Simply exclusive – estate agency relies on high-performance software in consolidation and planning
Case Study Engel & Völkers AG
Industry: Real estate
Headquarters: Hamburg (Germany)
Employees: about 5,000
Project: Introduction of a financial software for accounting that would permit automated consolidation; user-friendliness; simple connection to SAP as well as integration of Excel reporting packages
Modules: LucaNet.Financial Consolidation, LucaNet.Planner, LucaNet.Importer
The globally active service company as an agency for residential and commercial properties as well as yachts in the premium segment uses the consolidation and planning software from LucaNet for its accounting. The company's high expectations for quality are optimally met by LucaNet. Ever since the software was implemented, there has no longer been any need for the time-consuming task of collating data and information for the consolidated financial statements and reporting.
For more than 35 years, Engel & Völkers has been active as an agency for premium residential and commercial real estate, properties and yachts. With more than 540 estate agency shops and 60 commercial properties in 38 countries over five continents, the successful franchise company is one of the global market leaders in the blue-chip real estate segment. Their commercial activities focus on expertise, exclusivity and passion in order to satisfy their customers' exacting requirements.
The main reasons for using professional accounting software included, above all, the complicated administrative process and the significant amount of time involved in preparing the consolidated financial statements. In addition, the previous system was only able to show balance sheet and P&L figures. Using LucaNet, various analyses and the cash flow statement can also be shown transparently now.
Innovative software for legal and management consolidation
"At Engel & Völkers, we have to include a total of 21 companies in the consolidation, ten of which work abroad. For us, therefore, it was important to introduce a uniform software system which would automatically support us in the consolidation and significantly simplify the entire process. The tool from LucaNet is characterised above all by its user-friendliness. As a result of the intuitive interface, finding your feet in the system is very quick. This circumstance, associated with the objectively based introduction by our LucaNet consultant, meant that we were quickly able to get back to our everyday business," reports Valentina Schröder, Head of Accounting and Taxes at Engel & Völkers.
Data imported via SAP and using Excel reporting packages
The link-up to the SAP financial accounting system proved to be very well organised; it was possible to import the Excel reporting packages quickly and straightforwardly. At Engel & Völkers, the partner information, cost centres, cost units, transaction figures and fixed assets analysis are imported as the basis for data.
The estate agency uses LucaNet as an effective tool for preparing its consolidated financial statements, representing current planning as well as displaying the cash flow statement and all analyses, e.g. assets, provisions, equity and credit analyses. Also, the software solution is used for transparently creating the parallel P&L with cost of sales accounting method, management analysis and direct costing.
Progress in consolidation
The tool has had a particularly positive effect on the process of preparing consolidated financial statements, which used to take a great deal of time. In the past, 10 person days were invested in the consolidation; now, it only takes five. "The outstanding effects of LucaNet can be felt in many accounting areas. We have been able to increase data quality and consistency enormously, for instance because we no longer need to enter financial figures by hand. All necessary information is available in a uniform system – simultaneously for all users. This has increased the efficiency of our workflow," says Valentina Schröder, explaining the advantages of LucaNet.
Engel & Völkers prepares its consolidated financial statements in line with the standards of the German Commercial Code (HGB). There is a multi-stage consolidation, taking account of one foreign sub-group and a range of minority holdings.
"In our everyday business, we benefit from significant time savings when preparing the consolidated financial statements, especially due to the consolidation wizards for debt, expense and revenue consolidation, automated currency conversion, integrated analyses as well as the transparent cash flow statement. The data is always up to date and can be incorporated into a transparent reporting system. In this way, we satisfy the information requirements of all stakeholders," sums up Valentina Schröder.
"I have been aware of LucaNet for many years now, and I have always benefited from a very successful cooperation. We benefit from the LucaNet features that have been provided, both in terms of function and technology. The software is optimally suited for consolidation, planning and reporting purposes. There is no need to go to the time and effort of collating information for the consolidated financial statements and the reporting system. The data is always up to date and available in high quality. In this way, Engel & Völkers has been able to place its future on a transparent financial basis."
Valentina Schröder, Head of Accounting and Taxes
Engel & Völkers AG