Many companies use Excel for their financial reporting. However, after a while they find that reporting this way is just not flexible enough, and far too labour-intensive. That was also the case for the Euroglas DL group in Bornem: they have been working with BrightAnalytics since early 2020. “An investment that has already more than paid for itself,” says CFO Stefan Inslegers.
“When I joined the Euroglas DL group in October 2019, reporting was done entirely via Excel”, Stefan starts. “In terms of form, it met our requirements. But the reporting process was very labor intensive: a lot of manual work was involved. Moreover, it was difficult to change the format of the reporting, or to look at the figures in a different way. That is why we went in search of a professional tool.
He surveyed the market, and soon found BrightAnalytics. “In a previous job in the printing sector, I had already become acquainted with the tool and had only had positive experiences with it. So I didn’t think very long before choosing BrightAnalytics: I knew it and had confidence in it. The fact that the investment fund we are a part of was also a fan, was an added bonus. They have several holdings that work with BrightAnalytics. For them, it’s obviously also a good thing if these all use the same reporting tool.”
The employees of Euroglas DL who would have to use the new tool were initially somewhat skeptical about the idea. “Change is never easy, of course,” Stefan says. “Moreover, when it comes to software, there is often a lot of promise but not delivery. At BrightAnalytics, however, that was anything but the case. The execution is very close to the solution as they sold it to us. In fact, the implementation went much more smoothly than I had expected. All we had to do, was to make the link between the general accounts in accounting and the reporting lines in BrightAnalytics.
Furthermore, the format of our previous reporting has been adopted for 95%. I had anticipated a process of several months, but after only a month and a half we had our first report. Our employees were therefore quickly enthusiastic.”
Today, in addition to Stefan, the CEO, two accounting employees and the three plant managers work with BrightAnalytics. Everyone has access to the same data, although for plant managers this access is limited to their own site. “For them and for us, this is a huge step forward. Before, in Excel, they would get one static, visual page that they couldn’t manipulate. Today, when we sit down together for our monthly consultation, we can dive into the details of the numbers together: down to the invoice level or down to the details of an entry. Moreover, from the analysis of the reporting, we can also deduce which cost aspects we should analyse in more detail.”
According to Stefan, the investment in the package will pay for itself quite quickly. “On the one hand, because you replace your manual input in a non-automated sheet with automatic, professional reporting; and on the other hand, because you can better analyze certain costs, derive action items from them and ultimately realize savings.
The fact that we can more easily look up data in BrightAnalytics than we can in our accounting package Navision – which is actually an ERP package – provides additional ease of use.” He therefore has every intention of making further use of BrightAnalytics’ capabilities alongside the current financial reporting at company and group level to further increase the group’s efficiency. The next step will be to automatically consolidate the figures, as today he still filters out intercompany transactions manually. In other words: undoubtedly “to be continued”.
“It helps if you already have model reporting in place before you implement BrightAnalytics. That way you can anticipate perfectly what your new reporting should look like, and what you want to be able to report.”