Variance Analysis

With increasing regulatory requirements around internal controls, it is more important than ever for companies to truly understand the derivation of the financials on their balance sheets and P&L statements. The BlackLine Variance Analysis product replaces the spreadsheet flux analysis that is manually completed by many companies as part of their risk identification and mitigation process.

Using Variance Analysis is straightforward. Accounts that need monitoring are identified with user-defined parameters, such as account ranges and types, entity filters, balance and percentage thresholds, and comparison periods. Whenever new balances are imported into BlackLine, the rules engine is executed, creating variance analysis templates for the accounts that deviate from defined parameters. Automated workflow ensures that variance analyses are assigned to the people most familiar with the accounts, so an explanation can be given for each material variance.

Once variance analyses have been completed and certified with any supporting documentation attached, this information can be rolled up and analyzed with integrated reports.

Key Features

  • Rules-driven engine automatically creates variance analysis for all accounts that fall outside predetermined thresholds
  • More than 15 different types of period comparisons to select from (quarter-over-quarter, year- over-year, current year-to-year end, budget-to-actual, etc.)
  • Variances created by examining balances and/or comparative percentage deltas
  • All types of accounts including both balance sheet and profit-and-loss (P&L) accounts can be monitored
  • Foreign Exchange differentials can be automatically calculated and included in the variance explanations
  • Built-in workflow automatically assigns variance analyses to people most familiar with accounts
  • Links to underlying reconciliations simplifies research process

Key Benefits

  • Rules-driven approach ensures that all material variances are analyzed before the numbers reach financial statements
  • Currency fluctuations automatically accounted for and documented
  • Workflow replaces phone calls and post-it notes and saves substantial time
  • Roll-up reporting gives flexible, real-time visibility into balance fluctuations
Account Reconciliations right image

Variance Analysis

Case Studies


Zurich American Insurance Company


As an integrated part of the BlackLine Finance Controls and Automation Suite, Variance Analysis provides critical capabilities that ensure transparency into the analysis of balance fluctuations in real-time.