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Case Study

Transforming the Finance Function Using Improvement Initiatives

Team Size
1 Senior Director, 1 Associate
Project Duration
12 weeks

The Challenge

A software Company working with some of the world’s largest financial institutions had outgrown its existing systems as a result of significant year-on-year growth. With annual turnover of $70m, the Company had recently obtained financing from an institutional investor in order to fund its continued expansion. Throughout the due diligence process severe deficiencies were uncovered within the finance function. For example, it had significantly outgrown its existing ERP system, QuickBooks, and was taking over 45 days to produce consolidated financial statements following month-end. The Company had requested Accordion’s assistance in transforming the finance function.

Services

Financial Statement Close Process

Process & Controls Implementation

Accounting Policies & Procedures

ERP/Financial Systems Assessment

The Execution

Process & Controls Review – our Accordion team worked with constituents across the organization to gain an understanding of the business and to create detailed documentation of the core accounting cycles (order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and record-to-report). This included process narratives and process-flow diagrams, as well as identifying any risks and control gaps and suggesting methods for remediation.

Close Acceleration – leveraging the knowledge gained during the review of company processes and controls, we worked side-by-side with the group accounting function to accelerate the month-end close. In parallel we developed the following tools to assist the Company in further accelerating the close process:

  • Month-end close checklists & timeline
  • Hard-close dates for accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Materiality thresholds for Prepaid Expenses, Fixed Assets and Overall Reporting
  • Accrual checklists and methods for implementing month-end accruals

Implementation of Improvement Initiatives – stemming from the work performed around existing processes and controls, we created a detailed roadmap for the Company to implement improvement initiatives. To the extent possible within the designated timeframe, we executed on a number of short-term initiatives, including establishing updated and uniform policies and procedures globally.

The Results

With our assistance, the Company was able to reduce their days to close by two-thirds – down to 15 business days  – with a plan of action to further streamline to 10 over the next few months. The extra bandwidth created has enabled the finance function to focus on further improvement initiatives, including an upcoming ERP implementation, and to assist management with their decision-making.