Spending More Time Analyzing Balances and Reviewing Results

Founded in 1966, Saddle Creek is a family-owned company offering comprehensive logistics services. The company has more than 16 million square feet of warehouse space, 37 locations nationwide, and experience in food and beverage, electronics, recreation, and more. The company’s motto, “Whatever It Takes” exemplifies the company’s commitment to ensuring the complete satisfaction of every customer.

The Challenge

Saddle Creek has experienced tremendous growth for several years. While this success has translated into increased profits and market share, for the accounting department it also meant more GL accounts—and a more time-consuming month-end close. Yet the department was still stuck using a paper-based reconciliation process that only increased in complexity as the company expanded.

According to Paige Williamson, assistant controller at Saddle Creek, “We kept all of our reconciliations in a manila folder for each fiscal year. There was one folder for each GL account, so the volume of folders was very difficult to move around for approvals,” said Williamson. “It was also challenging to keep track of who had the reconciliations, which ones had been approved, or who had a folder. Plus, attachments that backed up the reconciliations weren’t always included, due to the lack of room.”

The paper-based system also meant audit preparation was more time consuming than it needed to be: “It took us two to three hours to get all the reconciliations into the conference room, put them in order, and make sure they were complete.”




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Business Impact

Freed accountants for value-added work, increased accuracy, shortened new hire time to productivity, improved visibility and access, reduced prep time for audits from 3 hours to a few minutes.

More Growth in the Playbook

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.”

The Results

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