Every second, more than $2,100 worth of items are sold on eBay, accounting for nearly $70 billion in transactions generated each year. eBay, Inc.’s position as a global commerce giant is fortified by another roughly $100 billion in commerce enabled by its other brands, such as eBay enterprise, PayPal, Bill Me Later, and StubHub.
For eBay, facilitating such an extraordinarily high volume of commerce creates a whirlwind of financial dealings with vendors, merchants, and advertisers. eBay has more than 100 legal entities around the world, including multiple entities in many countries of operation, and the corporation must reconcile hundreds of balance sheet accounts for each of them.
With a few exceptions, eBay strives for a single instance of SAP ERP for global visibility into its financial picture. However, an intricate system of accounts complicated its month-end financial close resulting in a process that could take up to 10 days. A major reason for this extended cycle was that the company relied on a mostly manual, paper-based account reconciliation system — with employees repeatedly tracking down supporting documents in three-ring binders, making copies, and then re-filing.