Sometimes companies are not so much looking for a financial reporting tool when they come to BrightAnalytics, but for a more efficient approach to their operational reporting. So too is the West Flanders specialist in pork Belgian Pork Group (Westvlees). And yet the company eventually went with us for – you guessed it – their accounting reporting.
“In recent years, the Belgian Pork Group has grown strongly, partly due to a number of acquisitions,” begins Tine Forret, responsible for accounting and tax matters. “We were already to the point where all our companies were working with the same accounting package, but For operational reporting, we still used Excel. It therefore took us a long time to prepare figures. Moreover, if one figure had to be adjusted, this would have major consequences. So we started looking for a tool where we could see both the overall reporting, and the small details.”
Belgian Pork Group not only wanted to be able to compare budgeting with the actual figures, but also to manage their so-called ‘internal weekly accounts’. Controller Joeri Vandewaetere explains: “Because the pig price fluctuates from week to week, we want to monitor our results on a weekly basis. That is why we invoice our sales every week and make a provision for our purchases based on the invoices we will receive. We add up the various weekly accounts into a monthly account, which we compare with the closing accounts. Until recently, that was all done in Excel.”
Eventually, the CFO of the Belgian Pork Group showed Tine and Joeri the way to BrightAnalytics. He had been introduced to the management reporting software at an event and was immediately enthusiastic. “When BrightAnalytics came to introduce themselves to us not long after, we found that their solution was much more accounting-oriented than we initially thought,” Tine continues. “On closer inspection, it turned out that we could use the software for just that reason. Moreover, our weekly reporting could be reproduced in it in a customised way, which would make the work much easier for us as this was far too complex in Excel.”
Not much later, the Belgian Pork Group could get to work. “The BrightAnalytics people visited us once to get acquainted, a second time to discuss exactly what we wanted, and roughly a month later the solution was delivered ready to use. This meant that the financial platform was operational from day one,” says Joeri. “And that is completely tailored to our needs, both in terms of structure and visual aspect. We can now view the total figures as well as those per company, per cost type or per department. Even down to invoice level. Our weekly reporting is pre-written by the system and shows us everything we want to see at a glance.”
It goes without saying that this is a huge time saver. “The time we used to put into preparing the figures, we now use to effectively do checks on the analytical accounting,” says Tine. “Moreover, the various people responsible can now click through to the details themselves, which not only enables them to prepare for meetings better but also to carry out their own analyses. We also find the graphs and dashboards useful. In the future, we would like to customize it for the user. Because a CEO and a CFO obviously want to see different data. Fortunately, the people at BrightAnalytics pick up on our questions right away: we get an answer the same day, and often even a solution already.”
Although the tool has been implemented at the Belgian Pork Group since the beginning of 2020, the company itself indicates that they are still rolling out BrightAnalytics further within the company. “In addition to our CEO and CFO, accounting and controlling also use the platform,” says Tine. “Since recently, the production managers also have access. They are already asking to see the maintenance costs as well. In addition, we are still discovering new reporting possibilities every day. So we have certainly not yet used all the potential of the tool, and want to get even more out of it in the future than we are already doing.”
“Good preparation is key: think beforehand about which report would make your work easier and more efficient. And already map out what information BrightAnalytics will need to realise this. This will make the subsequent implementation all the smoother.”