Simplifying Statements with BlackLine’s Financial Reporting Analytics
Meet the Authors
⇨ Automated financial analysis solutions can insulate organizations from audits and human error.
⇨ As companies adopt automated solutions for validating and analyzing financial statements, teams may need assistance in upskilling workers and learning best practices for these solutions.
⇨ BlackLine recently released a guide helping companies best leverage its new Financial Reporting Analytics solution.
Data is the lifeblood of finance teams, yet many of those teams still rely on manual processes. Aggregating information from multiple spreadsheets can slow down important processes and introduces higher potential for errors.
As more and more companies adopt automated solutions for validating and analyzing financial statements, teams may need assistance in upskilling workers and learning best practices for these solutions.
BlackLine recently released a guide helping companies best leverage its new Financial Reporting Analytics solution. Financial Reporting Analytics to centralize group-level data while ensuring accuracy and saving time. It does this by offering real-time views of balance sheets and income statement reports, streamlining and accelerating the entire process.
In a blog post, BlackLine Senior Solution Consultant and Financial Reporting Analytics product expert Cheri Hewlett explained how Financial Reporting Analysis allows companies to gain important insights into their financial data.
“With FRA, companies can select different periods to compare ending balances or activity between periods. They can also compare actual amounts to budgets and forecasts. This helps identify unusual variances or items needing follow-up prior to consolidation,” said Hewlett.
It is important to note that FRA is not designed to replace the entire financial reporting system. Rather, it can be integrated with those systems to make the overall reporting process run more smoothly.
Meeting the Market
The solution aligns with the drivers and requirements laid out by SAPinsider members. In the SAP S/4HANA Finance and Central Finance State of the Market 2023 Benchmark Research Report, 38% of respondent organizations listed demand for improved reporting, planning, and insights from finance as a top driver. This was the highest share of any response.
Financial Reporting Analysis offers users the ability to glean crucial financial data from the line-item level more quickly. It does this by eliminating the need for work in spreadsheets or internal communications like emails back and forth.
Per the research report, the joint top action taken by SAP S/4HANA Finance and Central Finance users to address their strategic priorities was increasing real-time visibility into finance and operations. This was highlighted by 39% of respondents. The other most commonly-taken action was simplifying the financial system landscape, also noted by 39% of respondents.
FRA is able to import information from other systems into one location, while also defining and managing groupings. It also maps general ledger accounts to balance sheets, while assigning ownership of reviews and controls, providing that essential simplification SAPinsiders are looking for. Centralization is a major component of simplification, and FRA also centralizes all supporting documentation in one location.
What does this mean for SAPinsiders
Financial reporting is an essential business function, yet all too often this process can be delayed by manual processes that also introduce the risk of human error. BlackLine’s Financial Reporting Analytics allows users to analyze and validate data sets with real-time visibility.
The solution provides end-to-end transparency and automates ledger-to-ledger, statutory-to-GAAP, tax-to-GAAP, and system-to-system reconciliation. This can insulate organizations from audits and reduces the chances that an organization will have limited time to investigate exceptions.