Simply bundled - A structured view of the financial figures
Case Study Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau GmbH
Branche: Construction: Interior outfitting of villas, yachts, offices
Hauptsitz: Dresden (Germany)
Mitarbeiter: around 230
Project: Introduction of a clearly structured software product to perform consolidation, planning, reporting and analysis; capability for interface integration with MS Excel and various additional financial accounting systems; display of foreign currencies
Modules: LucaNet.Financial Consolidation, LucaNet.Planner
Deutsche Werkstätten specialises in planning custom living space and work projects. With the growing success of its core business, the complexity of consolidation and planning has also increased. Producing the consolidated financial statements using MS Excel had become an impossible task. As an industry-neutral software product, LucaNet offers superior clarity and transparency while lending structure and comparability to the financial figures of this traditional medium-sized company.
Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau is among the world's leading providers of high-quality interior outfitting and interior architecture. As one of the first companies in Germany to produce furniture industrially, it became known for its classic modern furniture, which simultaneously combined machine production with high-quality, modern design. Today Deutsche Werkstätten has 200 employees at its headquarters in Hellerau, near Dresden, as well as another 30 in its branch offices in England, France, Russia and the Asia-Pacific region. It produces annual turnover of 40 million euros.
"The growing size of the group and increasing number of projects made it necessary to find a professional software solution that meets the needs of a medium-sized company with international branch offices. The system had to display foreign currencies and actively support us in producing the consolidated financial statements", explains Christian Dorn, Head of Project Controlling at Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau GmbH. "We used MS Excel to produce the consolidated financial statements and planning for over ten years. In light of the increasing complexity and lack of clarity, this was simply no longer practical."
Perfect interface integration
Importing the data from the precursor system into LucaNet proceeded excellently, emphasises Christian Dorn. The data were imported without errors from the ams.finance financial accounting system along with the Excel sums and balance lists. The import included transaction figures and balances for each ledger account, as well as the fixed assets analysis.
Overview of data down to the posting level
LucaNet was able to win over the users in many respects. The structure of the software, with its integrated drop-down functions, is intuitive and clear, which greatly simplifies system operation. "We were able to begin using the software very quickly for real planning and consolidation tasks. The result was also very convincing, since in both the areas of planning and controlling, as well as the consolidation process, we were able to cut the required time investment in half. LucaNet has made us significantly quicker and more efficient", says Christian Dorn. The software also had positive effects on data quality and data consistency. All values can be transparently displayed at multiple levels, which reduces errors to a minimum; and if any do occur, they can be rapidly identified. The drill-down function to the individual document level represents an especially convenient function for users.
Centralised organisation of planning and controlling
Two company employees produce the planning for the entire group, which consists of ten companies, in a central database. LucaNet is used to produce planning for projects, employees, personnel costs as well as investments and taxes – at the company level. The major added value for Deutsche Werkstätten is the integrated planning forms and assistants, as well as the capability to perform planning via Excel integration. "With LucaNet, we can now finally display the complex planning data in a unitary system and no longer have to work with a never-ending number of confusing Excel lists", says Christian Dorn to summarise how the new approach is working in the planning and controlling areas.
The benefits of LucaNet were also very tangibly evident in producing the consolidated financial statements. The consolidation assistants used in this case facilitate the entire process of debt, expense and revenue consolidation. Consolidation is performed in accordance with the German Commercial Code (HGB), in which the foreign subsidiaries must also be taken into account. The fully integrated foreign currency conversion, with the ability to display exchange rates on closing dates, average exchange rates, year-to-date exchange rates and historical exchange rates, is proving very beneficial.
"As the Head of Project Controlling, I always have to answer the question: "How do I put the numbers together, concretely?". LucaNet provides all the needed data, prepared in a clear, transparent and comprehensible manner. Instead of having to work with numerous Excel lists, I can now reliably generate all the numbers from a unitary system. It actually makes planning and consolidation fun again."
Christian Dorn, Project Controlling
Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau GmbH
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