations were performed manually, an approach that “posed a significant risk”—and not only to the integrity of the balance sheet. Having resources tied up in operational processes meant fewer resources were available for value-add business partnering efforts.
“The quicker you turn around a home loan application, the more likely it is that you will get that customer’s business. That is why Resimac has invested on platform upgrades to streamline the loan application and approval process. But we needed to transform our back-office processes and capabilities as well,” says Ahmed.
“There’s no point in fixing and automating the front end while the back end is still relying on spreadsheets. They have to go hand in hand. Otherwise, it’s like having a Ferrari with a broken engine.”
Leadership not only wanted to eliminate a majority of manual reconciliations—and accompanying risk—but enable remote work for thousands of staff, a priority that later proved to be prescient considering the recent global pandemic.
“We knew we needed a cloud-based solution,” says Ahmed. “I wanted employees to be able to work from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection. BlackLine is a solution that makes that possible.”
BlackLine’s strong presence in the Asia Pacific region was also a deciding factor. “We wanted a partner with a global reach,” says Ahmed. “BlackLine are based in Singapore which means they have visibility into multinational organisations and the challenges they face. This best practices’ visibility is a huge competitive advantage for BlackLine, and it was the key factor in our vendor selection process.”
Achieved an on-time audit, despite lockdown. Despite being in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, Resimac’s recent audit proceeded on time.
“Sydney went into a temporary lockdown, and everyone was suddenly working from home. But the beauty of it is that our audit process wasn’t held up,” says Ahmed. “We simply gave the auditors access to BlackLine, which is cloud-based.”
The ability to give auditors direct access to BlackLine also reduces what Ahmed calls the “middleman effect,” thereby saving time and reducing disruption. “Auditors don’t have to ask certain team members for documentation. They simply go into BlackLine and find what they need. For me, that is the single biggest advantage of having BlackLine.”
Enabled 100% on-time reconciliations. Previously, Resimac’s manual reconciliation process often delayed timely completions.
“Since BlackLine, we have seen 100% on-time completion rates for all month-end reconciliations. With Task Management, managers and employees know what needs to be done and on what timeline. That increased visibility drives accountability.”
Decreased risk with increased visibility into variances. With BlackLine, Ahmed has immediate insight into potentially risky end-of-month variances. “I press a button and BlackLine gives me an end-of-month variances report. I don’t have to go through thousands of accounts, which used to take a tremendous amount of time. Instead, I just filter by the most high-risk accounts and that narrows it down to the accounts that need more attention.”
Cleaned up old accounts and increased integrity of the balance sheet. An unexpected benefit of BlackLine has been the clean-up of old accounts.
“Resimac is not a new company. We have been in the Australian market since 1985,” says Ahmed. “What BlackLine has enabled us to do, because of increased visibility and transparency, is flush out historical accruals that someone posted a long time ago—and someone else just rolled over. These weren’t material. However, BlackLine helped us discover them and subsequently clean up our accounts.”
This also led to the creation of a standard operating procedure, uploaded into BlackLine. “We now have a policy in place mandated for every single account. When I go to the auditors, I have full confidence in the integrity of my balance sheet. I know that there won’t be any surprises the following year.”
Auto-matched 70% of transactions. Automating matching has been a game changer for Resimac’s Accounting and Finance teams.
“The part I’m most excited about? We have millions, if not billions, of transactional values being reconciled each month,” says Ahmed. “With BlackLine, we are auto-matching 70% of our transactions. BlackLine tells me that we can increase that to 90-95% in the future!”
Accelerated Resimac’s digital transformation journey Resimac’s CEO and CFO are supportive of continuous innovation. “If I were to approach leadership with a solution that is going to automate our processes and eliminate risk, they would immediately be on board,” says Ahmed. “Innovation is a very important factor in our company’s future plans, and BlackLine is a key part of that journey.”