Simply international – data transparency and improved comprehensibility in consolidation
Case Study van Laack GmbH
Sector: textile industry
Headquarters: Mönchengladbach (Germany)
Employees: about 1,500
Project: implementation of professional software for consolidation, planning and controlling that is easy to use as well as future-orientated; comprehensibility down to the last detail of accounting entries; improved options for primary consolidation / deconsolidation and foreign currency conversion
Modules: LucaNet.Financial Consolidation, LucaNet.Planner, LucaNet.Importer
Handling of the consolidation programme previously used was too cumbersome for van Laack GmbH and was no longer state-of-the-art. Specifically, accounting entries were not reproducible in detail and had to be formatted manually.
van Laack GmbH, a leading premium brand in the shirt and blouse market, was founded in 1881 in Berlin. The 1950s saw the company move their head office to Mönchengladbach. The main outlets are the upmarket retail sectors in Germany and Europe, as well as their own flagship stores in Paris, New York, Jakarta, Singapore, Zurich, Berlin and Munich. van Laack is now represented on all five continents through franchise and corner partnerships.
"In 2007, we took part in a seminar at the LucaNet.Academy. We became aware of the LucaNet software through practical, real-world examples", says Franz Kalinowski, Head of the Accounting Department at van Laack GmbH. During an in-house presentation, LucaNet were quickly able to convince the decision-makers responsible. The decision to opt for LucaNet was made within a month. In addition to the software presentation given by Oliver Schmitz, Head of Consulting at LucaNet AG, the opportunity was taken up to see the software in action at a reference customer.
Transparency and clarity
All consolidation scenarios occurring elsewhere in considerably larger companies are depicted despite the fact that van Laack has a relatively straightforward group structure. Given the diverse plants abroad (in the euro zone and Switzerland), and production and sales subsidiaries in the most diverse of regions (North Africa, Asia and America), foreign currency conversion is a major issue alongside the issues of primary consolidation and deconsolidation. According to Franz Kalinowski, this is "handled transparently and very comprehensibly in LucaNet".
"Within our group, we depict consolidation structures in line with the Commercial Code, but we also like the option of representing parallel structures", explains Franz Kalinowski.
With LucaNet, the repeated manual overhead for entering balances brought forward and recurring bookings is dispensed with or only requires marginal adaptation. In addition, inter-company relationships can be tracked considerably easier and clearly with cross-references and control totals. Data transparency as compared to the host system has been improved, which provides for effortless comprehension of individual consolidation steps. The clear and concise mirror functions reduce manual preparation, such as in Excel, with one-off definitions.
Franz Kalinowski sees the ability, given how easy and convenient the software is, to switch from consolidations generated on the basis of the financial year to a quarterly basis, as a particular benefit.
Real cost and time benefits with quick implementation
The introduction of software had to be quick because of the upcoming consolidated financial statements. This is why implementation and training was carried out in parallel with real accounts closure. The data from the previous consolidation solution first had to be imported into LucaNet for proof of concept. Oliver Schmitz was available in a consultative capacity. The reconciliation with the closure certified by the financial auditor ran smoothly. Switching over to the new software took a total of eight days. "The orderly data and the fact that van Laack is very well organised in group financial accounting simplified the implementation", comments Schmitz. For the new closure of accounts, the reporting packages were aligned to the custom requirements of the company.
"It did not take long before we were persuaded by the proficient consultation service and future-looking model of LucaNet. A simple and clearly laid-out menu structure, and the high level of transparency in comprehensibility of transactions run, are supporting us perfectly in day-to-day business. Local deployment and the performance of consolidation closures during the fiscal year are also arguments in favour of LucaNet."
Franz Kalinowski, Head of Accounting
van Laack GmbH
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