Thanks to FinReCo, the Adastra Group CFO closes regular monthly reporting in under 2 hours. Adastra considers the data in FinReCo, which are updated every 15 minutes, to be the single source of truth for all financial information. Deploying FinReCo and putting it into operation across the group took 9 months.
The Adastra Group’s growth over the past 3 years rendered the previous system for financial management support insufficient, especially in terms of its capacity to take business requirements into account and ensure effective system administration. The Group acquired several start-ups specializing in specific fields of the IT industry, and experienced immediate increases in multiple areas – in the number of suppliers and customers, the number of branches around the world and the number of employees working in them.
The problem we solved
The Adastra Group’s financial controlling and reporting was based on using a data warehouse combined with information obtained directly from primary systems. The main controlling tool was a BI application connected to OLAP. Management reports drew some of their data from the data warehouse (accounting information) and the rest straight from the primary systems (employee data, time sheets). The lack of standardization in the information flow (ERP-DWH-OLAP-Reporting) resulted in the need to impose additional verifications on the reported data. The whole system and its related business processes were complicated, not completely standardized. Every change in the reports, including the addition of new divisions/companies, was extremely problematic, as the system had morphed over the years to comprise many exceptions and adjustments in what appeared to be the only way to meet the management’s requirements.
companies of the Adastra Group in 12 countries, operating around the world, needed to unify and standardize their financial management processes
The data warehouse and the links to other financial and personnel reporting systems were maintained and administered by a single specialist. Working with accounting, financial and HR data ceased to be effective or efficient. Uniform business and financial terminology, master data management, was lacking. It was necessary to consolidate the source data (including local currencies, organizational structures, the allocation of indirect costs) and streamline financial processes across the Group. Dependence on the capabilities and availability of a single specialist proved to be a major problem for system administration and development. Data were uploaded to the data warehouse for about 5 hours overnight, and intraday increments took up to 2 hours.
person was no longer able single-handedly to manage the data warehouse and its connections to many other reporting tools (financial and accounting, controlling, HR)
The Group implemented its own FinReCo solution. It is a pre-prepared data warehouse with an integrated finance data module that enables real-time financial reporting.
The project’s main goals were:
- To prevent the change in systems having a negative impact on business users.
- To increase process standardization and master data unification.
- To ensure near real-time data updates.
To meet these goals, the project team focused on the following, most important areas:
- Converting existing management reports into a visually similar style while preserving all original indicators (projected revenue reports, division income statements, project income statements including KPIs).
- Implementing broader options to compare timelines and reporting units.
- Creating a reporting portal to function as a single source of all management reports.
- Enabling access to financial data using any tool of the end user’s choice (Microsoft Reporting Services, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power BI, Pyramid Analytics).
- Managing several levels of authorization.
- Unifying terminology – i.e., setting naming conventions across all branches and companies.
- Implementing a master data management tool (using the RDM from sister company Ataccama).
- Optimizing data loads into the data warehouse to update reports in near real-time.
instead of a data warehouse with a complex consecutive reporting system, controlling, finance and management now work with a single, standardized, all-in-one product
In addition to the project’s main goals, the team also focused on improving constituent parts that affect the financial departments’ productivity:
- Streamlining the process of closing periods and scenarios so that a given period/scenario can be repeatedly updated and closed within a few hours.
- Setting up support to edit dimensions in the data warehouse without having to change accounting transactions.
- Implementing a tool to automatically reallocate indirect costs to reported power units (full reallocation).
- Unifying reporting accounts management.
They also work with a single version of the truth based on up-to-date and verified data in FinReCo
Deploying FinReCo and putting it into operation across the Adastra Group took 9 months. The time needed for the Adastra Group CFO to close regular monthly reporting has now been reduced from several days to 2 hours. Adastra considers the data in FinReCo (updated every 15 minutes) to be the single source of truth for all financial information. The system allows the data to be viewed from two perspectives:
- Business – consolidated, intended for the management of the Group’s branches and individual companies, as well as for the owners of the holding group.
- Financial – very detailed, intended for the employees working in the controlling and financial department, which has many dimensions and metrics.
The reporting process is managed with FinReCo, i.e., everyone knows when reporting opens, when they have to supply their inputs, and how consolidation takes place. Responsibility for the data is also clearly set. Thanks to FinReCo, the financial department, the management of all the branches and companies, and Adastra’s individual business units work faster, more efficiently, and with the same numbers, which was previously not the case. They also employ unified terminology, which is binding for the entire holding group. Users can choose whether they prefer to work with the reports in the numerical form of a classic spreadsheet or in a visually attractive format through Microsoft Power BI.
At Adastra, FinReCo permits 2 data views – business (management) and financial.
It took just 9 months to complete the 1:1 migration of the data warehouse and reporting system from the previous solution to FinReCo.
Using FinReCo, the Adastra Group CFO closes regular monthly reporting in under 2 hours. Previously, this process took several days.
The data in FinReCo are updated every 15 minutes. The Adastra Group therefore considers them the single source of truth for financial reporting and controlling.
Implementing FinReCo has given me the certainty that monthly reporting will always take place without any surprises and in line with the planned deadlines. Controlling can now focus on analyzing and correcting the data instead of acquiring and processing them. Using FinReCo has increased the quality of our outputs and the owners and managers of our companies thus have more confidence in the reported results. We are now able to fully meet all the requirements set by management.
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