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November 29, 2023
Min Read

Ultimate Guide to BlackLine Account Reconciliation

Understand what BlackLine Account Reconciliation is and how it works. Covering features, cost, implementation, ERP compatibility, and alternatives.

Daniela Andreevska
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Account reconciliation is an important part of financial close that is prone to unintentional human error and can be time-consuming for accounting teams, necessitating automating and streamlining the process. BlackLine Account Reconciliation is one tool that companies and their modern accounting teams use for this purpose.

This article looks at how BlackLine facilitates the financial reconciliation process, how it works, what options and features it offers, and how much it costs. 

When choosing the best account reconciliation software, it’s important to explore a few different options, especially if your team finds implementing and working with BlackLine to be complicated. Numeric is one alternative to consider, a good fit for companies that want much of the power and flexibility of BlackLine, but are struggling to configure BlackLine properly. Numeric couples sophisticated reconciliation tools with an easy-to-use interface.

What Is BlackLine Account Reconciliation?

BlackLine is a cloud-based financial and accounting automation platform. BlackLine Account Reconciliation is an indispensable feature of the BlackLine platform which streamlines and automates the account reconciliation process, associated with the monthly financial close.

As a leading software tool in the field of financial reconciliation, BlackLine helps companies:

  • Automate the reconciliation process by matching transactions in subledgers and their GL
  • Configure reconciliation workflows based on the specific needs of the business
  • Integrate with previously used spreadsheets, financial systems, and ERPs to facilitate processes
  • Keep track of the reconciliation process for on-time reviews and approvals by all involved parties
  • Make sure that balance sheet account reconciliations comply with internal and external rules and regulations
  • Access some reporting and analytical insight dashboards to identify possible areas of improvement

All in all, tools like BlackLine Account Reconciliation reduce the time that accountants need to spend in timesheets and the errors they can make while reconciling accounts.

BlackLine During the Financial Close

BlackLine offers a comprehensive close management solution that helps businesses - which have the necessary human resources to implement the platform efficiently - unify and automate their financial close processes. BlackLine brings task management, centralization, automation, improved compliance, and real-time visibility to enterprises and their financial teams.

The BlackLine Account Reconciliation module nests under the broader umbrella of BlackLine’s close management software, which includes project management of all tasks involved in the monthly close. Across the month, teams log in to BlackLine to complete recs, approve records, and submit tasks within their financial close checklist.

Reconciliation Automation Benefits: Less Time in Excel

Traditionally to produce accurate financial statements, reconciliation was done manually and required multiple hours of comparing numbers from numerous sources, month after month. When this kind of work is done in spreadsheets, it’s prone to human error, the effects of which are multiplied each time a formula is copied across a spreadsheet and the wrongful balance is carried forward to the next month.

Accounting software solved this problem by automating and streamlining the process of financial reconciliation via tools like transaction matching, minimizing the work that has to be done in Excel spreadsheets, and introducing important controls along the way.

While spreadsheets are still involved in reconciliation, teams are no longer fully reliant on catching changes and differences in Excel alone. Automating account reconciliation translates into less time spent in spreadsheets and higher confidence in end data quality, particularly for teams tackling more complex inter-company accounting. 

The emergence of tools like BlackLine Account Reconciliation has brought many benefits for companies and their accounting processes:

  • Elimination of unnecessary paperwork
  • Standardization in reconciliation templates
  • More efficient workflows
  • More accurate reconciliation results
  • Improved reporting accuracy
  • Centralize for better visibility among teams
  • Stronger controls
  • Enhanced audit readiness
  • More time left for strategic thinking 

When to Use BlackLine Account Reconciliation & Who's a Good Fit

With its sophisticated tools and functionalities, BlackLine can be a great fit for different types of large-scale businesses. Given the robustness of configuration options, many companies using BlackLine have a staff member assigned as the platform specialist, responsible for changes to the platform and for responding to internal questions on setup.

However, for smaller teams with limited human resources, the complex platform and the steep learning curve can make BlackLine suboptimal.

BlackLine Account Reconciliation is a good fit for:

  • Mid-size companies: Mid-market businesses with devoted finance and accounting teams with backgrounds leveraging BlackLine find the platform beneficial in streamlining financial reconciliation. Typically companies managing intercompany reconciliations benefit strongly from reconciliation software. 
  • Large enterprises: Large companies, whether privately held or publicly listed, working in diverse industries, are able to improve processes involving numerous employees in different departments and offices with customization and flexibility.
  • Governmental bodies: Public institutions and governmental departments can use BlackLine to improve public budget transparency and accountability.
  • Large-scale non-for-profit organizations: International NGOs are able to streamline reconciliation processes and demonstrate improved accuracy and accountability to management and donors.
  • Accounting firms: Accounting firms with multiple clients with hundreds of accounts with primarily larger companies can enhance productivity.

Teams that want much of the power of BlackLine but can’t devote dedicated staff to implement and provide ongoing support for reconciliation software should consider Numeric. Numeric offers all the must-have functionalities of BlackLine via an extremely intuitive and user-friendly interface and design.

How Does BlackLine Account Reconciliation Work?

Reconciling accountd with BlackLine requires conducting an initial, one-time setup and performing a list of tasks during each close.

Setting Up BlackLine Account Reconciliation

The steps needed to get started include:

  1. Set up a template: Users can choose from nine standard, readily available templates and customize them to their specific needs by adding, deleting, and rearranging fields. This is a one-time process, and templates can be revised later on and adjusted when needed.
  2. Add basic template information: You can add company policies, procedures, and guidelines that get automatically carried forward month after month to ensure compliance with internal and external requirements.
  3. Add items and data: You can add items related to the GL, subledgers, and supporting documents manually or import data from spreadsheets, financial systems, and ERPs. After reconciliation, balances get automatically rolled forward each month.
  4. Configure workflows: You can outline the steps of the reconciliation process and specify the main roles like preparer and reviewer so that in the future account reconciliations automatically move to the next person once a stage has been completed.
  5. Schedule balances: You can automatically feed the GL balance on a scheduled basis, with a frequency selected by you. BlackLine sends a notification when the balance changes and decertifies it for another review. Note: Alternative reconciliation tools can provide transaction-level details on what has changed.
  6. Introduce controls: BlackLine adds multiple levels of control throughout the reconciliation process, minimizing the risk of human error and fraud. One control option is to set up your own thresholds for automatic certification through auto-certification rules. Another typical control is that, once reconciliation has been certified, no further changes and comments are possible.
  7. Apply automatic certification: To save extra time, you can set BlackLine to automatically certify reconciliations if the schedule balance meets the general ledger within a threshold, determined by you.

Once a reconciliation template has been set up and implemented, all the basic data and documents will remain there to use in upcoming reconciliations. Remaining balances will be rolled forward into the next period. 

Compare BlackLine with Numeric's reconciliation product

Schedule Walkthrough

Ongoing Reconciliation with BlackLine

The tasks that need to be completed each month are:

  • Receive and address difference alerts: The BlackLine software calculates the difference for what has not been supported in the GL balance and sends out alerts for discrepancies above preselected tolerable thresholds. Before being able to certify reconciliation, you need to review sizable unidentified differences and provide additional details to explain them.
  • Provide additional documents: Accounting for unidentified differences might require importing new supporting documents that became available during this period.
  • Leave comments: Preparers can write comments right within the system that get or do not get carried forward.
  • Review and certify account reconciliation: When all differences have been accounted for, you can review reconciliations once again within the BlackLine platform and certify them. When you certify a reconciliation, it gets locked down so that no further changes and comments can be made. 
  • Approve reconciliation: Once accounts have been reconciled, reconciliations get approved by the relevant person within the system, eliminating the need to print out reports and deliver physical copies.

This process helps eliminate error, improve accountability, and save time during the month-end close.

What ERPs Does BlackLine Account Reconciliation Work With?

While ERPs are meant to be the main data warehouse for a company’s accounting data, they are not designed for accounting and close processes, such as account reconciliation. Thus, BlackLine integrates with multiple ERP software platforms in order to send data in both directions and to fill in the gaps in financial close management.

BlackLine Account Reconciliation is compatible with both more and less popular ERPs including:

  • QuickBooks
  • Sage Intacct
  • NetSuite
  • Acumatica
  • AS400
  • Cobalt
  • Deacom
  • Deltek
  • Dynamics SL
  • Epicor
  • Filosoft
  • Fiserv
  • Flexi
  • Homegrown
  • Infinium 
  • Infor
  • Jack Henry
  • Ledger
  • McKesson
  • Metavante
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Oracle
  • Oracle PeopleSoft
  • Sage 500 (formerly MAS 500)
  • SAP
  • Scala
  • Workday
  • Yardi

How Much BlackLine Account Reconciliation Costs

BlackLine plans and prices are flexible and can be customized to meet the requirements of teams of different sizes and with various needs. BlackLine operates a subscription-based model, with monthly and annual options.

The factors that affect the cost include:

  • Subscription duration: Annual plans are cheaper than monthly ones.
  • Number of user licenses: Adding more team users results in higher costs.
  • Additional features: Customized features that are not available in the standard plan lead to more expensive fees.
  • Necessary integrations: Integrating the BlackLine platform with currently used financial systems beyond ERPs increases the total cost.
  • Required data migration: Migrating data from available financial and accounting tools incurs an additional cost.
  • Implementation and training: Setting up the software and getting initial training on how to use BlackLine Account Reconciliation might be charged separately.

Before deciding whether BlackLine is the best option for your enterprise’s account reconciliation needs, it’s important to get a quote on the exact price that you will need to pay on a monthly or annual basis. To do this, you need to get in touch with a BlackLine sales representative via the company website and discuss your specific situation. You should make sure that the costs that your company is about to incur will be compensated for by the expected time and effort savings. Moreover, you should compare the BlackLine plan with quotes from several alternatives.

Best BlackLine Account Reconciliation Alternatives

For companies that are actively evaluating reconciliation softwares or current BlackLine users looking for simpler options, it’s worth checking out some of their top alternatives.

The best BlackLine competitors for account reconciliation software include:


Numeric is the leading BlackLine Account Reconciliation alternative as the platform offers the same main tools and functionalities, while emphasizing flexibility and ease of use. Numeric account reconciliation is a top choice for businesses that give priority to a quick and efficient implementation or for teams that don’t have dedicated staff to support BlackLine configuration and maintenance. Numeric is powerful, but not overpowering.

As the first close management tool to incorporate AI, Numeric delivers AI-driven accounting workflows including AI-drafted variance explanations and a technical accounting AI co-pilot. Reporting features enable companies to quickly and easily query data in their GL, and Numeric highlights specific transaction-level changes since an account was last reconciled. Importantly, Numeric is free to get started with for close management basics, and the paid version includes reconciliation.


FloQast account reconciliation is another good fit for companies that would like to streamline the financial close process and specifically account reconciliation, without the need for reporting and for such sophisticated customization as offered by BlackLine.

Pros and Cons of BlackLine Account Reconciliation

Like any other accounting software platform, BlackLine has its own advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration when making a decision about the best option for your team.

BlackLine Account Reconciliation Pros

The main benefits of using BlackLine for account reconciliation include:

  • Powerful, robust platform
  • Comprehensive account reconciliation functionalities and capabilities
  • Good fit for large businesses and large non-for-profit organizations
  • Large existing client base of public and non-public companies
  • Integration with top ERPs used by major companies and corporations

BlackLine Account Reconciliation Cons

Some major drawbacks to consider include:

  • Complicated implementation and setup, which might be overwhelming for small teams
  • Steep learning curve, which for some users may feel as overpowering rather than empowering
  • Necessity to implement and maintain with a system administrator

Bottom Line on BlackLine Account Reconciliation

BlackLine Account Reconciliation is a comprehensive, robust, and potent solution, which positions it as one of the leaders among financial reconciliation automation tools. However, for some teams the power of BlackLine is offset by the required expertise to implement properly, which can make it suboptimal for smaller-scale companies.

Meanwhile, Numeric account reconciliation is a top alternative that provides all the must-have features of an account reconciliation platform while being easy to use. In this way, you can easily and efficiently streamline your company’s end-of-month reconciliation processes, no matter your industry and the size of your team.

To learn more about how Numeric can help you streamline and facilitate account reconciliation and the other parts of the financial close process, click here.

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