Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Vernon Hills, Illinois, Baxter Credit Union (BCU) provides banking, business, investment, and credit card services to more than 200,000 members.
BCU is the fastest growing credit union chartered in the past 30 years. Yet while their member base and service offerings continued to expand, their highly manual reconciliation process hadn’t changed in years. Equally challenging, the process was still favored by long-term employees, and naturally there was slight hesitation to the introduction of any new technology.
According to Charlotte O’Neill, accounting manager at BCU, “We recently surpassed the $2 billion mark in assets. We’re at a whole new level, and we can’t continue to do things the way we’ve been doing them. In business, it’s evolve or die. Change is never easy, but we just needed to help people understand that the process had to change. When you’ve been working at the same place for 20 years and done the same thing for 20 years, change is hard.”
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