The company had reorganised and introduced Oracle as a new accounting system. Coupled with this, the group had been reorganised into separate business units giving a further challenge to senior management to understand the performance of each part of the group. The information produced from that system was unwieldy and untimely to the extent that reporting on the previous month’s results took around 3 weeks post month end.
To reduce the time taken to report on the previous month’s activity and provide directional information for management within the business units. This would allow management to make decisions quicker than had been the case.
Working with senior management the first task was to identify the information they required in order to understand the performance of each business unit within the group and the key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with financial information. Once a benchmark had been established, it was possible to automate a number of routines in order to reduce the time taken to gather that information and to seek ways in which non-financial information could be gathered to add into the mix. The final step was to create and produce an information pack in a templated style that permitted consistency across the various business units easing understanding of the numbers.
The whole reporting cycle was reduced down to around 5 days post month end thereby giving more timely visibility of the performance of the various business units across the group. The frustrations of senior management were reduced as they could address issues sooner than would have been the case. As confidence grew about the underlying data so the forecasting and budgeting cycle equally became more robust.
Case Study: Charles McKay