An International Beverage Company’s Roadmap to a Solid Foundation Using SAP Solution Extensions by BlackLine

A large global beverage company needed to ensure its software systems were dependable, automated, and properly integrated to support its plans for sustained growth. With a focus on business transformation, the company decided to hone in on its record-to-report process, which included journal entries, balance sheet reconciliations, financial reporting and analytics, forecasting, and budgeting. In order to achieve end-to-end process excellence, the company needed to identify a solution that would help increase visibility, efficiency, quality, and analysis, and enhance internal controls.

The company found its solution by implementing SAP Solution Extensions by BlackLine including functionality for account automation and substantiation, task management and intercompany.

Following the implementation the beverage company has been able to:

  • Utilize global standard templates: In designing a global solution that enables process centralization and standardization within its business units, the company was able to implement a set of six standard balance sheet reconciliation templates and seven journal entry templates.
  • Reduce manual journal processing: Through a configurable, threshold-based journal workflow and the use of journal masters, the company was able to reduce approval layers and some repetitive journal entries.
  • Reduce manual reconciliations: By standardizing reconciliations, the company was able to improve its reconciliation quality, remove layers of approval, and take advantage of automation.
  • Enhance reporting for accurate key performance indicators (KPIs) and effective controls: Process standardization, improved integration, and reporting produced complete and accurate KPIs and enabled control analysis.

Additionally, the company reports that workflow supports a new journal entry policy, and that reporting of journal entries below the global approval threshold of $100K enhances journal-entry control. Having 70 journal masters regularly creating journals drives efficiency in the company’s close process.

Approximately 35% of journal entries are now auto-approved (below the threshold), which has reduced manager workload and bottlenecks. Since strategic thought was given to reporting as part of the project, the company created 25 custom reports based on pre-defined needs to be used as part of the close process and for ongoing data visibility and KPI reporting. Other successes include that the business achieved transparency into key risk areas and integrated certain key reports into the close process.

Learn finance best practices in our article, “The Strategic Role of Finance in Today’s Business Landscape.”