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Case Study

Automating Budgeting Processes

Team Size
1 Vice President, 1 Associate
Project Duration
12 weeks

The Challenge

A PE-backed technology business had recently doubled its size through an acquisition. The Company was continuing to use a legacy Excel model for all of its budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation reporting. With the latest acquisition, the model proved untenable as it needed 40 minutes to open and 30 minutes for a recalculation. Accordion was engaged to streamline the budgeting process and develop a business intelligence solution to reduce the budget preparation lead time.

Services

Finance Function Automation

Budgeting & Forecasting Process Improvement

Granular Margin & Growth Analysis

The Execution

  • Created a new budgeting process that established a centralized location to which all budget submissions from the product lines were placed.
  • Developed a template for standardized submissions.
  • Eliminated the manual process involved in combining budget submissions from over 20 groups across both companies by using extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools to automate the data aggregation, cleansing, and standardizing.
  • Created a relational database in Power BI consisting of all financial data, cost center details, and general ledger account codes.
  • Automated financial reporting by downloading financial data directly from the database into reports including, actual vs. budget vs. forecast profit and loss statement for the consolidated Company, the divisions, and the product lines.
  • Incorporated foreign exchange rates into the model by translating several million rows of financial data at the transaction level, which allowed for comparisons across time periods to be restated on a constant currency basis. (The Company had foreign entities and each entity transacted in several currencies).
  • Structured the model to serve as a financial ERP system allowing the Company to view its profit and loss statements across historical time periods for all divisions and product lines.

The Results

By overhauling the budgeting process and creating an automated financial reporting tool, Accordion enabled the Company to go through eight revisions of the budget in one week as opposed to one revision round that took two weeks with the previous model.