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Empower Accounting to manage and control the end-to-end financial close process by automating accounting workflows, providing a centralized and secure workspace to perform period-end accounting activities, and streamlining financial reporting.
Standardize, control, and streamline reconciliations.
Increase accuracy and efficiency across your account reconciliation process and produce timely and accurate financial statements. Drive accuracy in the financial close by providing a streamlined method to substantiate your balance sheet.
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Standardize, accelerate, and centrally manage accounting processes – from month-end close tasks to PBC checklists – with hierarchical task lists, role-based workflows, and real-time dashboards.
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Create, review, and approve journals, then electronically certify, post them to and store them with all supporting documentation. Automatically create, populate, and post journals to your ERP based on your rules.
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Simplify, standardize, and automate your financial close in SAP.
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Accelerate dispute resolution with automated workflows and maintain customer relationships with operational reporting. Unlock full control and visibility of disputes and provide better insight into how they impact KPIs, such as DSO and aged debt provisions.
Maximize your time with data-driven prioritization.
Make the most of your team’s time by automating accounts receivables tasks and using data to drive priority, action, and results. Monitor and analyze user performance, ensuring key actions quickly.
Turn payment data into actionable, real-time intelligence.
Automatically process and analyze critical information such as sales and payment performance data, customer payment trends, and DSO to better manage risk and develop strategies to improve operational performance.
Automate invoice processing to reduce manual invoicing costs, maintain compliance with e-invoicing regulations, and increase efficiency across your invoice-to-pay process.
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Centralize, streamline, and automate end-to-end intercompany operations with global billing, payment, and automated reconciliation capabilities that provide speed and accuracy. Ignite staff efficiency and advance your business to more profitable growth.
Automate, optimize, and manage intercompany non-trade transactions.
Ensure consistent regulatory and tax compliance by automating non-trade transactions and invoices while enforcing trading relationships and policies, as well as required taxes and transfer pricing.
Centralize, streamline, and automate intercompany reconciliations and dispute management.
Seamlessly integrate with all intercompany systems and data sources. Automatically identify intercompany exceptions and underlying transactions causing out-of-balances with rules-based solutions to resolve discrepancies quickly.
Streamline and automate intercompany transaction netting and settlement to ensure cash precision.
Enable greater collaboration between Accounting and Treasury with real-time visibility into open transactions. Integrate with treasury systems to facilitate and streamline netting, settlement, and clearing to optimize working capital.
Get set up quickly for a streamlined and automated close.
The path from traditional to modern accounting is different for every organization. BlackLine’s Modern Accounting Playbook delivers a proven-practices approach to help you identify and prioritize your organization’s critical accounting gaps and map out an achievable path to success.
Save time and cost, decrease risk, and elevate the organization.
BlackLine’s foundation for modern accounting creates a streamlined and automated close. We’re dedicated to delivering the most value in the shortest amount of time, equipping you to not only control close chaos, but also foster F&A excellence.
Invest in your future by unifying and automating accounting work.
To sustain timely performance of daily activities, banking and financial services organizations are turning to modern accounting and finance practices. It’s no longer a matter of whether or not to digitally transform. It’s a matter of when and how.
Adapt to changing consumer preferences with agile accounting.
To mitigate financial statement risk and increase operational effectiveness, consumer goods organizations are turning to modern accounting and leading best practices. Simply sticking with ‘the way it’s always been done’ is a thing of the past.
Energize your accounting team by creating capacity with automation.
While you are innovating to produce safe, reliable, and sustainable products and services, our solutions help accounting teams save time, reduce risk, and create capacity to support your organization's strategic objectives.
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Working capital, cash flows, collections opportunities, and other critical metrics depend on timely and accurate processes. Ensure services revenue has been accurately recorded and related payments are reflected properly on the balance sheet.
Unlock capacity and strengthen resilience by automating accounting.
To respond and lead amid supply chain challenges demands on accounting teams in manufacturing companies are higher than ever. Guide your business with agility by standardizing processes, automating routine work, and increasing visibility.
Tie out millions of transactions automatically.
Retailers are recalibrating their strategies and investing in innovative business models to drive transformation quickly, profitably, and at scale. Save time, reduce risk, and create capacity to support your organization's strategic objectives.
Transform the way you work.
You've transformed the way we experience the world. It's time to embrace modern accounting technology to save time, reduce risk, and create capacity to focus your time on what matters most.
BlackLine is part of your SAP financial mission control center. Our solutions complement SAP software as part of an end-to-end offering for Finance & Accounting. BlackLine solutions address the traditional manual processes that are performed by accountants outside the ERP, often in spreadsheets.
Global brands and the fastest growing companies run Oracle and choose BlackLine to accelerate digital transformation. BlackLine delivers comprehensive solutions that unify accounting and finance operations across your Oracle landscape.
Gain global visibility and insight into accounting processes while reducing risk, increasing productivity, and ensuring accuracy. Close the gaps left in critical finance and accounting processes with minimal IT support.
Adapt and innovate with a hyperconnected Accounting function and give everyone the insights and freedom to thrive by connecting your data, processes, and teams with intelligent automation solutions for accounting needs.
ESG is an opportunity for F&A teams to have a direct impact on how their organizations interact with the communities around them and how they deliver value to their stakeholders.
Rising labor costs and shifting expectations are contributing to unprecedented change in the labor market and altering the way companies and their executives think about talent management.
ERP transformations are business transformations. Finance and accounting expertise is not only needed to prevent ERP transformation failures, but F&A leaders are poised to help drive project plans and outcomes.
Finance and IT leaders share a common goal of equipping their organizations with ways to work smarter to enable competitive advantage. This intersection between CFO and CIO priorities is driving more unity in terms of strategy and execution.
F&A teams have embraced their expanding roles, but unprecedented demand for their time coupled with traditional manual processes make it difficult for F&A to execute effectively. Transformation is necessary to address these challenges.
F&A leadership can have a significant impact by creating sustainable, scalable processes that can support the business before, during, and long after the IPO. This company-wide effort crosses multiple functional areas and is reinforced by critical project management and a strong technology infrastructure.
Timely, reliable data is critical for decision-making and reporting throughout the M&A lifecycle. Without accurate information, organizations risk making poor business decisions, paying too much, issuing inaccurate financial statements, and other errors.
The revenue cycle refers to the entirety of a company’s ordering process from the time an order is placed until an invoice is paid and settled. The inability to apply payments on time and accurately can not only lock up cash, but also negatively impact future sales and the overall customer experience.
While the responsibility to maintain compliance stretches across the organization, F&A has a critical role in ensuring compliance with financial rules and regulations. Together with expanding roles, new expectations from stakeholders, and evolving regulatory requirements, these demands can place unsustainable strain on finance and accounting functions.
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More than 4,000 companies of all sizes, across all industries, trust BlackLine to help them modernize their financial close, accounts receivable, and intercompany accounting processes.
Join an exclusive community of peers, partners, and BlackLine experts.
BlackLine users around the world gain access to a digital hub of insight, information, and engagement that enables the exchange of ideas and leading practices for peak F&A performance.
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BlackLine Services combine leading practices and expert guidance with best-in-class technology to help your F&A organization seamlessly implement sound processes and solutions, identify new opportunities for accounting optimization, and expand into areas you never imagined you would have the time to tackle.
Build a foundation for world-class accounting.
Whether planning your first implementation or expanding your BlackLine platform, leverage expert guidance to help you build and execute your vision, drive unified, automated, and continuous accounting processes, and enable Finance and Accounting to deliver strategic business value.
Accelerate adoption and drive productivity and performance.
One of the critical success drivers for any software technology is effective user training and adoption. Whether you are deploying for the first time or creating a sustainable education program for maximum value creation, explore how you can take the next steps to upskill your users.
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From onboarding to financial operations excellence, our customer success management team helps you unlock measurable value. Through workshops, webinars, digital success options, tips and tricks, and more, you will develop leading-practice processes and strategies to propel your organization forward.
Go beyond with end-to-end transformation.
Powerful technology is only part of the story. Successful transformation requires expert guidance from a trusted partner. Explore offerings that unlock new transformation opportunities and make transformation a reality.
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BlackLine provides global product support across geographies, languages, and time zones, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are here for you with industry-leading support whenever and wherever you need it.
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Whether new to BlackLine or a longtime customer, we curate events to guide you along every step of your modern accounting journey.
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Explore our schedule of upcoming webinars to find inspiration, including industry experts, strategic alliance partners, and boundary-pushing customers. And, earn CPE credits while you're at it.
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Dive into digital finance transformation.
Explore the future of accounting over a cup of coffee with our curated collection of white papers and ebooks written to help you consider how you will transform your people, process, and technology.
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BlackLine Magazine provides daily updates on everything from companies that have transformed F&A to new regulations that are coming to disrupt your day, week, and month. Check back often for the latest commentary and guidance.
Brush up on key accounting terms.
Whether you're new to F&A or an experienced professional, sometimes you need a refresher on common finance and accounting terms and their definitions. BlackLine's glossary provides descriptions for industry words and phrases, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to additional resources.
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BlackLine is a high-growth, SaaS business that is transforming and modernizing the way finance and accounting departments operate. Our cloud software automates critical finance and accounting processes. We empower companies of all sizes across all industries to improve the integrity of their financial reporting, achieve efficiencies and enhance real-time visibility into their operations.
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The month-end close is an accounting procedure that finalizes and closes out all financial activity for a business for the preceding month. This timeframe represents a well-defined period for accounting purposes. The process involves reviewing, documenting, and reconciling all financial transactions for that period. It is intended to ensure that all transactions have been properly accounted for, which allows the business to close the books on this financial activity and start a new month with a fresh set of records.
The month-end close is an integral process that helps a business provide accurate financial data on a regular basis. Reviewing and reconciling account information for the business on a monthly basis, or some other regular interval, supports business evaluation and forward thinking. It helps catch errors before they become costly and helps evaluate the company’s financial well-being and its progress in meeting performance objectives. The process helps maintain consistency and accuracy within the organization. It supports sound decision-making, strategic planning, and financial investment.
Performing a month-end close helps build confidence in the company’s financial data which is used to prepare its financial statements. The process ensures that the data in those statements is reliable and accurate. It also helps the business prepare for tax filings.
Like all deadlines, the month-end close can be a source of tension for some organizations. However, with proper preparation and systems in place, it is a source of reliable information and a sound business practice.
Here is a month-end close process flowchart to visualize some of the key steps and processes.
The month-end close procedure involves several steps.
To perform a month-end close, the business’s accounting team will review, record, and reconcile all account information to confirm that the data is accurate.
Consistent and regular (daily, if possible) journal entries of all transactions that will impact the financial records will help avoid delays and reduce errors when it is time to perform the month-end close.
All departments whose activities impact financial records should follow similar procedures and maintain similar schedules to support the month-end close. Following a sound basis of accounting such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) will maintain consistency across the organization and support the month-end close process.
With this information in place, the accounting team can perform the month-end close. One of the primary steps of the process is to reconcile subsidiary ledgers with the general ledger.
Journal entries of recurring monthly transactions must be performed at the time of the month-end close. This applies to such transactions as accrued expenses, amortization, depreciation, and loan interest.
The accounting team will reconcile cash accounts and balance sheets. They will review revenue and expense accounts. Bank account statements will be reconciled. Finally, the team will prepare financial statements. Once all accounts have been reconciled and statements are produced and reviewed by management, the accounting period is closed, and no further transactions can be recorded for the month.
All companies are different but there are some common steps in closing the month-end books including:
Record all incoming cash and accounts receivable
Review expenses and accounts payable records
Review fixed assets
Inventory count (if necessary)
Collect and review financial documents
Prepare financial statements
Review all information for accuracy
The process may be different for various companies for many reasons. Businesses that sell physical products will have the extra steps of tracking inventory while companies that are service-focused will not. Smaller companies may have fewer accounts while multi-nationals will have hundreds or thousands.
Here is a list of common information accounting teams need to have on hand to close the monthly books:
Total revenue numbers
Bank account information
Inventory levels (if applicable)
Petty cash total
Total fixed assets
Income and expense accounts
A properly and consistently executed month-end close is a fundamental practice for a well-run business operation. It is important for all divisions within the business to adhere to the month-end close process to provide consistency and reliability within the operation. The process supports management review and decision-making, and it reflects the financial status of the company for outside interests, such as investors, lenders, auditors, and tax agencies.
Each company is different, so it’s impossible to say how long your month-end close should take. Surveys and research over the years show the month-end process generally takes between 5-10 days. The amount of time it takes to complete the process will depend on several factors including the size of the company, the volume and complexity of transactions that need to be recorded and reconciled, and the accounting systems that are used. Some activities can be recorded or reconciled more frequently than monthly to help speed up the process at month’s end.
Accounting teams face a lot of pressure to close the books fast because executives use the previous month’s financials to make business decisions for the upcoming months and quarters. Ventana Research notes, “Closing faster has value: 62% of those that close within six days say that the information they provide is timely, while only 39% of those that take longer say that.”
However, closing faster can mean a tradeoff between speed and accuracy. For example, using estimates rather than actuals can shave hours or days off your close, but that means your numbers may not be exact, and when it’s time to close the fiscal year, the actuals will still need to be determined. This may end up adding days to your year-end close.
Extra time spent on the month-end close means less time spent on adding value through analysis and business partnering. Optimizing the month-end close will get financial numbers into the hands of leadership sooner to assist with timely analyses and smarter decision-making. Other reasons to optimize include better discipline, more structure, improved controls, more visibility, and reduced risk.
Some challenges finance and accounting teams encounter when performing a manual close process include:
Team members don’t know what needs to be done and/or what is already completed
Inaccurate or incomplete data
Lack of standardization
Processes that are not clearly defined
Discrepancies between numbers
Delayed reconciliations due to errors, adjustments, and reclassifications
Lack of real-time data that results in little or no visibility and transparency
If you have month-end close challenges, you may want to implement some of these month-end close best practices.
Conduct pre- and post- month-end close team meetings
During pre-close meetings, the team should discuss follow-up items from the previous month’s post-close meeting and determine the current month’s close schedule and timeline. This way everyone is clear on responsibilities and deadlines. You should also determine what staff should do if they run into barriers and how they should communicate any bottlenecks.
In post-close meetings, discuss what worked and what didn’t, and review assigned roles and responsibilities for the next month. Review any lessons learned, any variances or abnormalities, and entertain any proposed changes to the process.
Manage your time, be organized, and communicate efficiently
Understanding deadlines and schedules is critical so you can work toward an ideal close date. Being organized will help you stay on track. In addition, accountants must begin to cultivate strong written communication skills with the ability to think critically. They will also need strong oral communication skill and the ability to convey pertinent financial information to executive teams and stakeholders.
Exceptional accountants know how to manage numbers and people. That requires cultivating a broader range of relationship skills today, such as how to work in a team and how to engage with other departments. If other departments are aware of what you are doing and what you’ll need for each month-end in advance, they may be more willing to contribute the financial data you need on time.
Take advantage of accounting automation
Refocus your teams on analysis by replacing repetitive, spreadsheet-heavy work with leading-practice automation. Centralize data and close activities, automate journal entries and reconciliations, strengthen controls, and enhance visibility.
BlackLine is a leading accounting software platform that has helped thousands of accounting teams make the move to modern accounting. Our solutions unify systems, data, and processes to unlock global visibility, automate repetitive work to focus on what matters most to the business, and deliver continuous real-time information and analysis.
Most importantly, BlackLine enables modern accounting to be achievable.
BlackLine’s cloud solutions address the areas of financial close management, accounting automation, and intercompany governance and can be deployed rapidly, allowing accounting teams to shift their focus to new challenges, provide consistency and control, and work together from anywhere.
Get your complimentary copy of Modernizing Accounting For Dummies to understand the real cost of inefficient month-end close processes and discover how you can eliminate and automate tasks to focus on more strategic work.