Hil Foon Wong is working hard as CFO of Incendin to deliver on the company’s growth strategy. It is important that the finance department ensures not only excellent operational reporting and in-depth analysis, but also a cost-efficient development of the financial processes thanks to far-reaching digitization.
“Incendin is a group born out of the company Ecochem International, located in Olen. Twenty years ago it was already pioneering, with environmentally friendly, fire-retardant additives for wood panels, coatings and insulation material. Three years ago we attracted Gimv as a financial partner. Since then, we have embarked on a growth strategy with Ecochem. The goal is to acquire a series of complementary companies and technologies and integrate them into the group. Since then we have made several acquisitions in Belgium and abroad. Today, Incedin has become a major European supplier. The group with a turnover of 65 million euros, is now firmly anchored in Europe, but is increasingly expanding internationally.”
“In a process in which you start from a medium-sized company and acquire other small to medium-sized companies, efficient, scalable reporting is even more crucial than usual. You need to get a grip on the acquired companies quickly, identify synergies and supervise the cross-border integration process without heavy investments in people or systems. In our organisation, we use BrightAnalytics for analysis and reporting. These systems allow us to quickly look at the same dashboards and KPIs in detail. Everything has to happen quickly, because the financial reporting is adapted into our own environment almost from day one post-takeover, including a history of the past few years.”
“Today, we only have one controller for our group of eight companies. This is partially a result of the original owners dealing with financial information in their own way. They are used to making all decisions independently. Therefore, the controlling function is largely limited to providing information and support to the users. Once the company has switched to our ERP system, the manager will also have access to the monthly financial reports in BrightAnalytics. Each manager takes decisions independently on the basis of their own reports. Thanks to the user-friendliness of these systems and the wealth of information experienced by managers, they quickly drop their own manual reports. They naturally switch to group reporting. That ensures that we quickly obtain transparency and can usually even accelerate the winding down of the financial-administrative organisation of the acquired companies.
BrightAnalytics has largely taken over the role of controller. As such, our controller is more of an all-round analyst who conducts studies that create value.”
“Our reports are created automatically based on the data from the datawarehouse, which we also base the operational reports on. For the members of the Board of Directors, we provide a report from BrightAnalytics, which is fed daily with data from the data warehouse. We have set this up so that the board members can closely monitor the company’s financial performance, without getting lost in the details required by the operational staff. The board members do retain the option of a drill down to check exactly how things stand, down to the invoice level if necessary. I find this transparency towards stakeholders crucial. It also creates a lot of trust with those parties because they have the same view of the figures as our own employees. The advantage of BrightAnalytics is that it is a very user-friendly and scalable reporting platform in the cloud, which means that anyone can view the data anywhere, on any device.”
Source: FD Magazine – 10/2018