Eckerle and her team began evaluating software solutions to automate the reconciliation process in 2009. The challenge was finding a solution that would both handle a tremendous volume of transactions and remain available to all users, regardless of time zone or location. Users had to be able to work from the office, from home, or on the road. And while data had to be accessible everywhere, security was also paramount.
In 2010, Kempinski implemented BlackLine’s Account Reconciliation and Task Management tools. Because BlackLine is a cloud-based service, Eckerle and her team can now access the entire platform from anywhere, yet still implement strict controls on who can see what and when. The team always has complete visibility and control over global accounting operations, but each company is securely limited to viewing its own data. BlackLine’s reporting tools also provide visibility and allow Kempinski to track certifications and financial reports to help ensure compliance with growing regulations in Europe and abroad.
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