With some 30 years of business experience to his credit – 20 years of which have been in accountancy – Jean-Paul Verdult immediately set the bar high when he took up his position as CFO of the Magnum Heating Group in the Netherlands. One of the first challenges he took on with great enthusiasm was finding a dynamic financial reporting tool for the company. And he did: at BrightAnalytics.
“In my career, I have seen a lot of financial and administrative software packages come and go,” Jean-Paul begins. “They are always sold beautifully, but when you start working with them, you quickly run into obstacles. Beautiful graphs: I can see right through that. I find it much more important that the basis is sound. So when we came into contact with BrightAnalytics – based on the advice of our shareholder – I gave them a run for their money.”
At that time, the Magnum Heating Group had grown into a dynamic organization with several national and international private limited companies, a trading company and a factory. The need for an efficient, dynamic reporting tool was great. This was proven once again when the company was acquired by investment company Smile. “Until then, we had been making do with Excel, Speedbooks and a self-built reporting model. However, that was no longer sufficient, now that we wanted to be able to look at the financial data from various angles, and were constantly growing in volume and number of entities.”
Jean-Paul wanted to be able to see what was happening in his company with one figurative push of a button. And that should not be limited to insight into profit, loss, P&L or the balance sheet. “It was time for an automated, dynamic and time-efficient package. A package in which we could easily integrate new companies and which we could monitor remotely how a company was doing financially, in the same way we did for our parent company. During the takeover, we noticed that the bank and the shareholder were also asking questions.”
Jean-Paul found what he was looking for at BrightAnalytics. “When we met and they came to introduce the tool, I noticed that it wasn’t just a salesperson sitting across from me, but someone who was dyed-in-the-wool. And that is a good basis to start from. They showed what was possible, asked about what we needed, and went into depth about my questions.”
In the meantime, it has been proven that he made the right choice, he says. “Of course, we had to work with it ourselves. There is no user manual with the tool. BrightAnalytics motivates us to just do it, is accessible when we have questions, and is happy to think along with us, depending on our needs.” Thus, at the request of Jean-Paul, a detailed liquidity forecast was drawn up. “I had once built one myself in Excel. BrightAnalytics has reconstructed it, starting from the data in Exact. This shows that they understand us, think along with us, are open to our ideas and, like us, are dynamic. I find that an excellent way of working.”
This liquidity prognosis appears even more important today than ever, now that other rules apply in the corona era. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen, and there’s a lot of uncertainty. It’s all about survival. These days it’s much less about the result and the balance sheet, and much more about our liquidity and debtors. So it’s nice to have a system that allows you to retrieve that kind of data very easily. Not only for us, but also for the bank, which wants to know how we are doing, and for our shareholders, with whom we suddenly have weekly meetings.”
Jean-Paul adds that the CEO and the management team are also very happy with the arrival of BrightAnalytics. “Naturally, they look at the figures in a completely different way than I do. They’re not waiting for excess ballast, but often want to see key figures, turnover developments, gross margins and so on. Simply explained, and with beautiful images and graphs. And they are also very satisfied with the BrightAnalytics reporting tool.”