Improved data quality and optimised consolidation process


Case Study ABL-TECHNIC Entlackung GmbH

 

Industry: Automotive in the wider sense
Headquarters: Leutkirch/Allgaeu (Germany)
Employees: about 330 worldwide

Project: Quick implementation of a user-friendly software for accelerating the reporting process; uniform financial data warehouse instead of MS Excel; implementation of legal consolidation and management consolidation; straightforward creation of planning/actual comparisons

Modules: LucaNet.Financial Consolidation, LucaNet.Planner, LucaNet.Group Report

The market leader in the paint removal management sector is designing its reporting and consolidation process with LucaNet. The precise accounts mapping, reliable intercompany reconciliation on an account basis and the central data warehouse from LucaNet is ensuring improved data quality.

The company, founded in 1973, is a market leading service provider of industrial paint removal. As well as having innovative technology and the highest quality processes, ABL-TECHNIC guarantees its customers individual, highly flexible solutions. The range of services includes paint removal management, resource recovery, rubber removal, degreasing, disposal and different logistics services. There are 23 factories across the world used for production in 11 different countries. Clients include AUDI, BMW, Daimler, General Motors and Renault in the automotive industry, BBS, Borbet, Bosch, Hella and Phoenix in the supply industry and enterprises such as Kärcher, Siemens, Stihl and Viessmann in the manufacturing industry.

Switching reporting

Before LucaNet was implemented, both consolidation and planning and reporting were fully performed in MS Excel. The data had to be manually merged and checked in a long process. The effort of merging the data was too high for quick, efficient reporting at a group level. When the financial investor then changed, the requirements for reporting also increased. So from this point onwards, there weren't just additional structures that had to be reported in, but the reporting period was also changed. "Before 2011, a consolidated report was presented 45 days after the end of the quarter. From 2011 onwards, a monthly report has been required according to individual companies, regions and for the entire group," explains Florian Birkenmaier, responsible for Controlling at ABL-TECHNIC. Furthermore, the variety of existing source systems, languages and currencies, the lack of a chart of accounts, the partial external and internal accounting within the subsidiaries and the existing FI source system without partner information led to the decision to introduce a professional software solution.

Accurately defined objectives

The project objectives have been clearly formulated. The aim has been the rapid introduction of a user-friendly software solution for accelerating the reporting process. The basis should be a uniform financial data warehouse to replace the work with MS Excel files. For legal and management consolidation, it was valid to display the data from different source systems in a unified Group structure. Furthermore, ABL-TECHNIC was looking for a tool for the straightforward creation of planning/actual comparisons and the depiction of planning and forecast models.

Successful project implementation

The introduction of LucaNet was successfully implemented at ABL-TECHNIC within three months. It began with the set-up of the basic structures and the transfer of data. This took place using an SAP wizard and MS Excel files. In addition to the consolidation of actual figures, the planning was also set up in LucaNet. Due to the new reporting requirements, adjusted balance sheet, P&L and capital flow structures have also been created.

Monthly intercompany reconciliation

Consolidation at the paint removal specialists is prepared in accordance with the German Commercial Code (HGB), in which a proportional consolidation must be performed and minorities must also be available as special features. ABL-TECHNIC uses LucaNet consolidation wizards for paired debt consolidation and expense and revenue consolidation. "Our whole consolidation process was accelerated on the basis of the paired, account-related, monthly IC reconciliation, which precedes the respective monthly financial statement," said Florian Birkenmaier. This was successful through the use of the LucaNet.Group Report, which considerably simplified the data collection process and determination of differences. Approximately 20 companies are involved in data collection via LucaNet.Group Report.

However, the module doesn't serve as a means for intercompany reconciliation at ABL-TECHNIC, but as an efficient tool for acquiring information. That way, it's possible to request analysis information, including explanations of special circumstances, statistical information and monthly accrual postings.

Decentralised planning

Approximately 25 employees are involved in the decentralised planning process at ABL-TECHNIC. LucaNet is used for strategic planning, budget planning, the creation of a monthly forecast, and P&L and investment planning. "We usually plan at a company level, sometimes on a cost centre basis too. We use integrated planning wizards and LucaNet Excel integration as methods," reported Florian Birkenmaier. "The straightforward balance sheet projection and the recreation of a consistent cash flow statement in particular provide considerable added value in the area of planning."

"Straightforward to operate and intelligently implemented functions – that's how we've got to know LucaNet to be. The software has allowed us to increase the quality of data and accelerate our whole reporting process. We are particularly benefiting from the more precise account mapping, IC reconciliation on an account basis and centralised data warehouse. Introducing LucaNet.Group Report allowed us to considerably simplify the complex process of data collection, which involves approx. 20 companies, and the determination of differences."

 

Florian Birkenmaier, Controlling

ABL-TECHNIC Entlackung GmbH

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