Global Media Business: BlackLine implementation

The issue 

Having scaled significantly by acquisition over several years the Group had limited visibility of local balance sheet information as well as inconsistent & inefficient local reconciliation processes.

The solution

After Blackline had been selected as the global solution a Pilot was undertaken in 7 countries followed by a global roll out of the Account Reconciliation & Task Manager modules to 60 countries. Reporting dashboards were also built using additional technologies.

The approach

This was achieved through clear sponsorship & governance, agile project management, a rapid deployment methodology using standard templates, and effective training & change management

The outcomes 

The implementation digitised c150,000 monthly reconciliations & 20,000 tasks for over 1,000 entities in 18 months. This resulted in increased controls, greater consistency, reduced monthly reconciliation cycle times & an improved user experience.

Finance data is now mapped automatically from local finance systems to Blackline, balance sheet risk categories are now globally adopted and workflow is in place to drive adherence to month end reporting cycles.

Roles are more clearly defined within the function both locally & with the shared service partner Additionally Internal & External Audit are trained & now have appropriate access to the tool.

The scale, complexity & speed of this implementation enabled the client to win the Unifier award at the 2021 Blackline Modern Accounting Award

Project scope and digital technologies leveraged

  • BlackLine Modules deployed; Account Reconciliations, Task Manager, Reporting
  • Types of reconciliations; GL, GL to SL, Local B/S from ERP to Group B/S in SAP BPC
  • Number of users; ~1,300
  • Volumes; ~60 countries, >1000 entities, 150k reconciliations, 20k tasks
  • Technology enablers; Blackline, Tableau, >50ERPs (inc D365 and SAP), SAP BPC, Service Now, Nintex, RPA (UiPath)
  • Roll-out method; System design, Operating model design, B/S and MEC Policy update and Pilot rollout to 7 countries followed by global roll out across >50 countries


  • Automate; automated local to group balance sheet reconciliations with mapping built into BlackLine
  • Automate; automated transfer of balances from ERPs to BlackLine and from BlackLine to Tableau
  • Accelerate; status, timelines and risk of reconciliations shown in both BlackLine and Tableau using API vs sharepoint storage and email chasers prior to optimisation
  • Accelerate; internal audit and external audit provided access and trained on BlackLine
  • Elevate; all markets (~60) now using one tool (BlackLine) to complete balance sheet reconciliations and track month end close
  • Elevate; Resources from Continuate led the programme and helped the client win the Unifier award at the 2021 Blackline Modern Accounting Award

Key systems leveraged

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