Linking our accounting package with BrightAnalytics solved all of our reporting problems.

- Tom Bolsens, Financial manager

From labour-intensive to proactive reporting 

Until recently, reporting was quite the chore for the Van Wellen Group, which consists of over 40 individual companies. Incompatible accounting solutions, a lack of automatic comparisons and a context of intercompany transactions and consolidations made the reporting process a time- and energy-consuming affair for financial manager Tom Bolsens. However, since he made the switch to BrightAnalytics such concerns are a thing of the past. 

Financial reporting before BrightAnalytics

“Before the introduction of BrightAnalytics I was always chasing my own tail and I could never be proactive”, Tom starts to explain. “Our accounting package is effective and user-friendly but in terms of reporting it’s not up to par because our group consists of over 40 companies. In the old days I had to log in separately for most of them to access figures and I couldn’t make automatic comparisons between fiscal years or individual companies. For others we call on external financial service providers, who often supplied their figures in different formats. I would then enter the figures from all companies in Excel to perform the necessary manipulations. I don’t have to tell you this was very time-consuming and far from user-friendly.”

The fact that the Van Wellen Group kept growing steadily - the company specialises in logistic real estate in the port of Antwerp and Grobbendonk as well as in project development on the residential real estate market - further complicated the issue. “New companies and sites were frequently being added and of course they also required reporting. Moreover, with a view to our continued growth our shareholder wanted faster access to accurate figures for liquidity planning purposes and in order to make decisions and draw up plans for the future.”

 

Connect with practically any accounting package

A professional reporting tool had to give Tom fast and accurate insight into the figures and allow easy comparisons, enable budgeting and also facilitate the tracking of intercompany transactions and consolidations. “And if at all possible I also wanted to be able to follow up both customers and suppliers”, says Tom. “Initially we considered replacing our accounting package but since it had meanwhile been optimised we decided to go for an add-on for reporting. I remembered my bank telling me about BrightAnalytics at some point. And as it happens, just as I was about to contact them they themselves called me. The demo convinced me immediately and I didn’t even contact any other suppliers.”

Three weeks later Tom was looking at the first reports in BrightAnalytics. “Linking the reporting tool to our accounting package was child’s play - or so it seemed to us (laughs). Of course, I have no idea of what goes on behind the scenes. The fact that BrightAnalytics has more than 100 connectors so they can connect with virtually any accounting package was a major asset for us. As a result I can now check the figures of all the companies in our group in a single report, even those companies who outsource their accounting activities. In that sense linking our accounting package with BrightAnalytics solved all of our problems.”


 

Often a demo is not the same as in practice but BrightAnalytics effectively delivered on every single promise.

- Tom Bolsens, Financial manager

Managementreporting and intercompany matching

Tom is also struck by how easy it is to set up management reporting and track intercompany transactions. “BrightAnalytics links the figures and I personally set up the reporting. Frankly, I was amazed at how easy it was. Often a demo is not the same as in practice but BrightAnalytics actually delivered on every single promise. It was enough to sort out the management reporting just once and link the account schedules of our 40 companies with the right account.”

Just last week we took over another company. I informed BrightAnalytics, they gave me the intercompany code and the very next day the figures of that company were available on the platform. In addition, it is very easy to make a comparison between different firms; fiscal years, strong deviations... In a nutshell, I can now analyze our numbers much better and faster and react proactively. The service is top-notch as well. Every time I have a question they reply within a matter of hours and to me that is really important.”

 

Time savings

He adds that since the start of the collaboration with BrightAnalytics he has saved a great deal of time. The closing process is not only faster but the quality is also vastly superior. “Thanks to the intercompany matching it is easy to verify whether a transaction is booked by all companies involved. This is displayed in a mosaic consisting of tiles per company. If a tile is green everything is OK. Orange or red signals a mismatch. This makes it easy to ensure that intercompany transactions match when closing accounting periods.”

In the future Tom also wants to use the tool for the operational reporting. “I like to take things step by step. Once the our management reporting is perfect, we intend to start with the budgeting of all the companies in the group. Then comes consolidation and perhaps liquidity planning. It sets my mind at ease to see that the tool can do this and grows with us.” 

 

The benefits in a nutshell:

  • Smooth implementation
  • Connects with practically any accounting package
  • Figures of all 40+ firms in a single report
  • User-friendly platform
  • Top-notch service
  • Huge time savings
  • Faster and superior closing process
  • Grows with the company

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Van Wellen Group was founded three generations ago as a family business with roots in a contracting firm in the Antwerp region. Today it is one of the largest independent actors in the logistic real estate market. In addition they are also active in residential project development. Fifteen employees keep things running smoothly for the group’s more than 40 companies. Pretty lean, in other words. As of recently this also goes for the group’s financial reporting, which now runs through BrightAnalytics.

No time to lose?

The Bright Ambassadors