Ask BlackLine CFO Charles Best how his company has enhanced its financial reporting and analysis amid aggressive international expansion, and it probably won’t be long before he brings up Adaptive Insights, NetSuite, and the “awesome” convergence of these two cloud solutions.
For BlackLine, the leader in enhanced finance controls and automation software, the tight integration between Adaptive Insights and NetSuite means its plans, forecasts, and reports are always populated with actuals. As it turns out, that’s an essential capability for a growing company with seven international locations.
“Our finance team needs to provide real-time answers whenever there’s a question about where things stand today, tomorrow, or the strategic long-term plan,” said Best. Pulling reoccurring revenue data, balance sheet information, and expenditures from NetSuite into Adaptive Planning has transformed the plans and forecasts the company relies on. The integration, said Best, “has just been awesome.”
It’s a big change from the days when BlackLine generated reports and consolidated its financials in Excel. Reports that once took days to generate now are complete in 20 minutes, and financial consolidation is done in less than a week. And because the team can also aggregate product, customer, and sales data from Salesforce and ADP systems into the flagship Adaptive Planning product, reports are more detailed. Meanwhile, the finance team is able to maintain a rolling financial forecast that extends 18 months into the future.
Best pinpointed other benefits of BlackLine’s use of Adaptive Insights and NetSuite. Sophisticated drilldown to source data, for instance, helps the finance team uncover new, valuable insights into specific departments, offices, and geographies. The team can also segment and analyze data by locations and local currencies, enabling leaders to benchmark performance and make more informed forecasts for the overall business.
“We’re gathering data that we didn’t have time to gather in the past,” explained Best, noting that his team now has time to explore new types of analysis and identify trends that lead to helpful insights. “All of this helps us continually understand business performance, share insights with the global team, and confidently decide what to do next.”