Spending More Time Analyzing Balances and Reviewing Results

The Challenge

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Cameron LNG operates a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near the Gulf of Mexico.

For Cameron LNG, an already time-consuming monthly close process was made even more difficult with an outdated task management / reconciliation software (a BlackLine competitor). “Our existing solution at the time didn’t require individual account reconciliations. Essentially, one global reconciliation was performed for the entire balance sheet,” said Michael Sullivan, Principal Reporting Accountant at Cameron. As a result, there was little to no visibility into

the quality of post-month-end close reconciliations and accounting journal entry support was not accessible in a user friendly manner. Sullivan notes further that “While transitioning primary accounting responsibility from our majority owner to the newly formed joint venture, during month-end close, we wanted real time line of sight to where we stood in the process. However, using our old solution, when we attempted to use our legacy task management solution, we often found it wasn’t updated by the former accounting team.

Complicating matters as noted previously, Cameron LNG was in the midst of a transfer of accounting responsibility from the majority owner of the Joint Venture to a standalone entity. The ability to maintain accuracy while taking over accounting functions from a different group was a significant concern. “We needed to ensure that we could guarantee the integrity of the financial statements, as well as take ownership of month-end close cycle and hold ourselves accountable.”

ERP

SAP

Region

Vereinigte Staaten

Company Size

Enterprise

Business Impact

Streamlined the month-end close process, reduced potential for errors, improved accountability, increased transparency, enabled visibility/tracking of assets, and seamlessly enabled reconciliation continuity between legacy general ledger and recently deployed SAP.

More Growth in the Playbook

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.”

The Results

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

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