About 18 months ago, the Ruralco finance team realized changes had to be made to the existing reconciliation processes. The team first reviewed and implemented some simple automation within SAP and then sought a tool to standardize the way in which reconciliations were completed and information was collected from each business unit. Eustace says he had been familiar with BlackLine from a previous position and felt it would be a good fit for Ruralco. After a thorough evaluation, a decision was made to implement the BlackLine Reconciliation Management and Task Management modules with a direct link to the SAP platform.
BlackLine’s Reconciliation Management and Task Management solutions are key components of the BlackLine Finance Controls & Automation Platform. The BlackLine platform is a cloud-based solution that centralizes and streamlines financial close operations and other key finance and accounting processes for midsize and large organizations. The solution is designed to increase operational efficiency, real-time visibility, control and compliance to ensure end-to-end financial close management. “BlackLine assisted us with the deployment and we went live across the group in September 2015,” he says. “It wasn’t long before we were seeing some significant benefits.”
Finance staff found the BlackLine reconciliation and task management products intuitive to use and, after some online training and a hosted webinar, they were up and running. The team can now easily track what reconciliations have been prepared and approved across the company and preparation times have been slashed. “We can now view our key accounts and have certainty about what is flowing through to the P&L,” says Eustace. “Previously, the delays with completing reconciliations made this process slow and challenging. Having a real-time view was impossible.” BlackLine has also helped with workflows and approvals. In addition, Tasks can be assigned to individuals and their progress monitored. This means that, should a staff member be away or leave the company, tasks can be easily reassigned.