Hubbell Incorporated is an international manufacturer of quality electrical and electronic products for a broad range of non-residential and residential construction, industrial, and utility applications. With 2015 revenues of $3.4 billion, Hubbell Incorporated operates manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Mexico, China, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia and Ireland. Hubbell also participates in joint
ventures in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and maintains sales offices in Singapore, China, India, Mexico, South Korea, and countries in the Middle East.
Effectively and efficiently managing manufacturing facilities, joint ventures and sales offices in approximately 14 countries requires real-time access to all metrics, including reconciliation completion status and quality ratings. Yet Hubbell’s month-end close process and day-to-day balance sheet reconciliations weren’t standardized across the company’s business units, making real-time visibility and tracking nearly impossible.
“We didn’t have full visibility of the timely completion of account reconciliations and month-end tasks,” said Mark Koolis, power segment assistant controller at Hubbell. “If corporate finance wanted to see a reconciliation or the composition of an account balance, they would have to reach out to a local finance group. It was made even more difficult by the time differences associated with being a global finance organization.”
The lack of real-time information also made the compilation of data difficult as well as ensuring the entire company was in compliance with corporate policies and procedures. “Our executives were being forced to sign off on public filings without having real-time visibility into key areas of finance and accounting, such as reconciliations and tasks,” said Koolis. “We knew we had a gap, especially around ensuring access to, and visibility into, reconciliations and month-end close tasks. BlackLine helped us close the gap and start focusing on more value-add activities.”
In step with Under Armour’s mission of relentlessly pursuing innovation, over the last two years the company has acquired several new mobile app businesses and aptly named this market “Connected Fitness.” For Boyle, these businesses — MapMyFitness (acquired in December 2013), MyFitnessPal and Endomondo (brought on in the first quarter of 2015), and Under Armour’s own app, UA Record — represent not only a new reportable segment, but also three new company codes that operate on completely different non-SAP ERP systems and need to be incorporated into the company’s monthly close process. Using BlackLine, the company has been able to gain visibility into account balances and important information regarding the newly acquired entities. “BlackLine has been really useful in terms of gaining quick visibility into the ending balances in each of the accounts, giving our leadership a chance to review transactional details and key account balances without having full integration of those other ERP systems,” says Boyle. “That will continue to evolve as we go forward.”
Goals: Adopt a less manual and more scalable approach to monthly account reconciliations and book closing processes, as well as journal-entry retention, support, and review
Strategy: Implemented a scalable, automated, cloud-based solution for account reconciliations, journal entry, and financial tasks that integrates with SAP ERP and delivers push-button reporting and real-time access to data
Outcome: Shaved days of work off the desks of Under Armour’s accounting employees, who are now able to spend more of their time analyzing balances, reviewing results, and ensuring relevance and accuracy, rather than monitoring completeness and executing administrative tasks