How to successfully eliminate and automate time-consuming activities in the monthly closing of books
During the last couple of months, ERP & Friends have helped an engineering company that is a part of a bigger corporate group by making sure that they get compliant in their monthly reporting. Our customer realized that their current timeline was not in line with the corporate group’s requirements for monthly financial statement reporting. The engineering company, therefore, needed our help to align their processes, identify time-consuming activities and investigate the future way of working and smart solutions to secure future compliance.
Thanks to good engagement from the customer we managed to not only cut the number of activities to perform each month to 113, but we also managed to cut time with at least 50-60 hours, and more hours are expected to be eliminated when the customer implements our actionable recommendations (solutions identified during to-be workshop and delivered in a final project report) regarding eg. new system functionality, manual activities, and general process improvements
The project goal was to cut the time spent on the monthly book closing process by as many hours as possible. But also to help the CFO and other employees involved to secure a sustainable way of working together in the future.
On top of that, we re-arranged various activities from certain days that we knew, with our new to-be processes could be performed in an earlier stage of the monthly closing. The result of that culminated in a streamlined way of working according to the customer’s need to be more compliant with the corporate group.
In order to reach the project goal, we conducted 2 as-is workshops and identified approx. 20 GAPs that occur during the monthly book closing. These as-is workshops gave the participants valuable insights into the current way of working and activities that are performed across the whole financial team. In our as-is analysis, we identified 122 activities which took 212 hours per month. Based on the as-is mapping and analysis we started to-be mapping with the participants. The purpose of those 2 workshops was to identify solutions that would cut the time of time-consuming activities by finding out a new best practice.
The project only took 2 months and approx. 100 consultant hours and the customer is very satisfied with the fast-paced work and the outcome. The next steps for the customer are to use the to-be process maps as a foundation when performing the next monthly book closing and verify so that the new timeline and streamlined activities are realizable.