Performance Food Group (PFG) is a food and beverage distribution company with 11,000 employees. The company currently operates 67 distribution centers and 11 Merchant’ Mart locations across the United States.
While PFG relied on modern automation practices and technology to ensure the efficient distribution of products, the company still struggled with manual, paper based account reconciliations.
“We literally had close to 2,000 separate binders to maintain our account reconciliations using stacks and stacks of paper,” said Philip Manoff, senior manager of accounting at PFG. “Because it was all paper based, we didn’t have any transparency throughout the organization. We had no way of sharing information, no visibility of account reconciliations outside our group. We didn’t have a way to verify the completeness of our account reconciliations on a company level.”
A completely manual journal process was also highly labor intensive: after entries were created, they were emailed and then printed. “I would have a stack of paper several feet high every month,” said Manoff. “I reviewed the entries manually, page by page, and sent back to the coordinator to post into the system.”
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