The goals for accounting and finance transformation are well
known: increase visibility, improve speed and accuracy, and mitigate risk. With
automation comes greater efficiency, freeing accounting and finance teams to
become stronger business partners and contribute strategic insights.
Yet getting there can be a challenging journey.
Some finance teams make the mistake of simply throwing
technology at a problem. They might automate a bad process without first fixing
underlying process flaws or expect a single technology platform—like an ERP—to
fulfill all their needs.
Others neglect the essential element for accounting
transformation: strong executive backing and engaged employees who can thrive
with modern tools.
Fuel Services Corporation (World Fuel) is an example of a company that’s
getting it right. Headquartered in Miami with nearly $40 billion in revenue,
World Fuel has charted a strategic roadmap to accounting transformation that’s
extending competitive advantage in an industry that’s been traditionally
“The company has been very focused on being more agile and
introducing new technology tools such as Robotic Process Automation, Artificial
Intelligence, Machine Learning, and other elements of digital transformation.
We have full support from executive management,” says Mayra Herrera, VP, Core
Accounting at World Fuel.
A Strategic Roadmap
Over time, global expansion resulted in disparate systems
and disjointed accounting practices around the world. An Oracle system serves
as their primary ERP and general ledger, but World Fuel also has about a dozen
non-Oracle ERPs in place.
To address the complexity, they’re striving to bring
Accounting under a single umbrella.
“We had a lot of silos to organize, and started talking
about technology solutions that could bring us the visibility we needed around
global account reconciliations, number one, and then ultimately get us to
automation,” says Herrera.
World Fuel recognized that its visibility and automation
objectives couldn’t be realized with a single solution. Instead, the company is
taking a best-of-breed approach.
Selected over Oracle and other competitors, BlackLine is the
solution of choice to meet World Fuel’s need to bring automation to cash
account reconciliations and high-volume transaction
BlackLine’s ability to bring in data from multiple ERP
systems and other data sources was a differentiator for World Fuel. So was the
speed and ease of implementation, and the capacity of BlackLine Account
Reconciliations and Transaction Matching to work in tandem to achieve
higher degrees of automation.
The Benefits of
With BlackLine and other technologies, Herrera and her team
can conduct a holistic analysis of processes and technology solutions to fine
tune their approach. “We don’t want to automate something for the sake of
automating it,” Herrera says. “The question is, what’s the ROI? Is the process
stable, or do we need to fix the process first?”
“Our BlackLine project standardized our data and gave us
visibility to do more timely reconciliations,” says Herrera. “In the past, we
only reconciled cash at month end—now we’re doing it twice a month, and have
cut 40 to 50% of time from monthly auditing of cash reconciliations.”
As Herrera notes, modern platforms like BlackLine have
enabled World Fuel to energize their teams to pursue innovations and new value.
Continue learning about World Fuel’s finance transformation journey and get the full story here.
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