As one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in Canada, Aviva Canada provides home, auto, and business insurance to more than three million customers nationwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc and has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations, and 1,700 independent broker partners.
For any company, account reconciliation is a key financial control in ensuring balance sheet integrity. However, Aviva Canada’s reconciliation process was highly manual, costly, and ineffective. More than 1800 GL accounts across 6 insurance companies and 10 broker legal entities had to be reconciled every month. The highly manual process required 50 team members, many of whom spent their time on transactional processes, including matching and validating data between GL and third-party information in Excel.
According to Amanda Lam, vice president, finance operations, at Aviva Canada, “We needed a way to streamline our processes and reduce the workload on our already overtaxed staff and free up our team to perform other value-added tasks and analysis. There was also a desire for more visibility and transparency across the entire organization. We wanted one version of the truth.”
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