Reducing Time Spent on Daily Cash Reconciliations by 85% while Increasing Visibility & Accountability

Established in 2008, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) is a global leader in local commerce. By leveraging both the company’s global relationships and its scale, Groupon benefits small business owners and consumers: consumers gain access to deals all over the world, while local merchants increase business opportunities and revenue. The company went public in 2011.

The Challenge

For Groupon, going from a one-city operation to a company operating in 40 countries in a mere seven years caused significant challenges around visibility and accountability in the financial close process. “Due to our rapid growth, our global processes began to decentralize, and different regions began using different tools,” said Joseph Albrecht, financial systems manager, at Groupon. “In certain countries, the close process would fall behind schedule. Yet we didn’t have real visibility into who was behind. Additionally, as a public company, it was critical that we made it to a five-day close.”

Groupon’s reliance on Excel spreadsheets to manage reconciliations not only left the company vulnerable to human error, but also consumed three to four hours of valuable team member time each day. Accountants were stuck entering data and coordinating spreadsheets, leaving little time to identify discrepancies or focus on analysis. According to Albrecht, “We really needed to find ways to make our processes more efficient and completely centralize our reconciliation process.

Industry

Region

United States

COMPANY SIZE

Enterprise

BUSINESS IMPACT

Meilleure visibilité et responsabilité des entités, reporting de fin d’année rationnalisé et répondant aux demandes des auditeurs, évolution permanente des processus comptables parallèlement à l’évolution de l’entreprise, réduction du temps passé sur les rapprochements bancaires de 85%.

Pourquoi BlackLine

Après avoir étudié et testé plusieurs solutions, Groupon a choisi la plateforme Financial Controls and Automation de BlackLine. Etant donné qu’il s’agissait d’une solution 100% cloud, les équipes financières et comptables du monde entier étaient en mesure d’accéder facilement aux données de clôture sans avoir à attendre que leurs homologues aient préparé, signé, scanné ou envoyé tel tableau ou tel document. De plus, BlackLine s’intégrait parfaitement avec les ERP préexistants chez Groupon tels que Microsoft Great Plains et NetSuite.

“We saw that BlackLine would allow us the flexibility to roll out the new system and process to accounting teams across the world very rapidly,” said Albrecht. “Additionally, BlackLine has a suite of products we could gradually add, in the future, as we need them. It was definitely a plus that all of the products integrate seamlessly with each other.”

Groupon a mis en place les produits Account Reconciliation et Transaction Matching de BlackLine à ses 80 entités sur une période de sept mois. "L’implémentation s’est déroulée avec une grande simplicité. Les consultants BlackLine nous ont accompagnés au cours du processus de configuration de la plateforme, et nous ont ensuite transmis les recommandations d’usage ainsi que divers trucs et astuces pour s’assurer que tout se passe pour le mieux. L’installation du système nous a permis de construire un socle solide pour nos équipes partout dans le monde», explique Joseph Albrecht. "La solution BlackLine a été conçue pour faciliter la navigation des utilisateurs, ce qui a grandement contribué à son adoption facile par nos équipes".

The Results

Increased visibility and accountability. Prior to implementing BlackLine, Groupon’s core accounting and finance teams had no real-time visibility of financial closing processes across more than 500 markets in 40 countries. Today, the team knows exactly where each business entity is in the close process. “BlackLineensures countries and individuals are held accountable. We can instantly see who is completing their tasks and who is falling behind schedule,” said Albrecht. “Additionally, upper management has more insight into the month-end reconciliation process. BlackLine solved our lack of visibility problem.”

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