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BlackLine and Ellucian to Deliver Market-Leading Accounting Automation Capabilities to Higher Education Customers

Financial automation software leader and leading provider of software and services to the higher ed market join forces to help transform accounting operations for colleges and universities worldwide

LOS ANGELES , April 4, 2019 /CNW/ - Leading financial automation software company BlackLine, Inc. (BL) and Ellucian, a premier provider of software and services to the higher education market, are teaming up to deliver best-in-class finance controls and automation software solutions to colleges and universities around the world, with BlackLine becoming the first and only financial close automation solution in Ellucian's partner ecosystem.  Together, the companies will help customers undergo a digital financial transformation – automating critical accounting processes, strengthening internal controls and providing near real-time transparency into financial data and transactions.

Higher education institutions typically employ Student Information Systems (SIS) to manage complex processes surrounding student-related data.  Unfortunately, SIS Finance systems often have limited automation capabilities with regards to the work accountants do to certify balances and analyze results.  As a result, colleges and universities with traditionally small accounting staffs tend to place a large burden on IT to continually export general ledger data, then import it to Excel where the accountants manually 'tic-and-tie' to ensure balances are correct.  Though finance and accounting staff may be limited, transaction volumes can be huge – creating a massive manual workload.  Staff burdened by this do not have the time required to analyze the financial data to help make informed business decisions.

"Higher Education is experiencing a paradigm change, with new pressures to demonstrate quality, efficiency and accountability.  The role of the CFO has evolved to that of a strategic partner and advisor to institutional leadership, expected to drive change with financial insights," said Kevin Guyton , vice president, North America Higher Education, BlackLine.  "To meet these increasing demands and achieve operational excellence, institutions are looking to transformative technologies to help innovate and guide decision-making.  By partnering with Ellucian, we can help colleges and universities automate their formerly manual and spreadsheet-driven processes and achieve digital transformation in their accounting departments."

Ellucian works with more than 2,500 educational institutions in more than 50 countries.  The alliance with BlackLine will enable deeper integration between Ellucian's software and BlackLine's cloud-based financial automation platform resulting in a transformation for finance and accounting staff from performing massively tedious, rote and repetitive manual tasks to contributing to value-added activities that have a strategic impact on business decisions.  BlackLine picks up where the SIS Finance system leaves off, bringing organizations using Ellucian's Banner or Colleague offerings the latest innovations in financial close technology, including BlackLine Transaction Matching powered by machine learning, as well as improved data analysis, compliance and risk management capabilities.

Joint customers already enjoying the benefits of working with both BlackLine and Ellucian include Drexel University , Gonzaga University and University of California, Davis (UC Davis).  Additional higher education institutions using BlackLine include Michigan State University , University of California, Los Angeles ( UCLA ) and Vanderbilt University , among others.

"At Gonzaga , we started using BlackLine alongside Ellucian Banner as a way to automate processes where our accounting software was lacking," said Michelle Soss, assistant controller, Gonzaga University.  "Automating has improved not only our accounting close processes, but also employee morale and access to information.  I can't imagine going back to the old way.  Since implementing BlackLine, we now have the time to make a positive impact on higher-value activities." 

"At UC Davis, we were reaching a tipping point where we knew we needed to modernize and start thinking smarter.  We were processing so many transactions manually that it didn't leave time to work on pressing issues that had been neglected," said Mehdi Tazi , accounting supervisor, University of California , Davis.  "Since implementing BlackLine, I now have the time to make a positive impact on higher-value activities."

BlackLine will be showcasing its cloud platform in booth No. 947 at Ellucian Live 2019, from April 7 – 10 in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

About BlackLine
BlackLine is a provider of cloud-based solutions that transform Finance and Accounting (F&A) by automating, centralizing and streamlining financial close operations, intercompany accounting processes and other key F&A processes for large and midsize organizations.  The company is recognized by Gartner as a Leader in its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close Solutions and as a pioneer in the cloud market for enhanced financial control and automation.

Designed to complement virtually all ERP and other financial systems including SAP, Oracle and NetSuite, BlackLine increases operational efficiency, real-time visibility, control and compliance to ensure end-to-end financial close management and accounting automation from within a single, unified cloud platform.  Enabling customers to move beyond outdated processes and point solutions to a Continuous Accounting model, in which real-time automation, controls and period-end tasks are embedded within day-to-day activities, BlackLine helps companies modernize accounting operations with intelligent automation, ensuring more accurate and insightful financial statements and a more efficient financial close. 

More than 2,600 companies with users around the world trust BlackLine to help ensure balance sheet integrity and confidence in their financial statements.  Based in Los Angeles , BlackLine also has regional headquarters in London , Singapore and Sydney . For more information, please visit www.blackline.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "could," "expect," "plan," anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "intend," "potential," "would," "continue," "ongoing" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology.  Forward-looking statements in this release include statements regarding our growth plans and opportunities.

Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon BlackLine's current plans, estimates and expectations and are not a representation that such plans, estimates, or expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management's good faith beliefs and assumptions as of that time with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties.  If any of these risks or uncertainties materialize or if any assumptions prove incorrect, actual performance or results may differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements.  These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks related to the Company's ability to execute on its strategies, attract new customers, enter new geographies and regions and develop, release and sell new features and solutions; and other risks and uncertainties described in the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including the risks described under the heading "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and you should not place undue reliance on such statements.  Except as required by law, we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

SOURCE BlackLine


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