Welcome to the new accounting - Blackline at #findaba16

With the introduction of the new accounting software, Blackline, organisations can manage the entire accounting and finance lifecycle and gain a global view into tasks and processes, all in one centralised, secure and reliable system. These were the words of Josh May, the Senior Solutions Consultant and Product Manager at Blackline, who gave a presentation on how the software works during Finance Indaba Africa held at Sandton Convention Centre on 13 and 14 October 2016. By Tiisetso Tlelima

Blackline is a comprehensive finance controls and automation platform built on a single codebase and delivered securely via the cloud - it centralises key accounting functions within a single platform enabling companies to move beyond the record-to-report process to a new approach known as continuous accounting.

Accounting professionals will no longer spend hours and hours doing their account reconciliations manually at the end of every month using Excel spreadsheets as Blackline will help them to automate manual financial and accounting processes reducing the likelihood of human error.

The programme is a cloud-based tool which allows accountants to compare one item against another. It works with a wide range of ERPs and source systems such as PeopleSoft and Microsoft so long as the information is saved on a readable file and not in a PDF format.

"It leverages the power of cloud technology," says Josh. "The cloud is the way forward; many companies around the world have said this."

According to Josh the software is simple and easy to use. It allows accountants to put together their journals in a more structured way where they can attach and manage supporting documentation in a predefined and automated fashion.

Blackline gives accountants the opportunity to work collaboratively and share information with anyone on the team. "You can see which reconciliations have been prepared, what their status is and who they have been viewed by," explains Josh.

The tool also provides internal and external auditors access to reconciliations but only once accountants have completed the work. "This means auditors don't have to come into the office and breathe down your neck and be in your face, they can just access it remotely," says Josh.

The software reflects a modern way of reporting and provides faster analysis and real-time accuracy.