The consolidated figures now come directly from the package. This results in huge time savings and minimises the risk of error.

- Kris Van den Houte, Financial director

3 accounting packages, 1 financial reporting tool

When H2O Group was established in 2019 the shareholders immediately voiced their ambition to present the 13 companies that made up the new holding as a single, strong entity. On a financial level as well. Whatever accounting package the subsidiaries may implement - Centric, Exact or Navision - they all use BrightAnalytics for their financial reporting and this has made things so much easier.

 

“All companies of H2O Group are active in waterway construction, the construction industry and the shipping industry”, says Kris Vandenhoute, financial director and co-shareholder. “Every company has its own accounting tool: we use Centric for construction activities, Exact for shipping and Navision for all other companies. Prior to the establishment of the holding the financial performance of each subsidiary was evaluated separately in Excel. There was no such thing as a genuine group feeling. We wanted to change that from day one.” 

 

Flawless connection

After attending a demo at BrightAnalytics it was an easy decision for H2O Group. “The fact that BrightAnalytics could connect with all of our accounting tools was the deciding factor because this would clear the way for reporting on a group level. And I have to say: the three connectors work perfectly, with the odd exception. And those exceptions are usually due to our own ERP package and not BrightAnalytics. When this happens BrightAnalytics informs us of the problem with the connector even before we notice anything and the problem is solved in no time.”

Interpreting the figures across all companies is now much easier for H2O Group because all figures are now mapped in the same way. “Not everyone keeps the accounts in the same way”, controller Kristel Beck explains. “But thanks to the mapping we do in advance, the differences are filtered correctly in the reporting process of BrightAnalytics. Since the introduction of BrightAnalytics all the companies in the holding speak the same language where figures are concerned.” 
 

Consolidated reporting

And H2O Group took things one step further. Kris explains they wanted to use the tool to facilitate consolidation. “Being able to derive the consolidated figures directly from the package results in huge time savings. Moreover, this minimises the risk of error. Nowadays we can draw up our budgets both on a company and a consolidated level. BrightAnalytics also allows us to monitor group liquidity.”

In the long run they even want to use BrightAnalytics for operational reporting purposes. “Several of our companies have analytical reports that measure operational performance, for instance for the follow-up of worksites. At the moment we still use different software for this but in the future we want to integrate the operational reporting into BrightAnalytics. We will do this as soon as we are sufficiently skilled in the financial reporting process”, Kris concludes. 

Thanks to the mapping in advance, all companies in the holding now speak the same language.

- Frank Van den Houte, Financial director

Input for negotiations

Meanwhile H2O Group uses the platform to look for synergies in purchasing for the various subsidiaries. “BrightAnalytics configured a bespoke module for this purpose. As a result the central purchaser who was recently recruited can filter information across the various companies, right down to the level of suppliers and categories of (raw) materials. This option yields a treasure trove of information. We can compare prices, improve our negotiating position and better follow up on our purchases. The system is very flexible in this regard. That is why we feel the cost of the package is justified since we can fine-tune it with aspects that are important to us.”

H2O Group is also confident that BrightAnalytics is the right partner to support the group’s growth ambitions. “When we make acquisitions we know that regardless of the package that company uses and regardless of how it works, BrightAnalytics will ensure fast and smooth integration in our group reporting process.”

 

Tip from H2O Group for those considering a similar project

“It took a long time to get the mapping right but it was worth it”, says Kristel. “We made sure this was done in the same manner for all the companies in the holding so that cost accounts can be compared on the same basis on a group level. It was a one-off and time-consuming exercise but it was definitely worth it so take your time to do this right.”

 

The benefits in a nutshell:

  • A single tool, 13 companies
  • User-friendly platform
  • Fast, top-notch service
  • Huge time savings: consolidated figures come directly from the tool
  • Minimal risk of error
13 subsidiaries, 3 industries: that is H2O Group. HYE concentrates on waterway construction, Argex makes light-weight aggregates that are used in the construction industry, road construction and green applications, and the cluster Navitec, NaviSafe and GC Industries operates in the shipping world. Together they employ 270 staff and generate no less than €65 million in turnover. The figures of all subsidiaries are managed using various accounting packages but only one tool is used for reporting purposes: BrightAnalytics.

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