Benefits and Insights

Why use BlackLine?

Key differentiators & advantages of BlackLine

  • Visibility: BlackLine enables users to look at data and transactions across a business in real-time. Users can also leverage this information to compare metrics with other similar companies to gauge success. 
  • Consolidation: The solution allows users to consolidate information from within different departments. It can also take financial data from various business segments and put it in one area so that the financial team doesn’t have to add up transaction details from multiple documents to learn about actual standing. 
  • Automation: The program includes automation capabilities to increase productivity and to clear up employee time to work on other tasks. Credit card matching and bank reconciliation are some of the processes that can be automated through this system. 
  • Clear Communication: By centralizing financial information, BlackLine helps companies reduce internal communication errors. When everyone has access to data, it reduces the need for documents to be requested from different departments. It can also eliminate the inaccurate interpretation of information due to lack of visibility and context. 

Industry Expertise

BlackLine is well-suited for companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries. Some of the sectors listed on the vendor’s website include pharmaceuticals, banks, consumer goods, healthcare, communications, financial services, food and beverage, manufacturing, hospitality, insurance, technology, oil and gas, higher education and retail.

Key Features

  • Account Reconciliations: This feature allows users to compare information from the general ledger with other data to look at any discrepancies. It offers standardized templates to make the reconciliation process easier. It also includes the ability to approve and review information along with document attachment functionality that allows for the storage of important documentation. ERP accounts can be automatically added, and post-certification view-only records can be developed through the system. 
  • Task Management: BlackLine enables users to develop hierarchical task lists and workflows to ensure that the most important processes are completed first and foremost. Email notifications and task dependencies can be implemented to ensure that tasks are completed before the deadline. Global close calendar visibility is available through management-level reports, and milestone tasks can automatically certify that child tasks have been completed. Real-time dashboards provide visibility of workflows and can be sorted by due date, task type and geographic location. 
  • Journal Entry: With this program, users can add links, comments and supporting documents to all journal entries. User-defined rules allow the system to validate, post and certify entries automatically. Some of the sources that can be pulled from the journal include credit card statements, consolidation systems, bank feeds and POS statements. 
  • Transaction Matching: The program can complete high-volume reconciliations during the period-end close. It can automate credit card matching, bank reconciliations, intercompany reconciliations and invoice-to-PO matching. The system identifies matched and unmatched transactions and can match data from multiple sources. Accounting transactions such as bank to credit card, bank to general ledger, third-party invoices to internal records, and more can be managed through this functionality. 
  • Variance Analysis: Users can monitor account fluctuations based on their own defined rules. When issues are detected, the relevant control owner will be electronically notified so that resolution can be conducted promptly. General ledger balances can be automatically imported on a scheduled basis, and the program can integrate with various source systems and ERP solutions. Users can analyze fluctuations through real-time dashboards and reports. 
  • Consolidation Integrity Manager: BlackLine enables companies that have more than one system to consolidate their data in one location. The program can automatically investigate discrepancies to avoid duplicate and incorrect data entries. Accounts where the balances tie out can be automatically reconciled, whereas exceptions are highlighted for manual review. Accounts can be grouped together, and drill-down capabilities are available to gain more insight and detail. 
  • Compliance: The program enables users to manage PBC requests, maintain RCMs, and perform audits, including SOX 302 and 404. Users can analyze issues, conduct control testing and look at supporting information related to compliance in a centralized location. Audit projects can be developed based on set start and end dates along with other user-defined controls. Real-time visibility of performed audits, risks, identified issues and steps taken for resolution is available in the system as well. 
  • BlackLine Insights: BlackLine enables users to track metrics such as on-time completion percentage, number of completed assignments, auto-reconciliation rate and average reconciliation rejection rate. Users can also see how their metrics compare to other businesses based on factors such as size and industry. 

BlackLine Suite Support

BlackLine’s support team is available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. The vendor offers support through various channels along with training options to help users learn more about the system.

mail_outlineEmail: Users can access support via email or online through the online portal. System status can also be monitored on the BlackLine website.
phonePhone: Phone support is available. Customers in the United States can dial 1-877-777-7750 for assistance.
schoolTraining: BlackLine U Training can help users with product training, onboarding new employees, professional development and adhering to industry best practices. The Learning Portal contains Quick Reference Guides that users can download along with online instructor-led classes and other resources for self-paced study. Premium Training is also available and includes the opportunity to get CPE credits through e-learning courses.