Starting fresh in financial reporting with LucaNet
Success story WEIDMANN Electrical Technology Inc.
To stay competitive on the global market, companies are under constant pressure to lower their costs and streamline their processes. This also applies to financial activities, which need to operate with greater speed, efficiency, and precision. With these factors in mind, Weidmann made the decision to implement FPM software from LucaNet.
Since we started using LucaNet, we've saved 90% of the time we used to need to generate and process reports by hand. That means I have more breathing room to make better use of my personal resources, including taking a closer look at the data and coming up with a sound strategic basis for the decisions made at our company.
How Weidmann uses LucaNet software
- Preparation of financial statements that comply with the latest US GAAP standards
- Reporting to external stakeholder and management team
- Reports in U.S. Dollars and Swiss Francs
Saying goodbye to spreadsheets
Weidmann has seen its reporting requirements increase in terms of transparency, data accuracy, and duration over the years. Looking to address this issue, Weidmann decided that it was time to move on from using tedious, error-prone spreadsheets and switch to LucaNet for a much more streamlined approach. Before switching to LucaNet, the company used Microsoft Excel for its global consolidations.
“You might think, as a mid-sized company that’s not publicly traded, our requirements for financial reporting are uncomplex, but we operate in numerous countries around the world; that means our reporting involves several different currencies. In the past, we used Visual Basic tools to support the process. Some of them were really fast, but they produced inaccuracies and all kinds of other errors. When something went wrong, the debugging also had to be done in Visual Basic. All of this always came up at the last minute, of course – at 10 o’clock in the evening, when you needed to have a financial statement done by the next morning,” explains Carol Martin, Head of Group Accounting and Reporting at Weidmann.
A shorter path to financial statements
One of the main advantages that won Weidmann over was the significant time it would save in creating financial statements and handling reporting in LucaNet. LucaNet’s ability to link directly to SAP, the ERP system utilized by many of its subsidiaries, has proven to be invaluable in both time-saving and transparency to the detailed transactional data.
“The software also has a flexible reporting function that's fantastic when it comes to generating exports and links to charts and other graphics. We collect information from a lot of different dimensions: trend data, cumulative data, even statistical data. Now, we’ve finally got historical data we can rely on and work with,” Martin says.
Push-button reporting leaves more time for analysis
Initially, Weidmann’s financial managers spent a lot of time compiling, copying, and editing reports by hand to achieve their desired presentation structure. This process involved many hours of manual work with meticulous detail. Weidmann’s new software has given them a fresh start in every facet of the report generation process. “It's really impressive: Instead of spending time on the complicated way in which we used to create reports and edit them by hand, I can really look into the numbers and find out what they mean. That also makes it much easier to explain them to my colleagues”, points out a satisfied Carol Martin.
Automated comparisons of group-internal transactions
LucaNet organizes and automates the process of IC reconciliation, meaning that all controllers within the group can view the transactions entered by their trade partners. “Our controllers used to have to send data to each other in Excel files, check through it, and compare their own figures with those of their trade partners by hand, which was fairly exhausting. They then had to track down missing invoices and transactions and report on them”, Martin adds.
Flexibility in currency conversion
In the United States, Weidmann’s reporting complies with US GAAP accounting standards. The company prepares a sub-consolidation with reports in U.S. dollars for this purpose. Weidmann also produces a separate consolidation in which it converts the currencies of its associated companies – Brazilian Reals, Canadian dollars, U.S. dollars, and so on – into Swiss francs. LucaNet easily provides the tools to combat this challenge. Once the data is in the system, selecting the desired currency is enough to display it immediately in the generated report.
How LucaNet software benefits Weidmann
- More flexibility and accuracy in generating reports
- Easier, less time-consuming consolidation process
- Flexibility in currency conversion