House of Talents automates its management reporting system in conjunction with VGD
Modern entrepreneurs keep raising the bar for their finance department. New technologies to boost efficiency are springing up everywhere and are automating a growing number of aspects of the administrative and accounting processes.
The digital transformation within finance is an exciting challenge. As more and more of the time-consuming input work is eliminated, attention is shifting towards analysis and interpretation in order to manage the organisation in a more targeted manner.
Financial reporting keeps gaining in importance
Patricia Everaert, professor Accounting at UGent: “Twenty years ago reporting once a year was basically enough. Nowadays this is unthinkable and reports are established at least on a quarterly basis.
Timely information has become important because the world evolves much faster as well. This means it’s an asset to report frequently, and from one specific angle in order to determine whether progress is being made with the chosen strategy.
Reporting on a global scale is useful to identify the cause of a particular evolution. One of the questions we can ask ourselves is whether we can distil opportunities or best practices from these reports and subsequently use them in other identities”, Patricia Everaert concludes.
Automation of financial and operational reporting
House of Talents is an HR service provider specialising in shortage professions such as nurses, technicians, engineers and butchers. They are active in recruitment and selection, project staffing and temporary staff.
Doris Boterberg, CFO House of Talents: “Our CEO founded House of Talents some ten years ago. Today some 1200 staff realise a turnover of €120 million.”
“In the past reporting was done in Excel. It was a rather complex affair due to the multitude of companies and a variety of business lines. We also found the process to be extremely time-consuming. In short, management and the shareholders identified a pressing need to develop an intuitive reporting system with regard to financial and operational figures.”
Custom-tailored operational and financial reporting
The HR services group sought and found a common platform but it still needed a partner to flesh out the content of the reports.
Philippe Van Den Bossche, CFO Services Manager at VGD: “So we sat down with Doris and her team and this resulted in a plan of action that focused primarily on the financial aspect. With regard to financial reporting we linked several accounting packages with the BrightAnalytics platform.
The resulting data is visualised in clear financial, P&L, balance and cash flow reports, etc. These reports give both management and the shareholders a permanent insight into the company’s financial results.”
In addition, bespoke operational reports were also made that provide the general managers of the various business lines with the insights and tools needed to manage their side of the business.
Nevertheless, this new form of Corporate Financial Management was an adjustment for the staff and shareholders of House of Talents. After all, they were used to the old Excel reporting format.
Philippe also attaches a great deal of importance to the final phase: “Training people is often one of the last but also one of the crucial stages. This falls entirely within the scope of the change management component. Such a platform is obviously not only used by financial people with many years of experience. That is why it is extremely important to hand them a tool that is highly intuitive in use so people with a less financial background can find their way around the tool and, most importantly, make the right decisions based on the information at their disposal.”
Time savings: 60%
The participating companies all recognise the benefits of a more efficient reporting method.
Doris Boterberg: “The main advantage of working with this particular reporting tool is the time saved by the automation of routine tasks. If we were to measure or quantify the results I think the time savings for our controller amount to around 60%.”
Philippe Van Den Bossche: “Reporting is certainly not only useful for large companies: any company that finds that gut instinct is no longer enough to manage the company, or companies that still invest a lot of effort in time-consuming Excel reports will also benefit from automated reporting.”