Ray Skortz
Vertical Edge Consulting Group EPM Consultant

Vertical Edge worked on a project transitioning a client using Blackline for account reconciliations and task management to Oracle’s Financial Close Manager (FCM) and Account Reconciliation Manager (ARM). The client has now been using FCM and ARM for several months and provided feedback on what they like or do not like about the applications.

Items and features they liked in ARM and FCM:
• Using one system and one set of logon information
• The applications are easy to navigate and have a good feel
• Having all the tasks in one place (templates) which makes maintenance simpler
• Searching for older data is easier
• The filtering is in-depth
• Being able to use parent/child relationships to group similar items
• Using predecessor tasks to ensure items are completed in the proper sequence
• Multiple dashboards for viewing data and tracking the close process
• The ease of exporting to Excel
• Report Binders, which they run and provide to their external auditors instead of giving them system access
• Account Reconciliation mappings are easy to maintain
• The ability to set up an account reconciliation and mark it inactive until it is needed
• Liked by management due to ease of maintaining and status tracking

Items and features preferred in Blackline.
• Required less administration on the back end, meaning no setting up templates or creating schedules for each period
• Having the ability to recall a submitted task/reconciliation to make changes without needing to have it be rejected by the reviewer
• Liked better by users (most likely due to being new)

Items and features that were not liked in ARM and FCM:
• More administration on the back end having to set up and maintain templates and schedules
• Additional work getting schedules ready for each period
• Unable to make changes to a submitted task until it is rejected by the reviewer
• When rejecting a task, the user cannot select which level to reject it back to; the task is automatically rejected to the preparer
• When emails are sent out by the system, the from field is left blank and users are not sure if they should open the email
• Issues with attaching documents have occurred where a user suddenly can’t attach documents but if another user tries they are successful
• Ensuring that users are selecting tasks to work on from the correct schedule

Items and features that were not liked in Blackline:
• Searching and filtering for information is difficult
• Accounts had to be manually added each month for reconciliation
• Managing reconciliations and tasks is not as easy
• Getting historical data from Blackline after switching to Oracle was extremely difficult

Overall, the client is satisfied with the Oracle Financial Close Manager and Account Reconciliation Manager products. They like having everything in one system and the ease of maintaining the data in the software. While there are some improvements they would like to see, the positives of the software outweigh the negatives.