The Accounting & Finance Innovation Summit you can’t miss.
InTheBlack combines technology, best practices, and networking to help accounting and finance professionals maximise value from BlackLine and accelerate their financial transformation. Explore the latest technology with practical guidance and tips. Learn from customer successes so you can implement best practices and transform your organisation.
New to BlackLine? The conference showcases how forward-thinking businesses have strategies focused on how to move faster, be more responsive, less manual, and more transparent. Join us as you advance your career and network with thought leaders and like-minded peers to learn and share innovative ideas. Event registration is complimentary.
This is InTheBlack
Agenda** subject to change
Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Registration Opens and Breakfast
Welcome & Introductions
Trust is in the Balance- Executive KeynoteAs the world around us seems increasingly uncertain, building and maintaining trust is more important than ever. Trust in a company might start with the CEO, but accounting must be the stewards of accurate financials. More importantly, by liberating yourself from the more mundane elements of producing financial statements, accounting professionals at every stage of their careers can embrace their new role as partners in their business, providing strategic leadership and guidance. Presented by Therese Tucker, BlackLine’s founder and chief executive officer.
Building Trust in a Digital World - Presented by EYWe are living in a transformative age as digital technology, globalization and demographic trends continue to disrupt not only organisations but our society as a whole. As Finance professionals, we see the role of Finance increasingly relied upon as a source of long term value creation moving beyond traditional cost management and controllership functions. Where once Finance was predominantly focused on reporting and balancing the books, it is now becoming a data-driven decision-centre and strategic business partner. As a result, Finance organisations are under undergoing massive transformation with technology playing an increasingly significant role with an impact not only on the capabilities of Finance but also the people who work in this critical business function. At the same time, the transformative age is characterised by increasing risk and uncertainty and as companies seek to deal with this, it will become more important than ever to trust the accuracy and completeness of financial results while develop new and innovative ways to drive insight. We believe leading companies will maintain a high level of trust, while maintaining flexibility and driving insight in a cost effective manner, by choosing the right tools to succeed.
Customer Success Showcase & PanelHear from three BlackLine customers who will share highlights of their successful transformations. Following the conclusion of their sessions, we invite your questions during a short panel on best practices and lessons learned on these customers’ journeys.
Digital Controllership – Explore Your Digital Potential - Presented by DeloitteIn a world where digital change has become rapid and new ways of working are being discovered, we are constantly being reminded of what Finance could look like in the next 10 years. While it’s critical for organisations to keep an eye on the future, many finance professionals are seeking practical, tangible insights to understand today’s digital capabilities and in doing so, plot a pathway for their own organisations digital evolution. Digital ControllershipTM provides a platform to think differently about how Controllership is delivered across the organisation, improving governance and efficiency through cloud-based technology. Case studies will provide a window into the ‘art of the possible’, providing tangible takeaways to apply in your own organisation.
The Intercompany Journey: Enabling your Top IC Use CasesIntercompany transformation begins with knowledge gathering. How do we do Intercompany now? How can we do Intercompany better? How are others managing similar processes? Learning from successful Intercompany transformation use cases fosters better decisions in our own organizations. Join BlackLine for a presentation of common Intercompany use cases and how the Intercompany Hub facilitated transformation in these use cases.
SAP Breakout - Registration RequiredFinance in the Digital Era - 1:15 PM- 1:45 PM
Joy Kennedy, from SAP’s Digital Transformation Office, helps companies transform their finance functions by advising on the latest trends and innovations. In this special presentation, she will discuss emerging trends and how finance is expected to evolve in the digital era. Joy will also describe the key technologies that are underpinning the change in the way Finance works, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain and predictive analytics.
SAP & BlackLine - Complementary Solutions 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM Whether you're already running SAP S/4HANA, simplifying your ERP landscape with SAP Central Finance, or still evaluating next steps, BlackLine can help streamline your transformation. As the only SAP Premium Qualified solution for the Financial Close, BlackLine fills an SAP whitespace. Our solutions optimise and automate traditionally manual accounting and finance processes from end-to-end, freeing critical resources to focus on high value activities or other critical initiatives, like an SAP S/4HANA implementation. In this invite-only session, experts from BlackLine and SAP will cover: Where BlackLine fits in your ERP landscape; Why the solutions are complementary to one another; Real world examples of how customers running SAP transformed their financial close process with BlackLine; and what differentiates BlackLine for our users around the world.
Automating Exceptional Outcomes – Moving from Transactions to AnalyticsAccenture predicts about 30 percent of the future finance workforce will soon be focused on by-the-books tasks, and the other 70 percent will be data gurus who connect with the business. This will create competitive advantage as accounting and finance professional are equipped to be strategic partners to the broader business. Moving the focus from transactions to analytics starts by eliminating manual processing and reconciliation. Automating this enables accounting and finance professionals to focus only on exceptions instead of finding them in the first place, and frees teams to tackle everything else on their list. This session will show you how high-volume transaction reconciliations can be automated.
Clarity of Purpose - Measuring Your Transformation JourneyThe only way to improve something is to measure it. With BlackLine’s reporting functionality, companies can gain unique visibility into the progress, results, and risks of their financial close transformation journey. The new dashboards provide users role-based intelligence, enabling everyone to take intuitive action and streamline their workflows.
Designing Software. Building Trust. - Product Keynote & RoadmapWe tend to come to trust software the way we do people. But is that really the best approach? BlackLine’s chief product officer, Isaac Tucker, will explore some philosophical considerations for adopting new software. You will also see the future of BlackLine as Fred Li, Director of Product Management, showcases the product roadmap and what drives BlackLine’s approach to development.
Rules vs. EthicsAndrew Fastow, the former Chief Financial Officer of Enron Corp., will share his story and explore the concept of rules versus ethics.
Ethics is understanding the difference between what is right to do and what you have the right to do. Fraud examiners, Auditors, Regulators, and Compliance experts look for “fraudor employees who are “breaking the rules.” However, a majority of what is determined to be fraud after-the-fact were actually decisions made by employees who believed they were “following the rules.” The traditional definition of fraud does not include a very significant component of fraud, namely “loopholes”.
When is it acceptable to engage in a transaction that technically complies with the rules, but that may be misleading? Can a transaction that technically complies with the rules be considered unethical or illegal? Is it ever appropriate to depart from GAAP or IFRS?
Mr. Fastow will cite examples of such transactions at major companies, he will discuss the rationalizations made by executives to justify their decisions, and he will discuss examples of how these decisions can cause great harm to stakeholders.
Welcome ReceptionJoin event attendees, BlackLine team members, and the event’s sponsors at this networking event.
Finance & Accounting Innovation Journey FrameworkA framework to guide your Finance and Accounting Transformation Journey. A blueprint to measure your current state, prioritize goals, and build out a roadmap of targeted quick, medium and long-term activities for a successful journey to your end game. The framework focuses on 5 key areas: 1. Define and prioritize your goals (end game); 2. Identify the KPIs to track progress; 3. Assess the 5 Core Finance & Accounting Processes; 4. Design a roadmap; 5. Monitor progress
It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint - Nike Transform Processes with BlackLineWhy Nike started with Transaction Matching as the foundation for Reconciliation Management - Understanding the detail that defines a receivable balance and all the factors associated with variances affecting that balance is a key metric for ultimately understanding revenue and cash flow. In this session, Nike will explore their journey to better manage this process by implementing the Transaction Matching product. A general discussion on the high-level approach and points on what it took to get successful will provide perspective on why this must not be a “set it and forget it” approach. With ongoing optimization and continued learnings, the potential to unleash the power of automated and suggested matches, dynamic grouping, and flexible rule operators lead the way to shifting resources from glorified number crunchers to productive variance investigators. With the ability to link and automate Match Sets to other products, a highly successful and efficient transaction matching process can provide a solid foundation for achieving a truly automated reconciliation process.
BlackLine U Workshop: End-To-End Reconciliations with Matching & JournalsGet hands-on experience with BlackLine Transaction Matching and Journal Entry, and set your team up for success. We'll show you how to automate reconciliations and other data matching processes with ease. Together, we'll configure business rules for one to one, one to many, or many to many matches. We will also demonstrate how to leverage cross product functionality and perform end-to-end reconciliations.
Shorten Your Close by Optimising Your Journal Entry ProcessMost companies want to close faster, but struggle with where and how to start. By tracking journal entry data and setting up some basic metrics, you will find that transforming your journal entry processes is more within reach than you may have thought. Attend this session to learn more about a proven approach, and begin the journey of optimising your accounting close process.
Streamlining & Automating Journal Entry ManagementLearn the many ways BlackLine's Automated Journal functionality can be used to streamline the management of your journal entry process. We'll walk you through various use cases and the process for setting this up in your own BlackLine instance.
Best Practices for Using Pass RulesThe key to success when automating your high-volume reconciliations starts with the use of pass rules. This session will cover the impacts pass rules have on matching results, how "tolerances" can be used to improve results, and how you can leverage pass rules to have BlackLine do more of the analysis for you.
BlackLine U Workshop: Streamline Account Reconciliations with Templates & ItemsYou’re using BlackLine to perform your reconciliations, but how can you work even smarter? Determine the most efficient BlackLine Reconciliation template to choose for your reconciliations and determine which controls to add for better visibility, reliability and efficiency. You will be able to see how to customize reconciliation templates, use the controls and manage items to your organization’s benefit.
BlackLine U Premium Training - BlueScope SteelIn this session, Bernard Chang with BlueScope Steel, presents a recent case study of how their company leveraged BlackLine U Premium Training services to increase user adoption of Accounts Reconciliations. The company has been using BlackLine for 8 years and because of some churn, saw declining use of the BlackLine solution.
Both quantitative and qualitative metrics were used to benchmark current use and end-user perceptions of the product to formulate a holistic training and adoption plan. Join us to learn which elements of the plan were effective in increasing product adoption; and ultimately, had positive impact on their business operations. This may help you jump start your efforts too!
Elevating Compliance in the CloudJoin BlackLine product experts for an overview of our new compliance solution. With our built-in cross-product integrations, compliance initiatives flow seamlessly from control performance and execution to evaluation and attestation. Learn how your organization can minimize risk and increase visibility throughout the business.
Thinking Big With TasksBlackLine Task Management provides a number of features to help increase control, automation, and reportability around your process checklists. During this session we will point out these features, discuss how they can help reduce your PBC burdens, and share some tips and tricks to help you get your process under better control.
Exponential Benefits: How BlackLine Solutions Integrate to Save TimeUnderstand the power of BlackLine's integrated platform by exploring how different products work together to increase automation and value to the organization. Learn how to take advantage of functionality like task dependencies and how to connect a journal entry to an account reconciliation.
BlackLine U Workshop: Go Beyond the Balance Sheet: Using Reporting to Analyse Organizational MetricsLearn how to use Reporting to analyze not only the financial health of your organization, but also business process continuity and risk. We will demonstrate how to build and analyze key report charts, and you will be able to answer questions from “what are my reconciling items telling me?” to “what happens when my most productive staff member goes on vacation?” with ease.
BlackLine U Workshop: Calling All System Admins—Maximizing Efficiency with Auto-CertificationsAre you a dedicated BlackLine System Administrator? Attend this workshop to discover our best practices for setting up and managing auto-certification rules. Learn how you can bring added efficiency to the organisation by applying rules to low-risk accounts or accounts with no activity. Set the focus on value-added activities, like handling exceptions and shortening the month-end close.
Complete access to all sessions, entertainment, and networking opportunities.
- Experience All Keynote Sessions
- Enjoy a networking cocktail reception following the first day of conference.
- Network with industry thought leaders in the Sponsor Hub
- Attend hands-on BlackLine U Workshops
- Hear best practices from existing customers
- Gain insight on a variety of topics through breakout sessions.
- Book a one-on-one appointment with an expert at the Customer Success Lab
- Test out new product features at The Sandbox