Accountant Brian Muratore had used BlackLine for five years at Shire Pharmaceuticals. He was responsible for preparation, approval, and system administration. But when the CPA joined Synergy Pharmaceuticals as a director, he found an accounting department still reliant on spreadsheets and manual processes for much of the monthly close.
“There’s life before BlackLine, and life after BlackLine,” said Muratore. “At Shire, I relied on BlackLine every day. When I suddenly had to go back to using a spreadsheet, I felt kind of lost. I wanted to implement BlackLine at Synergy because I had experienced firsthand all the things BlackLine can do.”
Muratore knew that the BlackLine platform would help Synergy’s accountants meet monthly close times more efficiently and increase accuracy and standardization. Yet he also realized
that getting buy-in from a staff accustomed to relying on Excel could be challenging.
“Everybody’s comfortable in Excel, and we all get used to doing things the way we’ve always done them,” said Muratore. “I felt the same way before I started using BlackLine. I was accustomed to doing my reconciliations on paper, but I learned very quickly, while at Shire, that BlackLine made my life as a preparer much easier. And I knew from personal experience that it’s very easy to learn and to use.”
Muratore made the case for BlackLine by highlighting how using the platform would strengthen internal controls and simplify accounting tasks specific to the pharmaceutical industry. He also emphasized the robust training made available through BlackLine University. “The courses in BlackLine U are really helpful. In fact, for anyone new to BlackLine, I would highly recommend using BlackLine U.”
Synergy Pharmaceuticals implemented BlackLine’s Account Reconciliations and Tasks in 2017, with an eye toward adding other capabilities. “BlackLine makes it very
easy to add on modules as you go—and as you grow as a company,” said Muratore.
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