A publicly traded company, Dun & Bradstreet helps businesses grow valuable relationships by connecting them with the prospects, suppliers, clients, and partners that matter most. Nearly 90% of the Fortune 500, and companies of every size around the world, rely Dun & Bradstreet every day for data, insights, and analytics.
Dun & Bradstreet’s focus on continual growth, while great for the company’s bottom line, put increasing pressure on the finance department. Most challenging was ensuring consistent controls across 70 operating entities worldwide. Each local market’s financial close was still operated separately, severely limiting the visibility and transparency so crucial to maintaining shareholder confidence.
“Our organization is challenged every day to support the business’s concentration on global growth, while still executing the close in the most modern and efficient way. But with our previous system, at any one time we never knew the true status of key financial processes,” said Gretchen Sikora, Senior Finance Leader at Dun & Bradstreet. “We didn’t know if reconciliations were completed, documented, and reviewed properly. There was no mechanism to capture our risks and opportunities in a methodical way. This created environment of many surprises during the financial close, which made us a reactive, instead of a proactive, organization.”
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