August 1, 2017
Automating the Financial Close Process After a Merger
Posted by Sean Batchelor
Business mergers are always a challenge for the finance team, especially when they are burdened by manual processes. Here’s how one Armanino client, a national financial services firm, recently found a solution to eliminate post-merger integration headaches and streamline their monthly financial close.
The firm, which manages roughly $13 billion, had acquired another asset management company, but they weren’t able to fully integrate their financial systems. This meant that more than a year after the merger, they were still running multiple instances of Microsoft Dynamics GP and Concur, reporting was completely manual, and the financial close process was taking 25+ days.
The financial services firm asked Armanino to perform a technology and business process assessment, and our team found numerous gaps. The monthly financial close was full of manual processes and workarounds, and with no integration of systems, the finance team was stuck using spreadsheets and paper. It took considerable time to track down data for manual cash reconciliation processes, and the staff was saving all journal entry support on a shared drive and then printing copies to save in physical binders, which made it hard to share information.
Based on these findings, we recommended that the firm automate and standardize their close process by implementing BlackLine to create paperless workflows, enable notifications and signoffs, and provide controls to ensure data accuracy. BlackLine provides automated transaction matching, a platform for journal entries and attached support, and established workflows, all integrated.
The anticipated result? The financial team will have a financial close that’s 3-10 days shorter, as well as enhanced internal controls and a clean audit trail that both shortens the audit process and makes it less expensive.
Contact the Armanino BlackLine team or Director Ryan Prindiville (email@example.com) to learn more about automating your financial close process.
Sean has over 8 years of public accounting experience with Armanino in both the audit and consulting departments with a focus on SOX (risk assessment, testing and documentation), SOC audits as well as full-scope financial statement audits (full cycle experience from client engagement to opinion issuance). In addition to his experience at Armanino, he has experience in corporate GL accounting with AAA NCNU Insurance Exchange. Sean has served clients in a variety of industries including high technology, manufacturing, financial services, private lending and insurance.