Established in 1971 as one of the first electronic stock markets, Nasdaq has since expanded into a global company offering multiple exchanges, technology solutions, and corporate services, including investor and public relations.
With a massive global footprint, Nasdaq operates in 26 countries across six continents. While expansion is paramount to the company’s strategy, the growth has added tremendous complexity to accounting and operations. According to Mike Galus, vice president, finance and accounting, at Nasdaq, “We have a massive global footprint, touching customers everywhere. That’s created a strain on the finance and accounting resources of the company to keep up with the different businesses we have.”
The accounting and finance teams relied on Excel-based templates and macros to support reconciliation. “It was a very manual, cumbersome process. There wasn’t a lot of standardization, which made it difficult to summarize information, especially when you had to search through different Excel files all with varying degrees of support and standards. We were also getting pressure from our internal and external auditors to get control of the process.”
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