Prior to the launch
of BlackLine Compliance
at InTheBlack 2018, many of our customers were
using Task Management for their controls and compliance initiatives.

Now that Compliance has made its debut, where do controls
fit best within the BlackLine platform? Should you continue using tasks for PBC
items and checklists? And how can you get the most out of each product?

Here, we’ll explore some of our best practices for
optimizing your usage of Task Management and Compliance. We’ll give you tips
for how to work more effectively and maximize the workflow and functionality
provided by BlackLine.

Task Management Key
Features

Task
Management
allows organizations to manage accounting and finance checklists
centered around the close process. It can be used to track any type of activity,
including recurring journal entries, controls, operational checklists, and PBC
lists.

Key features include:

  • Ability to configure up to ten fields or
    segments with your terminology and values
  • Automatic task recurrence based on user-defined
    schedules
  • Task dependencies and auto-certification as
    child tasks are completed
  • Standard templates and workflows with up to five
    levels of review
  • Integrated with Account Reconciliations and
    Journal Entry

Compliance Key
Features

Compliance is a highly
configurable and centralized cloud platform
for internal controls
monitoring and attestation. It can be used to manage risks, narratives,
controls, and issues, and create audit programs to validate and test controls.

Key features include:

  • Unlimited number of user-defined fields and
    control templates
  • Configurable, dynamic workflow with an unlimited
    number of review levels
  • Linked with Account Reconciliations, Task
    Management, Variance Analysis, Journal Entry, Transaction Matching, and
    Intercompany Hub, which provides direct access to control evidence
  • Unlimited number of Programs to manage subsets
    of controls

Although each organization is unique, and BlackLine can
accommodate a myriad of scenarios, here are our recommendations for getting the
most out of the system.

When to Use Task
Management

Normal close tasks and checklists, including accounting,
financial, and operational checklists that have regular recurrence will benefit
the most from Task Management. The product provides the necessary integration
points, recurrence, and dependencies.

If you have controls that need to be executed regularly that
have task dependencies, and more than one person or location is involved, then
Task Management should be considered. However, for compliance-related
activities, a combination of Task Management and Compliance should be considered.

When to Use
Compliance

In many ways, Compliance can extend your investment in Task
Management. Many of our customers use Task Management to record and track PBC
items required for control testing. The control testing, in addition to other
compliance activities, is best
managed within Compliance
.

Compliance is specifically designed to fill the needs for
compliance activities, internal audit, SOX 302 and 404, and audit and
attestation. In addition to housing Risk Control Matrices (RCMs), narratives,
and policies and procedures, Compliance allows you to create period-independent
audit programs to review and evaluate a subset of controls. Compliance also
provides workflow for testing and review, as well as remediation.

Often, Compliance can be paired with other BlackLine
products to provide even greater support for compliance evidence collection and
review. In addition to using Task Management for PBC collection, Compliance
users can leverage Account
Reconciliations
, Variance Analysis, and more for evidence of control
performance.

For example, users can link reconciliations to their
applicable control. When the reconciliation is certified, it becomes visible in
Compliance with a direct link to reconciliation. Linking to the actual
accounting work being done greatly reduces the number of PBC items and follow
up required.

Whether you’re looking to better manage your close
checklist, streamline controls management, or integrate compliance activities,
BlackLine provides solutions and best practices for your business needs.

While Task Management is best used to track and complete recurring
close tasks, Compliance can be used standalone or in conjunction with other
BlackLine products to better manage controls and compliance within day-to-day
accounting and finance activities.

Save your spot at this webinar on June 4 to learn how Chart Industries approached using BlackLine Compliance for SOX.


The post Best Practices for Task Management vs. Compliance appeared first on BlackLine Magazine.