LucaNet software delivers direct financial reporting and group consolidation services for Data-Mail, Inc.
Project• Preparation of financial statements that comply with the latest US GAAP standards • Integrated financial planning across profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flows • Multi-dimensional analysis across companies, cost centres and business activities • Direct integration with the PrintStream ERP, down to the transaction details • Easier, less time-consuming intercompany reconciliation • Efficient management reporting
I’m very impressed with LucaNet as a product. 90% of what I’ve done, I have been able to figure out myself. The reporting capabilities are excellent and, in my opinion, the end result is world-class reporting capability.
About the company
- Direct marketing services
- Connecticut - USA
- 1.000 (worldwide)
Today’s modern finance department faces many challenges - time-consuming processes, fragile, two-dimensional financial systems that create errors, mismatched data and a lack of transparency. Financial data from different sources and ERP systems needs to be collected and validated in order to ensure consistency throughout all financial statements and the management reporting process. Direct marketing service provider Data-Mail Inc. wanted to simplify the complexity of its business. To this end, they were looking for a financial consolidation and reporting software solution that would guide them through the entire process quickly, transparently and with absolute dependability.
Data-Mail, Inc. is a financially strong, family-owned and operated organisation that was established in 1971. As the recognised leader in direct mail and printed communications for over 45 years, the enterprise specialises in high-quality printing and advanced laser and digital personalisation, as well as more traditional, turnkey letter shop and commingle capabilities. With more than 500,000 square feet of production facilities in Hartford, CT, the Data-Mail, Inc. group of companies employs over 1,000 staff across two locations, with revenues approaching $150 million.
Data-Mail was having trouble in producing consistent consolidated reports to deliver a single version of the truth. An internal review uncovered concerns regarding their outdated ERP system, which had been deployed inconsistently over the years together with a cloud-based financial reporting tool provided by one of our competitors, which in part mirrored the errors in the ERP system.
Having identified the fundamental system issues, Data-Mail drew up a list of specifications that the new solution would be required to deliver in addition to resolving these problems. These included the following features:
- Preparation of financial statements that comply with the latest US GAAP standards
- Integrated financial planning across profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flows
- Multi-dimensional analysis across companies, cost centres and business activities
- Integration with Microsoft Reporting tools, e.g. Power Pivot, Power BI and MS Excel
- Ability to collect, collate and post data from multiple sources, including the PrintStream ERP, via built-in ETL integration
- Intuitive end-user interface that enables early adoption and application ownership
- Enterprise scalability and competitive overall cost of ownership
The LucaNet Solution for Financial Consolidation
Senior management at Data-Mail, Inc. approached LucaNet partner LSA Solutions to act as a trusted advisor for providing a solution. Having evaluated the needs of Data-Mail, Inc., and recognising the benefit of an on-site solution that would operate alongside existing business-sector-specific ERP systems and the local ADP Payroll software, LSA Solutions recommended the LucaNet software for financial consolidation, reporting, and analysis. LucaNet has continually impressed with both its ability to provide entry-level financial planning, consolidation, and analysis and its speed of implementation and scalability for enterprises.
Month-end processing and reporting can be managed using the unique built-in task management tools, which take ‘standard workflow management’ way beyond the simple traffic-light system, and scheduled data importing routines, which leave the accountants free to concentrate on data analysis and compliance reporting.
The Key to Success
Although some of its competitors were also considered, Data-Mail quickly realised the potential of the LucaNet solution. Two key factors were identified as providing value that others could not match: the fast start implementation methodology and built-in financial intelligence of the LucaNet software. This enabled Data-Mail to establish a connection to its underlying data systems quickly and deploy the software rapidly across its organisation - thanks to LucaNet’s financially intuitive user experience.
These factors provide significant cost savings by reducing the workload and increasing the reliability of the reports. ‘Go live’ was achieved on the system in a matter of days, rather than weeks. The project implementation took a total of less than 15 days to complete, and delivered the following features:
- On-site administrator and end-user workshops
- Client replicated existing reports in LucaNet model
- Month-end data and automated consolidation processed by local finance teams
- Key performance indicators introduced and standardised across all companies
- End-user report formats and indirect cashflow statements prepared and agreed
- LucaNet model application sign-off and ‘go live’ after only 5 days’ on-site consultancy
- Direct connection to the PrintStream ERP, down to the transaction detail
- Integration with Microsoft Reporting tools, MS Excel Power Pivot and MS Power BI
Better data visibility and greater understanding of the business
LucaNet allows enterprises to adopt fully revised and standardised chart of accounts and reporting layouts without any ERP modifications. Data extracts from core ERP and payroll systems can be easily uploaded into LucaNet on a month-by-month basis. The fully traceable account balances can be individually reconciled back to separate ERP ledgers, and allow the identification of processes and data recording that require immediate attention. “LucaNet creates a consistent format for reporting. The new chart of accounts provides us with vastly improved data visibility and a greater understanding of our business activities,” explains Mark Pritchard, Chief Financial Officer at Data-Mail, Inc. The LucaNet tool also offers another benefit: its automated consolidation wizards allow entries to be reviewed, validated, and approved by end-users before they are posted in LucaNet.