Philips Medical Systems develops innovative solutions by partnering with clinicians and their customers to improve patient outcomes, provide better value, and expand access to care. Their 37,000 employees are offering more than 450 products and services in 100 countries, and 8% of sales is invested back into research and development.
Before Smart Close, Philips had a well-defined closing process, but like many companies, they managed closing tasks with Excel spreadsheets that were distributed by email or network servers. It took many man-hours to rigorously monitor all the parts of the process to ensure that each item was completed on time and according to plan. On average, Philips’ monthly closing process took more than a week to complete because of Excel inefficiencies. In addition, Excel was an inadequate solution because it provided neither reliable evidence that process procedures were completed correctly nor the documentation that is essential for internal control tasks.
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