Choosing the Right Financial Close Software: BlackLine vs. FloQast

As mid-market companies evaluate software solutions to improve the efficiency of their financial close, the final choice is often between BlackLine and FloQast. Both solutions help finance teams improve monthly and quarterly closes by managing tasks and tracking certifications of account reconciliations. However, depending on your organization’s needs, one may be the more suitable option.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Financial Software Solution

As with any software platform, the best choice for your company depends on a variety of factors including your:

  • Current needs
  • Growth aspirations
  • Long-term organizational goals

Not all software is the same and understanding these considerations in relation to your organization can help you choose a solution that solves your immediate challenges and meets your long-term needs.

Approaches to Account Reconciliations

Both solutions offer tools that improve the visibility of the financial close process but differ in their approaches and the degree of automation they offer.

FloQast’s Approach to Account Reconciliations

FloQast’s approach to account reconciliations centers around maintaining the current Microsoft Excel-based process and adding workflow tracking along with alerts about pending and past due dates, tasks, and items ready for review. The software offers light workflow capabilities but focuses primarily on increasing the visibility of the account reconciliation process. FloQast helps accounting teams quickly organize a previously disparate reconciliation process.

BlackLine’s Approach to Account Reconciliations

BlackLine’s platform approach is built on unifying, orchestrating, and automating the reconciliation process, end-to-end, with advanced workflow capabilities that can be configured based on user needs. It can automate reconciliation processes from data feeds and matching transactions to the auto-reconciliation of accounts. BlackLine reports customers have automated up to 98% of their reconciliations.

Advanced user controls within the platform increase process accuracy and assure SOX compliance. BlackLine offers task management and real-time dashboards so accounting teams can easily manage the process and check the status of reconciliations at any time.

BlackLine extends beyond reconciliations and provides solutions to dependent processes, including journal entries. Users can manually or automatically create and post journal entries from BlackLine into their corresponding ERP. This is especially convenient when preparing an adjustment during the reconciliation process.

Watch the video below to learn more about how BlackLine can enhance your internal controls.

Integration with ERPs and Other Systems

FloQast and BlackLine integrate with a company’s ERP and other systems to bring in relevant general ledger, subledger, and other balance and transactional data. However, BlackLine offers greater control for organizations with the ability to lock down and limit access to financial data, reducing the potential for unauthorized access. BlackLine’s user access and control features reduce a company’s audit and misstatement risk.

Advanced Functionality for Finance Transformation

FloQast, on the other hand, highlights that their strategy allows finance teams to retain their existing close process, primarily through spreadsheets. Their software allows teams to centralize work and add visibility to the process.

BlackLine’s centralized cloud-based approach focuses on adding rigor and automation to manual processes to limit work performed in a spreadsheet. This approach enables organizations to streamline their accounting processes while establishing a foundation for an organization to optimize processes as they grow.

BlackLine’s advanced functionality helps finance teams free capacity to perform more value-added work, such as financial analysis, to help management better understand the company’s financial performance and to identify growth and market opportunities.

Implementation Time and Ease

FloQast points out the speed at which their software can be implemented. This is an advantage for companies that must purchase and be up and running within a few days. This approach is supported because FloQast aims to maintain a spreadsheet-based process with light workflow and reporting capabilities that increase transparency.

BlackLine’s implementation typically takes a few weeks, with minimal IT effort needed. It’s helpful to consider BlackLine’s approach includes capabilities that modernize end-to-end accounting processes with more capabilities that drive process rigor and automation.

Choosing the Right Solution for Your Company

Overall, the choice between FloQast and BlackLine depends on your company’s financial reporting needs and transaction volume.

For a company interested in basic workflow improvements, FloQast offers a good introduction to using technology to enhance the financial close. If you need a short-term solution, or are looking to make the process incrementally better, FloQast may be the right choice.

For a company seeking long-term process improvement, and sustainable, finance transformation, we believe BlackLine tends to be the better choice. In our experience, BlackLine offers more opportunities to automate and streamline processes, better insights into financial data, and a broader set of financial reporting and management capabilities. More importantly, we’ve seen BlackLine’s capability to grow with an organization to any size, from a small startup to a Fortune 100 firm.

Interested in learning more about BlackLine vs. FloQast? Reach out for a demo and see how BlackLine can help automate and transform your organization’s financial close.