Finance & Accounting
Los Angeles, CA
Overall Rank: 5
Category: Finance & Accounting
Category Rank: 1
- Top Software Company of 2023
- Power 500 Software Company
Companies come to BlackLine because their traditional manual accounting processes are not sustainable. BlackLine’s cloud-based financial operations management platform helps large enterprises and midsize companies move to modern accounting by automating financial close, accounts receivable, and intercompany accounting processes.
Founded in 2001 by Therese Tucker, former CTO of SunGuard Treasury Systems, the company set out to replace outdated Excel spreadsheets with an accounting-specific suite of solutions. Now under the direction of Ms. Tucker, alongside Co-CEO Owen Ryan, former CEO of Deloitte Advisory, BlackLine is considered a global industry leader with more than 4,300 customers including Coca-Cola, Domino’s, Dow, eBay, Nasdaq, and SiriusXM.
BlackLine has shown considerable recent growth, with revenues for 2022 up 23% over 2021, and continues to make significant strides in enhancing solutions for customers, solidifying its position as the market leader. BlackLine also continues to grow its world-class partner ecosystem to further penetrate the $39B+ opportunity in the financial close, accounts receivable, and intercompany accounting automation markets, partnering globally with such notable names as Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and SAP.
As further testament to its success, BlackLine is recognized as the leader by customers at leading end-user review sites including Gartner Peer Insights, G2 and TrustRadius.
Financial Close Management
BlackLine’s Financial Close Management solution helps organizations unify, automate, and modernize their financial close processes. By replacing repetitive and spreadsheet-heavy work with automation, teams can refocus on analysis and strategic business partnerships. The solution centralizes data and closes activities, automates journal entries and reconciliations, strengthens controls, and enhances visibility. It improves reporting accuracy and efficiency, increases agility and supports future growth, streamlines audits and supports ESG efforts, and removes bottlenecks to deliver timely insights.
Accounts Receivable Automation
BlackLine’s Accounts Receivable Automation solution enables organizations to transform and modernize their accounts receivable processes. By leveraging intelligent automation, it optimizes working capital and improves cash flow. The solution helps maximize the capacity and efficiency of AR teams by eliminating manual and error-prone processes while providing control, visibility, and global standardization. It elevates data-driven decisions, improving customer and business relationships through better communication and operational excellence. The solution includes features such as cash application, credit, and risk management, collections management, disputes and deductions management, team and task management, AR intelligence, and invoicing and compliance.
Intercompany Financial Management
Their Intercompany Financial Management solution goes beyond achieving zero balances and helps organizations improve their intercompany operations. It enables the design and improvement of intercompany operating models, determination of tax impacts, configuration of billing routes, and automation of transactions. The solution improves operational efficiency by automating intercompany accounting entries and invoice creation, manages global tax compliance by modeling billing routes and enabling group compliance, drives margin improvements by capturing intercompany charges with granularity, and optimizes working capital by improving intercompany financing and forecasting. The solution includes intercompany non-trade, intercompany balance and resolve, and intercompany net and settle functionalities.
The average rating for BlackLine on G2, based on customer reviews, is 4.4 out of 5 stars. This indicates a generally positive sentiment among the customers who have shared their experiences on the platform.
Ease of Use
Several customers praised BlackLine for its user-friendly interface and ease of use. The software’s intuitive design and navigation were frequently mentioned as factors contributing to a positive user experience.
Automation and Efficiency
Many customers highlighted BlackLine’s automation capabilities and how it improved their financial processes. The software’s ability to streamline and automate tasks such as reconciliations, journal entries, and intercompany processes was highly appreciated.
Financial Close and Reporting
BlackLine’s effectiveness in facilitating the financial close process and generating accurate financial reports was a common theme in customer reviews. Customers mentioned that the software helped them reduce errors, save time, and achieve greater transparency in their financial reporting.
Collaboration and Visibility
The collaborative features of BlackLine were positively acknowledged by customers. The ability to easily share information, track progress, and communicate within the software was highlighted as a significant advantage.
BlackLine’s customer support received positive feedback from users. Customers mentioned the prompt and helpful responses from the support team, indicating a strong commitment to addressing customer needs.
While most customers were satisfied with BlackLine’s integration capabilities, a few mentioned challenges when integrating with certain legacy systems. However, the majority of reviews indicated that BlackLine integrates well with other financial systems, providing a seamless experience.
- BlackLine has more than 4,300 customers globally.
- It invests over $100M annually in research and development.
- They have been recognized as a Gartner Leader for 4 years in a row.
- The company has more than 75 strategic partners.
- BlackLine has over 375,000 users in 130+ countries.
- They operate in 12 countries.
- More than 50% of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 use BlackLine to automate finance and accounting processes
- BlackLine has almost 2000 employees.
- In the last 6 months, their total headcount growth has decreased by 2%.
- BlackLine has acquired 3 organizations. The most recent acquisition was Data Acquisition in September 2023
- BlackLine has raised a total of $220M in funding over 1 round.
- The funding round was a Private Equity round raised on Aug 16, 2013.
- BlackLine is funded by 3 investors. The most recent investors are Silver Lake Sumeru and Silver Lake.
Ratings and Commentary
The organization’s strength lies in its extensive customer base, with over 4,000 customers globally, including prestigious Fortune 500 companies. With a solid presence in major business centers across 12 countries, BlackLine demonstrates a strong foothold in the market. The size of the market BlackLine operates in is substantial, catering to large enterprises and midsize companies across all industries. Their cloud-based financial operations management platform has garnered trust and recognition, leading to its adoption by companies seeking to modernize their accounting practices. Furthermore, BlackLine’s reputation as a leader in the cloud financial close industry, as acknowledged by customers on renowned review sites, showcases the organization’s commitment to delivering quality products.
BlackLine’s commitment to product quality is evident in its significant investment of over $40 million annually in research and development. This ongoing investment allows the company to stay at the forefront of innovation and maintain its position as a Gartner Leader for four consecutive years. Their dedication to enhancing user experience is further exemplified by their large user base of over 350,000 users across 130+ countries.
Capital backing is a crucial aspect of any organization, and BlackLine has demonstrated its strong financial position. The company has raised a total of $220 million in funding, with the most recent funding round being a Private Equity round in 2013. This capital injection has provided BlackLine with the necessary resources to fuel its growth and expansion.
While BlackLine enjoys a strong position in the market, it is not without competition. Competitors such as Sage Intacct and FloQast provide alternatives in the financial close and accounting automation space. However, BlackLine’s extensive customer base, global presence, and reputation as a leader in the industry, coupled with strategic partnerships, serve as strong defenses against competitive threats. With a dedicated leadership team including Therese Tucker and Owen Ryan, BlackLine is well-positioned to continue steering the ship and delivering value to its customers in the years to come.
Therese Tucker, Founder and Co-CEO
Therese Tucker is the founder of BlackLine, having established the company in 2001. She played a pivotal role in designing the initial products and driving the transition of BlackLine to the cloud in 2007. Therese led the company through its successful IPO in 2016 and has been instrumental in the development of BlackLine’s flagship Finance Controls and Automation Platform, which automates the financial close process. With a background as Chief Technology Officer for SunGard Treasury Systems, Therese brings extensive expertise to her role. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Illinois.
Owen Ryan, Co-CEO and Chairman of the Board
Owen Ryan joined the BlackLine Board in August 2018 and assumed the position of Chairman in January 2023. Prior to his involvement with BlackLine, Owen held various leadership roles at Geller & Company and Geller Advisors, including Chief Executive Officer, Managing Principal, and Chief Strategy Officer from 2018 to 2022. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of AEGIS Insurance, a mutual insurance company, in 2016 and 2017. Owen’s tenure at Deloitte from 1985 to 2016 included being the CEO and Managing Partner of Deloitte Advisory from 2008.
Mark Partin, CFO
Mark Partin is responsible for driving growth and leveraging global demand for BlackLine’s software solutions, which enhance efficiency, financial governance, and risk management in financial operations. Previously, Mark served as CFO at Fiberlink Communications, a global Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company, and also played a key role in the IPO of Headhunter.net (now Careerbuilder.com). He brings a wealth of financial expertise to BlackLine and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Mark Woodhams, CRO
Mark Woodhams serves as the Chief Revenue Officer at BlackLine. He leads the worldwide sales organization and is responsible for overseeing BlackLine K.K., the company’s subsidiary in Japan. Additionally, Mark is responsible for managing BlackLine’s partner channel, including the global reseller agreement with SAP. With over 35 years of experience in the enterprise software industry, Mark has held senior sales positions at prominent companies such as NetSuite, Oracle, Hyperion, Capgemini, and Citicorp. Prior to joining BlackLine in 2018, Mark served as the vice president for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) at NetSuite, where he oversaw sales and operations in the region.
Based on the available Glassdoor reviews, BlackLine currently holds a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. This average rating indicates a moderately positive perception of the company’s culture by its employees.
- Organizational Culture: BlackLine is known for its people-focused culture, which emphasizes providing employees with the tools and support they need to succeed. According to Glassdoor reviews, employees describe the company culture as phenomenal, with smart and kind colleagues. BlackLine has been recognized as the Best Place to Work by Inc. Magazine for four consecutive years and has also been ranked among the top 100 Best Places to Work in LA by Built in LA. The company promotes a sense of fun and camaraderie while helping clients transition to modern accounting practices. This indicates that BlackLine values a positive work environment and strives to make work enjoyable for its employees.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: BlackLine is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion where employees can be themselves and positively influence the workplace. The company has dedicated leadership for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, which signifies a proactive approach toward creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. To support DEI, BlackLine has employee-driven resource groups and organizes monthly events and activities. These efforts demonstrate the company’s commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive work environment for all employees.
- Employee Benefits: The company offers a range of employee benefits to support the well-being of its employees. Some of the notable benefits include Company Paid Employee Health Insurance, Unlimited Paid Time Off, 401(k) Matching, Recognition & Rewards, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, and Well-Being.
The company recognizes the importance of employee well-being and offers various perks to support it. The organization is employee focused and tries to maintain a holistic work environment.
Owen Ryan has been a member of the BlackLine Board since August 2018 and has been serving as the Chair since January 2023. Prior to his role at BlackLine, Owen held various positions at Geller & Company and Geller Advisors from July 2018 to April 2022, including Chief Executive Officer, Managing Principal, and Chief Strategy Officer. Owen has an extensive background at Deloitte, where he worked from 1985 to 2016, ultimately serving as the CEO and Managing Partner of Deloitte Advisory from 2008.
Therese Tucker is the founder of BlackLine, having established the company in 2001. She played a pivotal role in designing the initial products offered by BlackLine and spearheaded the company’s transition to the cloud in 2007. Therese has been instrumental in leading the organization’s efforts to automate the financial close process through BlackLine’s Finance Controls and Automation Platform. Under her guidance, BlackLine has experienced substantial growth since its inception.
Tom Unterman has been a member of BlackLine’s Board of Directors since 2010. He is the founder of Rustic Canyon Partners, a venture capital firm established in 1999. Tom continues to be a Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners and serves on the boards of directors of several portfolio companies within the firm. Previously, he held executive positions at The Times Mirror Company, a newspaper publishing company that was acquired by Tribune Co. In his tenure at The Times Mirror Company, Tom served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Bruny Rios joined BlackLine’s Board of Directors in January 2023, leveraging her extensive experience in Finance and Accounting at Dell Technologies. She currently holds the position of Chief Accounting Officer at Dell, overseeing a global organization of more than a thousand professionals. Bruny previously served as the Senior Vice President of Global Revenue and Vice President of Corporate Accounting at Dell. Her expertise was crucial during the merger between Dell Technologies and EMC Corporation in 2016, where she managed multiple projects and processes while integrating the cultures of both companies.
Silver Lake Sumeru
Silver Lake Sumeru, the predecessor fund to Sumeru Equity Partners, acquired BlackLine Systems in 2013. At the time of the acquisition, BlackLine had attractive fundamentals, and strong customer references, and was addressing a market that still heavily relied on Excel spreadsheets. Sumeru Equity Partners, with over $3 billion in assets under management, provides growth capital, strategic insight, and operational expertise to technology companies in North America and Europe. Their partnership with founders and management aims to scale businesses efficiently and prioritize organic growth while exploring opportunities for selective mergers and acquisitions.
Silver Lake is a prominent investment firm that specializes in technology companies. They have a diverse portfolio with a cumulative enterprise value of more than $1 trillion. With a deep understanding of technology and a focus on generating compelling annual revenue growth, Silver Lake possesses an extensive network within the technology industry. The firm believes in sustainable and inclusive growth as essential for strong stakeholder returns and long-term success. Since its inception in 1999, Silver Lake has established a global investment platform that sets it apart from others in the industry.
ICONIQ Capital is an investment management firm with over $80 billion in assets under management. The firm’s investment philosophy centers around building resilient portfolios, partnering with visionary entrepreneurs, managing clients’ lives and legacies, and creating uncommon opportunities across various sectors and societies. ICONIQ Capital seeks to partner with inspired entrepreneurs who are transforming industries and shaping the future. They have a reputation for backing entrepreneurs and are known for convening collaborative philanthropy to enable effective giving at scale.
- 2023 – BlackLine was named to G2’s Annual Best Accounting and Finance Software List for the fourth consecutive year, recognizing its leadership position in automating finance and accounting processes.
- 2023 – The company expanded its presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region by launching a new office and data center in Sydney. It also appointed two new regional leaders, increased partner support, and localized its products to better serve the APAC market.
- BlackLine Joins Forces with Kofax to Add Globally Compliant Electronic Invoicing Capabilities to Accounts Receivable Automation Solutions (2023)
- BlackLine Board Names Owen Ryan Chair; Adds Experienced Industry Leadership to Board of Directors (2023)
- 2022 – BlackLine was named to TrustRadius’ inaugural Best Software list, which recognizes the best software products based on customer satisfaction, performance, and market fit. BlackLine received accolades in the Best Overall, Best for Enterprise, and Best for Mid-Sized categories.
- 2022 – They received the Tech Cares Award from TrustRadius for the third consecutive year. This award acknowledges the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), including its efforts in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among its employees, supporting remote work, and contributing to the communities in which it operates.
News and Press Releases
- June 8, 2023: Here’s Why Ave Maria Growth Fund Added BlackLine (BL) to its Portfolio (Read)
- June 6, 2023: Blackline Safety Announces Fiscal Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results Conference Call (Read)
- 15 May, 2023: BlackLine Continues Asia-Pacific Expansion (Read)
- November 08, 2022 – BlackLine Reveals Transformational Finance & Accounting Solutions at 15th Annual BeyondTheBlack Global Conference (Read)
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In terms of environmental sustainability, BlackLine has outlined key initiatives. They consider the environmental impact when selecting new office facilities, prioritizing green building standards such as LEED, BREEAM, Green Mark, or equivalent standards, as well as proximity to public transportation. The company is also dedicated to waste reduction by discouraging the use of disposable containers, promoting practices that minimize packaging and paper use, and preferring biodegradable and post-consumer waste products. They also emphasize responsible e-waste disposal and donate used hardware to nonprofit and educational organizations whenever possible. Furthermore, BlackLine aims to reduce emissions by minimizing nonessential business travel through video conferencing, encouraging the use of public transportation and carpooling, and advocating for the availability of electric vehicle charging stations in office parking facilities.
On the social responsibility front, BlackLine places a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The company actively promotes these values through various employee resources groups, such as those focused on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, and women. Additionally, BlackLine maintains strong relationships with its suppliers and has implemented a formal supplier diversity program to create opportunities for underrepresented vendors, including small businesses, disabled-owned, LGBTQ-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses. They also engages in giving back to the community by partnering with charities, providing volunteering experiences, and matching employee donations to human services-focused charities.
Additionally, BlackLine prioritizes the health and well-being of its employees by offering competitive compensation, comprehensive health benefits for employees and their families, extensive career and personal development training, and a flexible work environment. The company is committed to supporting mental and physical health and wellness through dedicated programs. In terms of corporate governance, BlackLine demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Women represent 50% of the board of directors, and 40% of directors come from underrepresented minority groups. The executive leadership team includes five women out of eleven members, reflecting the company’s dedication to diverse representation at the highest levels of decision-making.