BlackLine’s Variance Analysis Monitoring module uses standardized configurable templates and rule-based workflows intelligently designed to quickly identify unusual account activity and automatically flag and route outliers for review.

With this module, you can automate data imports such as Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Balances, and run calculations and workflows that help you monitor and mitigate risks. These calculations and variances are based on pre-defined rules you set, and accounts that fall outside of the configured thresholds are routed to individuals you’ve indicated for assessment.

Benefits of BlackLine’s Variance Analysis Monitoring include:

  • Completely eliminate the need for spreadsheets.
  • Strengthening controls for improved SOX compliance.
  • Save timing by shifting the focus to only flagged risks.
  • Real-time dashboard visibility and notification reporting that is centralized and observable.
  • Pre-built ERP connectors that make it easy to send over trial balances to BlackLine in both the account and financial reporting currency using flexible frequency options such as hourly, daily, every n hour(s).

BlackLine’s Variance Analysis Monitoring Configurations

If BlackLine’s Variance Analysis Monitoring module sounds useful (we sure think it is), here are some key configurations you may want to consider:

  • Grouping: Identify accounts to group for your analysis. For example, fixed asset and inventory accounts are common groups to consider.
  • Variance Rules: Rules can be based on an amount and/or percentage applied to an absolute value. Activity-based rules compare net changes between defined periods, whereas account-based rules focus on the balance for specified periods.  You can apply these rules to a specific entity, country, region, or account segments such as departments. Tip:  Ensure your rules are precise enough to meet your auditor’s materiality requirements but not so restrictive that they cause an influx of unnecessary warnings.  
  • Types of Analysis: Variances can be designed for balance sheets, profit and loss, and balance sheet to profit and loss account comparisons. These comparisons can be measured annually, monthly, quarterly, or custom period configurations for historical balances and activity.
  • Budgets: Using BlackLine’s templates, you can import budgets to perform additional variance analysis for entities, accounts, and defined segments.
  • Reports: Evaluate the type of reports each user should see and design dashboards that help your team quickly and easily monitor issues as they arise.

Want to learn more about BlackLine’s variance analysis capabilities? Reach out to our team at