A Solid Tool for a Fluid Business World
October 28, 2021
A Solid Tool for a Fluid Business World
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with BlackLine
We are using Accounts, Tasks, and Matching. The product is being used globally for all legal entities and all ERP systems. Our company was created by a merger of two great companies, Clock Spring and NRI. We were on different ERP systems and needed a system-agnostic tool for balance sheet reconciliations and month-end close. Blackline provided us a way to coordinate month-end close, control balance sheet reconciliations, and status visibility for both.
- Status Visibility: we know the status of balance sheet recons and month-end close tasks at all times
- Workflow: clearly defined Roles and how processes step through the roles from Preparation to Reviewed
- Transaction Matching: a powerful tool that matches two data sources (i.e. bank file and general ledger/registers) and integrates with balance sheet recons
- Process Control Flexibility: Blackline can be implemented with full segregation of duties, none, or a mix.
- Need an option for Dark Theme
- Help Desk "Case" management is clunky
- Easy to use
- Control around Balance Sheet Reconciliations and Month-End Close Tasks
- Data Import
- Transaction matching for bank reconciliations (bank and ERP data sources)
- Balance Sheet Reconciliation templates
- System-based certifications (versus user certifications)
- Positive impact on our control structure. Prior to implementation, we had a "material weakness" rating on our financial close process by our external auditors. After we implemented Blackline, our process had improved where it was no longer a material weakness.
- Workload is better balanced for our Accountants. (Better Balance = Happy Accountant)
- Accountants are able to complete reconciliation faster than when completed in Excel because Blackline has tools that automate reconciliations through matching and effectively using reconciliation templates.
- Blackline helps Accounting Departments to easily scale for business needs (i.e. mergers, acquisitions)
- With Blackline's ability to define import templates and import data either through an SFTP site or the front-end, we didn't have incremental costs to integrate Blackline with our ERPs.
Excel is an extension of Accountants....we are comfortable with Excel and can adapt it for many activities such as balance sheet reconciliations and month-end close lists. For 20 years of my career, that's what the organizations I worked for used. So, when we were looking for a solution, we wanted something that was based in Excel. After we participated in a Blackline demonstration, we realized to be effective the platform didn't have to be Excel-based. We were confident all of Blackline's features (data importing, recon templates, matching, system certifications, etc.) could be more efficient, accurate, complete, and controllable than Excel or a solution where Excel is the tool's platform.
Do you think BlackLine delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with BlackLine's feature set?
Did BlackLine live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of BlackLine go as expected?
Would you buy BlackLine again?
Blackline is an excellent tool for balance sheet reconciliations and month-end close tasks. If you need to get control of your financial close processes, implementing the tool is a great start. It can do it. The variable is company and staff adoption. The other great thing about the tool is the organization supporting it. Blackline organization does a fantastic job in the following ways: (1) Asking for feedback on how the tool can be improved (2) Hosting free webinars/workshops giving novice and expert users and admins the opportunity to increase their competence and, ultimately, customer effectiveness (3) Experts from the salesperson who sold the solution, to the implementer, to Blackline Support....they all know what they are talking about....true SMEs (4) A 9 rating from me has to be earned and Blackline does the job. A solid tool for a fluid business world!
Blackline employs Accounting Rock Stars! Blackline has different levels of support provided by Sales Rep, Customer Success Manager, Help Desk, webinar/workshop Facilitators, and Product Experts. Note, these may not be official titles but how I see them.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
We did not purchase additional support due to my (Sys Admin) systems and data skills. If we need support time for complex issues, we will purchase as needed. We have not needed to do so at this time.
Yes - The bug was around setting up "Teams" in Blackline. The Help Desk was able to replicate the problem and informed Blackline development dept. The Help Desk rep then informed me that it was a bug and they were already working on a patch. He gave me a date when the patch would be installed so I could then continue with my setup.
A couple of weeks ago, a Blackline Specialist, Teresa Platt, hosted a workshop for 1.5 hours/day for 3 days. The workshop was on Matching and was only for about 12 users/admins. The content was on-target and Teresa was a great facilitator/communicator. It was basically free consulting/training time! Teresa's mission was to help users/admins to better understand Matching.