• Gary Joyce

Simplify the Financial Consolidation Process


Client

Private Equity owned portfolio company in the Aerospace industry with revenues of approximately $100 million. Multiple reporting units, multiple currencies and 3 different ERP systems.

Requirements

Replace an antiquated and complex spreadsheet based financial consolidation process with a centralized and flexible system that allows dynamic and flexible access to financial data and performance metrics, while maintaining their existing ERP systems.

Solution

CenDat Solutions provided a multi-relational database application powered by Jedox, which allows access via an Excel® Add-in, web application, or on mobile devices.

Results

A streamlined process retaining data down to the trial balance level across various ERP systems and 5 currencies. Dynamic Excel® access to underlying performance data and metrics across multiple worldwide reporting units. Eliminated inefficient error prone complex spreadsheets and reduced close time by 50%.

Growth Company Data Challenges

As companies grow organically and via acquisition, so does the stress on the Finance group. This was certainly the case for a Private Equity owned international business in the Aerospace industry. Reporting demands from the PE owners and the need to prepare consolidated financial statements for debt holders and local GAAP requirements led to unworkable spreadsheet solutions and unacceptable close times.As most companies grow (especially by acquisition), the decision to replace existing systems with a single ERP becomes a challenge, balancing cost savings and efficiencies with a very costly implementation. As a result, many organizations retain their disparate systems preferring to bring together data in complex spreadsheets. For the Finance group, this means building convoluted Excel® sheets – but these tend to lack true capability. Extensive and complex formulas, trying to map different sources of data, no journal capability and difficult currency translation processes. If you have ever had to build one or take over an existing workbook, you will understand this conundrum. Now imagine having spent many long hours getting your solution to work – and along comes another acquisition! Not a simple task!Despite this difficulty, and the inevitable extended time to produce financials statements, reporting deadlines stay the same! This leads to numerous issues including short cuts, inefficient processes, data errors and audit problems. The Finance group ends up in a vicious cycle of producing data with no time to review, understand, explain variances or provide recommendations.Having extensive, complex and manually updated spreadsheets with various sources of data can cripple productivity, efficiency and accuracy.

“ .. had the most significant transformational impact on financial reporting I have ever seen. The business went from a having a labored reporting process to becoming seamless……a great transformational tool that delivers tangible business reporting benefits”

Customer Objectives

The company grew over a very short time-frame through several acquisitions. The senior management team was located in Europe, with around 20 reporting units in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific – with 3 ERP systems and 5 currencies. Only the US based controller had access to the global performance – with no ability to share data until the conclusion of the chaotic financial consolidation process (which was principally via PDF as the underlying spreadsheets were too large and unstable).Key requirements and primary objectives for this project included:

  • The underlying ERPs would not be changed or consolidated – leading to several trial balances with varying account structures and formats.

  • Create a centralized and single version of the ‘truth’ through a multi-user financial consolidation and reporting system that included the ability to report at a local reporting unit level.

  • Enable direct access to the detailed trial balance data – by site, and include automated loading of the underlying data.

  • Enable production of global and local key performance indicators.Include automated foreign currency translation processes.

  • Develop a methodology for preparation and calculation of the cash flow.

  • Enable reporting directly in Excel® with dynamic links directly into the database.

  • Allow for further expansion into Web and mobile based reporting.

  • Implement a flexible solution that allows for future changes and expansion use – including alternate organization structures, adding new reporting units and acquisitions, dashboard reporting and the relocation of the accounting center.


Searching for Solutions

CenDat Solutions provided a multi-relational database application incorporating dynamic links into Excel® for the project. The application, powered by Jedox, provides controlled role-based access to a single source of truth via a powerful Excel® add-in for desktop, web application, and mobile devices. The multidimensional database leverages the latest in-memory computing technology and guarantees lightning-fast calculations for complex enterprise applications.The flexibility of Jedox allows the development of sophisticated solutions for numerous business processes, including, Financial Consolidations, Budgeting and Planning, Portfolio Company Tracking, Private Equity Fund Data Management and more.

Results

CenDat Solutions developed a Financial Consolidation and Reporting system, using the Jedox platform, to replace the existing unstable spreadsheet solution with multiple levels of account structures allowing the inclusion data down to the numerous trial balance levels.Other benefits included: multi-currency capability with automated translation processes, self-service reporting (using the dynamically linked excel add-in) enabling both global and local operational reporting, KPI’s, monthly management accounts and quarterly board reports, and a multi-user system allowing the expansion of data access to varying levels of the organization.The enhanced system resulted in inefficiencies being eliminated, reporting capability significantly enhanced, close times decreased by 50%, work processes automated and audit requirements met. These improvements allowed the CFO and accounting team to be far more effective in their reporting duties and allow for a greater transparency of company-wide data.


If you are suffering with complex data issues around Financial Consolidations, Budgeting and Planning, Portfolio Company Tracking or Private Equity Fund Data Management, please call us at 805-233-0453, or send an email to Info@CenDatSolutions.com

1-805-233-0453

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