BlackLine solves close process challenges by automating the majority of the headaches
June 01, 2022

BlackLine solves close process challenges by automating the majority of the headaches

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with BlackLine

We implemented BlackLine in May 2017 after a significant deficiency in our Account Recs. We also wanted better clarity on the monthly, quarterly, and annual close and automation of our prepaid and other JEs. The initial installation included Account Reconciliations, Tasks, and Journal Entries. BlackLine made a huge impact in those areas within the first six months.
  • The ability to determine which reconciliations should be auto-certified and the reasoning behind the decision.
  • Prepaid reconciliations and automation of the monthly journal entries.
  • Creation of automated journal entries from banking data in a high-volume environment.
  • Decertification of completed reconciliations when GL balances change and the communication of such.
  • Importing set up data for automated journal entries is missing. When ADJs are similar you have to go through the entire setup of each.
  • Could use a daily summary e-mail to notify the status of month-end close combining separate areas of function.
  • The user interface is wasting a tremendous amount of space for users with wide-screen monitors. Scrolling is a constant within the system.
  • Some tasks are to perform journal entries (even automated) so a link between the two would help rather than certifying in separate places.
  • Account Reconciliations
  • Automated Journal Entries
  • Transaction Matching
  • Tasks
  • Reporting
  • Timeliness of the close process and certification mitigating deficiencies.
  • Time-saving of prepaid reconciliations adding new items and the creation of monthly automated journals flowing back into the accounting system.
  • Performing daily bank reconciliations with matched transactions saving two days over the previous manual process.
  • Knowing that the organization is on the same page on how processes within BlackLine are being performed.
We did not evaluate other products when implementing BlackLine. The decision was made primarily by our Financial Controller who used BlackLine at a previous company.

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?


Account Reconciliation is BlackLine's strength from having GL balances imported during the close process to uploading data within those recs that can be easily reviewed and balanced. The Preparer/Approver roles prevent someone who prepares a reconciliation, tasks, or journal entry from being the approver as well and timestamps on the process allow management to determine the timeliness of both. The approver can decertify recs/tasks/JEs and provide reasoning which is sent back to the preparer to correct all within the BlackLine system. BlackLine could use a better view of the overall close when a customer is using multiple modules instead of treating everything separately.

Using BlackLine

20 - Primarily accounting. Anyone who performs or reviews a rec, task, or journal.
2 - The Director of Financial Systems is the subject matter expert for BlackLine and we identified one of our Financial Controller as the champion. Those roles are responsible for making BlackLine a success in the organization by making sure training and support are available and that the system is used to its fullest.
  • Solving a previous significant deficiency
  • Getting a handle on the close process and the ability to summarize and report the flow.
  • Saving users time by automation
  • Auto-certification of reconciliations where the balance is zero or did not change.
  • Utilizing external data to automate journal entries.
  • Variance module
  • Additional automation of journals using data from front-end systems.
BlackLine is invaluable to our close process. The time saved from moving paper and auto-certifying can be used for better review of the data. It allowed our CFO and Board of Directors to have confidence that our close process was timely and accurate.

Evaluating BlackLine and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
The most important factor was that our Financial Controller previously used BlackLine and raved about what it could do for our organization. She wasn't wrong - the return within the first year saved countless hours and gave us confidence that our close process was secure.
In retrospect, I would have reviewed other products that could have made the timing longer but we were in a hurry to mitigate a significant deficiency.

BlackLine Implementation

A longer implementation of learning the ins and outs of BlackLine will improve the success of the system over time. There a quite a few fields we did not use as the organization as a whole did not have them defined prior to implementation.
Yes - We initially implemented account reconciliations and tasks to mitigate a significant deficiency and then moved on to journals. After a few years which were impacted by the COVID shutdown, we started using transaction matching.
Change management was minimal
  • Determining how we wanted the system set up and the process flow within the organization.
  • Determining the level of the accounts that we wanted to reconcile. We have multiple dimensions flowing in our ERP so we settled on the Company and Account for rec purposes.
  • Evaluating what we wanted to list in our Task module. We found that the checklist used by our SEC team for their flow did not function well and kept the entire checklist as one task within BlackLine.

BlackLine Training

The online training is great but quite still feels more like it's theoretical versus real use case scenarios. We find that users retain the knowledge when the training is closer to what they know.

BlackLine Support

BlackLine has always had our back from the implementation to add additional functionality to the system. During the COVID shutdown, they provided unlimited support and training for our staff to get the best out of the system. If we have an issue with the system it is easy to open a ticket and get a quick response no matter what level the issue may be.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
We purchased premium support to make sure as we added more functionality to the BlackLine system we had the availability of all of their online training and direct support when we needed it.
Yes - We found an issue when importing data for our bank transaction matching testing. The issue was identifying and solved with three to four days and did not hold up our process.
During the COVID shutdown, BlackLine made sure that the staff we retained were provided unlimited training through their support center which included online training and virtual one-on-one training. This was extremely unexpected during a time when we weren't sure whether or not our Vendors could perform at the same level during the shutdown.

Using BlackLine

BlackLine could use a little work in getting around the system. The interface is not without its issues including lots of scrolling up and down and a lack of using the entire screen. Importing of the initial setup data could be better defined and reimporting data to add additional fields could pose an issue of overwriting data in a negative way.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
  • Certifying reconciliations, tasks, or journal entries.
  • Writing useful reports from the internal report writer.
  • Running automated journal entries.
  • Setting up automated journal entries from matching data.
  • Initial set up of the BlackLine system and importing of general ledger data.

BlackLine Reliability

After implementing BlackLine our company acquired another large company with multiple operations. We were able to use the COVID shutdown to bring them on board with BlackLine with little effort in the setup and training of the users.
We never experienced an outage with BlackLine. The only time the system was unavailable was during planned outages for updates and upgrades usually Friday evening after 6pm pst until Saturday morning at 6am pst.
BlackLine performs rather quickly considering the amount of data we were pushing in and out of it.