BlackLine Systems - Financial Close Software Suite

This article appeared along with the November 2009 Review of Client Write-Up Systems.

Many technology vendors develop business accounting systems for the broad market, providing customization options that allow financial managers to tailor some of the functions and features to their needs. But for those businesses that manage their close processes internally and have more complex processes and reporting requirements, a general purpose solution can’t always provide all of the functionality they require.

BlackLine Systems specifically designs enterprise-level packages (delivered in an OnDemand/SaaS environment) for companies who manage their own accounting, reconciliation and close processes, offering programs that automate and streamline tasks that are often still handled manually or are spreadsheet-driven.

Among the key components of BlackLine’s systems is a Balance Sheet Account Reconciliation module that helps financial managers standardize this process across their company, with an auto-reconciliation feature that can take much of the time-intensive labor out of reconciling thousands of transactions across multiple accounts. The Account Reconciliation module provides multiple dashboards and reporting options for management and analysis, and can integrate with all major ERP and GL packages to further streamline accounting functions and increase data accuracy.

Other modules developed by BlackLine include a Task Management system that uses electronic sign-offs, flexible due dates and task dependencies to help businesses replace their binder-based checklist system for monitoring close processes. Likewise, modules are available for managing the Journal Creation process, Variance Analysis, Transaction Matching and Consolidation Manager, allowing accounting department staff to work more efficiently. All of BlackLine’s modules offer integration with document management tools and provide an automated e-mail alert system, remote access and data interface options.