Products: Accounting Cloud, Continuous Accounting Platform, AR Automation Platform, Balance Sheet Integrity, Close Process Management, Accounting Process Automation, Intercompany Hub, Solutions for SAP
Overview: Finance and Accounting (F&A) specialist BlackLine offers cloud-based financial close management, accounts receivable (AR) automation, and intercompany governance tools. Founded in 2001, the company says its systems help firms move from traditional manual accounting processes to modern accounting by unifying data and processes, automating repetitive work, and driving accountability through visibility.
BlackLine recently expanded its AR offering with the launch of its automation suite based on artificial intelligence (AI). It says this is the first unified platform for end-to-end cash flow optimisation, including cash application and collection, credit and risk management and dispute resolution.
BlackLine offers built-in capabilities and off-the-shelf reporting templates that work across all leading ERP and source systems. BlackLine solutions integrate with the SAP financial close portfolio and are offered as SAP Solution Extensions.
According to Nucleus Research, most BlackLine customers cut monthly closing times by between 50% and 90%.
The Nasdaq-listed firm ran its IPO in October 2016, when it raised $146m.
It has acquired two organisations. In September 2016 it bought Netherlands-based Runbook, which offers financial close and automation solutions to the SAP market. In October 2020 it acquired UK-based front-to-back-office integration technology provider Rimilia for $150m.
Clients: More than 3,700 customers including The Coca-Cola Company, Nasdaq and Hyatt (and 58% of the Fortune 50 including seven of the top 10)
Active region(s): Global (more than 315,000 users in 130-plus countries)
- Strategic alliances with Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, EY, Genpact and KPMG
- Tech partnerships for connectivity/integration including Kyriba, MS Dynamics, Oracle NetSuite, Sage Intacct, SAP and Workiva
Elevator pitch: “BlackLine is a high-growth, software-as-a-service business that is transforming and modernising the way finance and accounting departments operate. Its cloud-based software platform supports critical finance and accounting processes, including the financial close, account reconciliation, intercompany accounting and controls assurance. Because its software automates these processes and enables them to function continuously, BlackLine is empowering companies of all sizes in all globally to improve the integrity of their financial reporting, achieve efficiencies and enhance real-time visibility into their operations. BlackLine pioneered the financial close automation market and is committed to helping its customers in what is estimated to be a $28bn-plus global market opportunity for both financial close automation and AR automation.”
Email: [email protected]
TMI view: By offering cloud software that automates and controls financial close and other key accounting processes, users can run reports any time, and obtain greater visibility and confidence in the numbers.
Verdict: Bringing cloud accessibility, process automation and AI to the close process offers scalability and resilience for an increasingly complex and time-pressured world. Many large customers seem to agree.