CFO Connect "Process Optimization in Finance" - an impression

Last Friday May 19th we had our quarterly CFO Breakfast session: Process Optimization in Finance.

Never change a winning team!

So the Ingredients stayed the same as per the previous successful sessions: Hands-on, From the field, sharing expertise & experience, great attendees, skilled presenter and a super nice location (thank you Joris and ING !).

For last week's session we were happy to host multiple CFO's from companies such as Fujirebio, Concentra Group, Van Breda Risk & Benefits, BMW Centrauto, Jaguar Landrover Benelux, ... and a very skilled Interim Manager presenting - Christian Vanden Broucke - Thanks for your highly valued & interactive Presentation Christian!

During his interactive presentation, Christian highlighted 3 Hands-on Business Cases:

  1. Optimisation in Project Controlling
  2. Optimisation in Procure to Pay
  3. Optimisation in Physical Inventory

Each of these Business Cases have been non-theoretical, but hands-on with real examples from the field

  1. Project Controlling: The 1st case was an optimization Project in a very challenging environment with Multiple Integrations, Business Unit changes, ERP & IFRS implementations and an understaffed/stressed team - all happening in a 1 year timeframe. As per Christian, the approach needed was a very structured and people-oriented one:
  • Analyse available reporting and figures
  • Meet with and listen to stakeholders
  • Present new organisation to CEO and Group CFO
  • Implement
  • Follow-up

Although this looks pretty straight-forward, the road to succes was not an easy one... One of the key factors was the genuine interest in the team and how to involve them. There was even a Finance/Controlling "Helpdesk" set up to support the different Stakeholders post implementation.

This approach led to and i ntegrated, nearly fully automated reporting process that allowed early detection and correction when needed in combination with significant Cost Savings.

2. Procure to Pay: This specific Optimisation Project was partially initiated because of many matching differences between invoices and receipts. There was missing, incomplete & late information, long delays, redundant reporting and account reconciliation challenges.

Also here a very structured approach was taken:

  • Dedicated project management module   
  • Dedicated implementation team  
  • Thorough testing
  • Instruction manual, explain and train staff
  • Dedicated helpdesk 

This approach has led to a successful outcome:

Increased Motivation & Accountabilityof the Project Leader, increased accuracy, only 1 input of data and 1 standardizedprocess resulted in significant Cost Reductions.

3. Physical Inventory: The "As Is" Situation of this case had definitely some room for improvement: Long and time-consuming process for stock count, no procedures, no standards, cut-off issues, no controlling/audit, high risk on missing/double quantities, potential financial impact, ...

A people oriented approach to tackle this situation:

  • See how it was done & Ask why?
  • Design new process
  • Present, discuss, get consensus and amend new process
  • Publish procedure, explain and train staff
  • Be present, control the process and give feedback
  • Evaluate and review process

The altered and optimized process resulted in an increased reliability of the Physical Stock Count, no cut-off issues, time savings and a 50% stock count cost reduction in terms of #mandays combined with less financial impact on stock differences.

The session was concluded with a Management Summary

We held ourselves to the tight time schedule (could have been talking for many hours more...) and ended the Breakfast session at 10 AM allowing the attendees to start their working day with some valuable insights.

Extremely proud to share the feedback from the attendees.

Great Interaction, Sharing experience is very Valuable, Passionate speaker, Practical cases, Recognizable, Go home (to work) with some ideas, Clear & Concise, Nice formula, I will be back ...

If you want to be part of one of our Future Events - just let us know - luc@financebuilders.eu