Changing customer needs, as well as the financial crisis of 2008, drove Achmea’ s leadership to improve several key business processes, including the close. The organization’s customers were demanding the lowest possible insurance costs; improving the efficiency of the close—one of the most labour- and time-intensive activities in finance—would not only free up accounting resources for more important work, but enable the department to contribute to the bottom line by reducing close-related costs.
Achmea leaders reviewed four potential suppliers in the search for cloud-based close and reconciliation software. The organization wanted a solution that would not only integrate effortlessly with their existing ERP, SAP, but also be one that is user-friendly and designed first for the end-user. “We chose BlackLine for several reasons. Primarily, because
it is a user-friendly end-user tool, and we did not need a lot of IT involvement to implement. This is important to us – the business, and it’s perfect to use,” says Schaaphok. This combination of robust technology and a simple, easy-to-learn, user interface had to come at a reasonable cost. Furthermore, it is important for Achmea to have a solution that integrates well with SAP. “All our journal entries are in SAP. That is the basis of our general ledger,” Schaaphok adds. “With BlackLine, you can see the same data you see in SAP. But, you can do so much more with that data in BlackLine,” he adds.
For Achmea, Blackline’s Finance Controls and Automation platform not only met all their criteria for a new system but was also implemented in less time and at lower costs than expected. IFRS implementation (electronic balance sheets) across all business units and operations only took nine months due to Achmea’ s project approach, which included a small project group dedicated to implementation, key stakeholder buy-in, and a single point of contact within BlackLine.
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