Starting situation – inconsistencies and the level of detail in reporting led to increased time and effort
At our client, an internationally active automotive supplier, differences between internal and external reporting made manual adjustments necessary, and thus caused a significant increase in the time and effort involved. Within the financial organization, communication was therefore time-consuming, which resulted in too many processes running independently (e.g. for the cash flow forecast), as well as delays in reporting. However, the demands in terms of quality and content of reporting had increased significantly because of heightened interest from the capital market.
Project approach – creation of an integrated financial organization with standardized reporting
Existing reporting processes, and internal and external data management were dissected and analyzed down to activity level. Standard processes were developed on this basis and a standardized reporting package was designed as a standard language for the financial organization. Monthly CFO calls and a Group-wide reporting calendar were integrated into the change agenda for the next twelve months. Previously redundant processes could be streamlined and dual responsibilities were reduced with a clear assignment of competencies.
Finding – less is sometimes more – targeted management reporting instead of a stack of paper destined for the drawer
Good business practice regularly questions the reporting structures that have developed within the company: what key figures are target-oriented, what level of granularity is required and is the process efficiently designed to generate the reports? Sometimes, ambition goes in a direction that is based on historical reasons, but that is not strategically expedient. An increasing amount of detail means steadily higher process costs, without these generating any real value added. A balance needs to be struck between costs and benefits before anchoring the target mission in the company on this basis.
- Improvement in management reporting and in the efficiency of the financial organization
- Introduction of standardized and target group-specific communication with internal and external stakeholders