BlackLine buys FourQ to firm up inter-firm accounting ware 

Accounting automation software firm BlackLine has completed the acquisition of FourQ Systems, which is expected to enhance its existing intercompany accounting automation capabilities.

The move will also further strengthen BlackLine’s position with the Office of the Controller by driving end-to-end automation of traditionally manual intercompany accounting processes and accelerating BlackLine’s long-term plan for transforming and modernizing finance and accounting (F&A). 

BlackLine acquired FourQ for $165 million payable at close, plus earnout consideration of up to $75 million over the next three years subject to certain financial performance milestones.  BlackLine funded the transaction with existing cash on-hand. 

Intercompany accounting—the management of financial transactions between separate legal entities that belong to the same corporate group—has become a big drain on valuable F&A resources for multinational companies.  

The inherent complexity of intercompany financial management creates an unsustainable operating environment for organisations looking to modernize F&A operations.  With the acquisition of FourQ, BlackLine can further reduce intercompany complexity and help customers execute an effective global tax strategy.

Built by F&A and tax experts, FourQ’s intercompany financial management software delivers automated intercompany processing to help streamline the global operations of its customers.  With FourQ’s technology, those customers have increased their operational productivity and efficiency through improved intercompany billing, payment and tax optimization.

“Hard to believe, but most companies are still using legacy, repetitive and manual processes to manage intercompany, exposing their businesses to unnecessary costs, significant compliance risks, and missed working capital and tax opportunities,” said BlackLine CEO Marc Huffman.  

“F&A must become more agile to respond to constantly evolving market dynamics and regulatory needs—but they’re often buried in tactical transactional work and intercompany disputes,” said Huffman.

FourQ technology complements existing BlackLine functionality by adding advanced tax capabilities and improving regulatory compliance in areas such as statutory reporting and transfer pricing.  

With FourQ, companies can better enforce and optimise their global tax strategies.  As a result, companies can generate significant value by assuring compliance with tax laws including new e-invoicing mandates, optimising effective tax rates, and reducing foreign currency risk exposure to improve working capital and drive profitability.

“FourQ and BlackLine share a vision to help optimise customers’ global operations for greater profitability and efficiency while freeing F&A teams to focus on strategic aspects of their business,” said Varun Tejpal, co-founder and CEO of FourQ. 

“At the same time, FourQ meets a need in the Office of the Controller that is highly complementary to BlackLine’s comprehensive financial operations management platform,” said Tejpal, who will serve as managing director of Intercompany at BlackLine going forward.