What is BlackLine?

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What is BlackLine? | Who Uses BlackLine? | 5 Ways to Use BlackLine | What Companies Should Use BlackLine? | Why Do We Like BlackLine? | How to Get Started?

What is BlackLine? 

BlackLine is a cloud-based software platform that helps businesses automate and streamline their financial close processes, which is a series of steps that businesses take at the end of each accounting period to reconcile their accounts and prepare financial statements. It involves a lot of manual work, such as checking for errors, reconciling accounts, and ensuring that everything balances out correctly, and often involves complex and hard-to-follow Excel spreadsheets. 

BlackLine simplifies this process by automating many of these tasks, reducing the risk of errors and making the process faster and more efficient. This can save businesses a lot of time and resources that they must otherwise dedicate to the financial close process. 

BlackLine also provides visibility and control over the financial close process, allowing businesses to track progress on each task, collaborate with their teams, and ensure compliance with company and industry-wide accounting standards and regulations. 


Who are the main users of BlackLine on a day-to-day basis? 

The main users of BlackLine on a day-to-day basis are typically accounting and finance professionals, such as accountants, controllers, financial analysts, and auditors. These individuals use BlackLine to automate and streamline their daily accounting processes, including reconciliations, transaction matching, calculating and posting journal entries, and performing tasks to complete their month-end close checklists. 

In addition to accounting and finance professionals, BlackLine can also be used by other individuals and teams within an organization, such as IT teams, compliance teams, and executive management. These individuals may use BlackLine to monitor and manage the financial close process, track progress towards key performance indicators (KPIs), and ensure compliance with accounting standards and regulations. 

Overall, the main users of BlackLine are those who are involved in the financial close process and financial reporting activities within an organization, as well as those who require visibility and control over these processes. 


What are 5 specific ways users would use BlackLine? 

  1. Reconciliations: BlackLine helps users automate and streamline the reconciliation process, allowing them to easily match transactions between different systems, identify and resolve discrepancies, and ensure that accounts are balanced and accurate.
  2. Journal entries: With BlackLine, users can automate the creation and posting of journal entries, reducing the risk of errors and improving efficiency. They can also easily track and review journal entries, ensuring that they are properly authorized and recorded.
  3. Task management: BlackLine provides a centralized platform for users to manage and track tasks related to the financial close process, such as deadlines, approvals, and sign-offs. This helps ensure that tasks are completed on time and that everyone is on the same page.
  4. Compliance and control: BlackLine helps users ensure compliance with accounting standards and regulations by providing visibility and control over the financial close process. It includes features such as segregation of duties, audit trails, and version control, which help users maintain a strong control environment.
  5. Reporting and analytics: BlackLine provides users with real-time visibility into their financial close process and performance metrics, allowing them to monitor progress, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. It includes a range of reporting and analytics tools, such as dashboards, scorecards, and variance analysis.


What types of companies should consider using BlackLine? 

BlackLine can be a valuable tool for a wide range of companies, including both publicly traded and privately held companies. The software is typically used by accounting and finance teams, as well as other individuals who are involved in the financial close process and financial reporting activities. 

In terms of company size, BlackLine can be used by small, medium, and large organizations. The platform is scalable, meaning it can be tailored to fit the needs of companies of different sizes and complexity. 

BlackLine is particularly well-suited for mid-sized to large organizations that have complex financial close processes, multiple systems and sources of data, and a high volume of transactions. These organizations typically face challenges such as manual data entry, time-consuming reconciliations, and a lack of visibility and control over the financial close process. 


Why is Capitalize so jazzed about BlackLine? 

BlackLine fills a need that no other tool has been able to touch. It empowers users to accomplish tasks that are manually performed in Excel or that IT departments must develop. BlackLine is used by more than 1,500 companies around the world to modernize the accounting playbook, to ensure balance sheet integrity, and to increase confidence in their financial statements. Because BlackLine is web-based, there is no software administration necessary. A typical implementation of BlackLine may be completed in as little as three months and is often administered by the Finance department with minimal effort. 

Our team of finance experts are here to help organizations through digital transformation and automation in the financial close process. BlackLine helps us help our clients, and that’s why we are so excited about this platform. 


What is the best way to get started with BlackLine? 

The best way to get started with BlackLine is to examine your current financial close process and areas that feel unnecessarily manual, tedious, error-prone, or time consuming. Think about bottlenecks because of multiple systems, data checking/manipulation, or handoffs/approvals between people or departments. Consider your current reconciliation processes, documentation requirements, approval processes, journal entries and adjustments, exception handling, and audit testing. 


If thinking about those items give you a headache, you’re a great candidate for a discussion around BlackLine! Capitalize provides BlackLine assessments that will help determine if your challenges can be solved or improved by incorporating BlackLine into your processes. 

During this assessment, we’ll get to know your team, your technologies, your processes, and your frustrations. We’ll document everything we hear and then explain and show if/how BlackLine could be used to automate, streamline, and improve your processes.  

Our goal will be to get you an ROI (return on investment) calculation, so your team and your executives have a clear understanding of the cost of adding BlackLine and the benefits once BlackLine is in place. Without a strong ROI, no software platform should be implemented. 

If BlackLine can add significant value and your organization is ready to get started, Capitalize will help you with the software purchasing process, project planning, resource identification, timelines, and project management. Our goal is to make the process of getting value from BlackLine as streamlined as possible while limiting disruption in your department and at your company. 

Overall, the key to getting started with BlackLine is to take the time to evaluate your needs, understand the capabilities of the software, and work closely with Capitalize and BlackLine to ensure a smooth and successful implementation. 

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