Innovative technology for efficient preparation of financial statements
Cartonplast Group GmbH
Transport and logistics; Provider of reusable plastic layer pads; Operates own service and logistics centre
Headquarters: Dietzenbach / Hesse (Germany)
Employees: around 400 worldwide
- Introduction of software to improve the consolidation and planning processes
- Faster visualisation and comparison of results
- Expansion of the statistical area
- Use of posting wizards
- Solution for the collection, validation and reconciliation of data
Data transparency in accounting is important to all group enterprises. This foundation is essential for making key strategic decisions for the future management of the enterprise. LucaNet has created a consistent and clear database for consolidation, planning and reporting across all the subsidiaries of the Cartonplast Group.
Packaging at its best. The Cartonplast Group is the market leader in the rental of reusable plastic layer pads for the hygienic, safe, efficient and cost-saving transportation of glass, cans and PET containers in the beverages, food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries. Cartonplast owns 13 service and logistics centres in Europe, Russia, Turkey and South Africa, and has also founded subsidiaries in Latin America and the USA.
Preparing monthly figures
In order to allow better visualisation and comparison of the monthly results, Cartonplast decided to comb the market for a new software solution. "We used to use a consolidation and reporting program that was focused exclusively on the preparation of annual financial statements, but in practice we also need a tool for our monthly statements. As such, we used to prepare each monthly financial statement in its own database, which meant we had to calculate the monthly data manually as the difference between two databases in Excel. That was a very time-consuming procedure," reported Martina Six, Consolidation Manager at the Cartonplast Group.
The LucaNet software is the perfect solution to this problem. The tool allows the enterprise to plot the results transparently within a single database, broken down into individual months. Likewise, actual and planning budget figures can be compared across all periods.
Cartonplast imports all its data in the form of Excel reporting packages. The focus here is on the balances from the balance sheet and profit and loss statements, IC partner information, various analysis information for asset, equity, provision and credit analysis, various group disclosures, statistical data in the form of transaction figures, the cash forecast, and various planning data in the form of balances and transaction figures.
Audit trails provide data security
LucaNet grants multiple users simultaneous access to a common data model, thus allowing them to edit and filter data in parallel. The changes made to the data model are easy to trace thanks to the integrated functions. "All the postings in LucaNet can be logged and monitored using the Audit trails function, be they data imports, postings, data transfers from MS Excel or entries in exchange rate tables. This is a massive boost in terms of data security and transparency," says Martina Six.
Mastering full consolidation
Single-stage consolidation at Cartonplast is carried out in accordance with the accounting principles of the German Commercial Code (HGB). The enterprise currently uses a full consolidation process, parts of which are realised with minority shares. This is based on Sections 300 and 307 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), which states that the financial statements for the enterprises to be included in the consolidation must be compiled in consolidated financial statements using a full consolidation process. The assets and equity and liabilities of the Group's subsidiaries are carried over in full in order to allow subsequent capital consolidation. LucaNet makes the consolidation process quick and clear for everyone involved. An array of consolidation wizards are used to automate the individual steps. For example, Cartonplast uses the wizards for expense and revenue consolidation. Using the paired expense and revenue consolidation, expenses and revenues between affiliated companies can be offset against one another automatically. In paired debt consolidation, pairs from all accounting areas or cost centres are combined based on the assigned partner information and configuration settings. The same applies to paired debt consolidation in LucaNet. For this process, Cartonplast uses the configured, wizard-supported consolidation of receivables and liabilities between the affiliated companies of a consolidation area.
Automatic posting wizards
The LucaNet posting wizards can be used in many different areas, and serve primarily to accelerate and simplify the implementation of various tasks. Cartonplast uses the posting wizards for disclosing minority shares in the group. These help the enterprise to calculate the shares of other shareholders, which have to be disclosed in the initial and follow-up consolidations. Currency effects are also taken into account during the calculation.
"Whether it's for consolidation, reporting, data collection or data reconciliation, LucaNet and all of its functions have impressed us at every level. This tool has made our group-wide procedures much more efficient."
Martina Six, Consolidation Manager
Cartonplast Group GmbH
IC reconciliation with LucaNet.Group Report
As a group enterprise, Cartonplast is familiar with the difficulties of the complex, time-consuming reconciliation work for group-related data associated with the preparation of consolidated financial statements. As such, the group currently runs the LucaNet.Group Report module for the web-based collection and validation of decentralised, group-related actual and planning data. In future, 17 companies will be involved in the data collection process. The balances and transaction figures need to be both entered manually by the companies and imported in the form of trial balances using MS Excel files. The structure of LucaNet.Group Report is flexible and can include any sections of the report alongside the balance sheet and P&L, e.g. analysis or disclosures. The desired display language can be selected directly, so that the international subsidiaries can also navigate quickly.
The reporting structures with charts of accounts and other properties are configured centrally in LucaNet.Group Report. This makes it easy for the respective subsidiaries to enter their data within predefined fields. The automatic completeness and consistency validation of data and the integrated IC reconciliation significantly reduce the workload involved in preparing consolidated financial statements.
Business planning at Cartonplast
Both the local accountants and controllers and the local managing directors are involved in the decentralised planning process at Cartonplast. In total, this group includes 16 to 20 people. A business planning strategy is implemented over the course of three years. In the first year, the data is planned on a monthly basis, then annual planning is used in the second and third years. Planning takes place at the company level based on cost units.
"We can plot our planning data and actual data reliably and compare them in a single system. This allows us to discover any significant anomalies at an early stage, which is essential for professional corporate management," says Martina Six.
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