Many month-end close activities are designed to ensure accuracy and support the control environment. But when these processes are performed manually, it increases the risk of error while consuming valuable time.

Universal Journal, a new feature in SAP S/4HANA, consolidates transactional data previously stored in multiple tables into one large table. It covers the GL, subledgers including AP and AR, fixed assets, and controlling tables such as cost center, project, and internal order data.

But this new feature doesn’t eliminate manual accounting work. Universal Journal reduces the need to perform reconciliations between SAP tables, but accounting and finance teams still need to substantiate all balance sheet accounts and perform other reconciliations.

As a result, most core accounting functions must be performed on a monthly and/or quarterly basis.

BlackLine is purpose-built to automate these traditionally manual financial close processes, and complements the functionality provided by SAP with essential capabilities that streamline period-end closing, account balance substantiation, journal entries, transaction matching, intercompany accounting, and more.

The partnership between BlackLine and SAP delivers elevated control and automation to accounting and finance departments worldwide, enabling teams to maximize the value from their SAP investments.

BlackLine solutions add value throughout the SAP journey, from R3 to S/4HANA, especially in the following use cases:

  • Balance Sheet Substantiation
  • High-Volume Transactions
  • Journal Entry Processing
  • Intercompany Accounting

The next four blogs in this series will explore each of these use cases, and take a deeper dive into how BlackLine complements SAP. We’ll look at how both solutions work together to improve the lives of the end users, both professionally and personally, beginning with balance sheet substantiation.

An Industry-Leading Solution

Balance sheet substantiation is more than just tying a balance to a data source. The account balance substantiation process must provide reasonable assurance of the accuracy of financial data at a specific point in time. Analysis is still required to substantiate, and traditional subledger accounts only represent 30% of the balance sheet.

SAP S/4HANA and the Universal Journal have come a long way in helping to eliminate some redundancies and certain reconciliations that would previously have been done manually. But these reconciliations are a small subset of balance sheet substantiation, which is a critical requirement of companies under SOX 404.

SAP does not have its own solution to addresses balance sheet substantiation, and they have identified BlackLine as the industry-leading solution for this use case.

A Proactive Approach to Reducing Risk

BlackLine facilitates the balance sheet substantiation process by seamlessly importing information in a complete state from your general ledger sources—whether that’s one instance of SAP globally, multiple versions or instances of SAP, or multiple ERPs.

BlackLine centralizes the data in one platform and provides standardized templates, automated workflow, thresholds, and other functionalities that modernize what used to be done manually.

This level of automation is helping companies all over the world prevent and avoid a lot of risk. Not just because they have visibility into what’s on their balance sheet, but also because they can now identify errors and required adjustments, and report on these in a timely manner.

This allows teams to take a proactive approach, preventing errors resulting from late adjustments or restatements, because of the real-time visibility.

In Summary

SAP is your general ledger and system of record. BlackLine receives information from SAP in a complete and seamless fashion, and modernizes the substantiation process, which has traditionally been very manual and Excel-based.

The next blog in this series will discuss how BlackLine, coupled with the SAP Connector, provides a unique solution for the challenges of matching and reconciling a high volume of transactions.

Read this white paper for an in-depth look at all four use cases, and to learn more about the complementary capabilities of BlackLine and SAP.


The post How BlackLine Compliments SAP With Balance Sheet Substantiation appeared first on BlackLine Magazine.