Finance processes – saving incredible 8 hours processing time – case study
SAP Finance Process – continuous improvement in finance services operations
In this case study we showcase our approach to simplification of an essential financial process for payroll postings that in effect helped the client to save incredible 8 hours of processing time spent on this task within their finance department. The solution eliminated the use of unnecessary tools, made the process more efficient and saved the company money and time.
The finance process is an essential part of effective operations of any organisation
Our client was a global bio-pharma company operating on every continent. With a presence in over 100 countries the firm has a complex operating structure with a centralised financial services hub which processes transactions from across the business. This is a highly effective structure but one which requires effective process planning to optimise the benefit of this approach to internal financial services provision.
Although the overall financial services structure was well planned, the processes involved still needed some work to simplify all of the different functions and activities the finance team had to manage.
The firm needed to find a way to improve efficiency, enhance accuracy and speed up processes. Ideally, a single solution would also provide some cost-savings for the businesses.
One particular complexity was around payroll processes, with the payroll excel file being provided by a 3rd party and saved on a secure drive for the senior accountant to upload to SAP using Filezilla. The number of additional processes were time consuming and inefficient. Many lines were being posted to suspense accounts instead of payroll related cost accounts. This created further work reconciling the payroll file and all the suspense accounts.
Finance Process improvement – Our Solution
We specialise in SAP process improvements for businesses working in the financial services, logistics and manufacturing sectors. With our proven expertise working with large corporate firms in the UK and Europe, and with numerous UK based SMEs, we were well placed to help the firm find better ways of working.
Our solution focused on:
- the complete elimination of Filezilla
- instead making much better use of JET tool, which already had the necessary functionality to upload large excel files.
We created standard template files which can be used not only for payroll but for other postings as well. Communication with the 3rd party payroll provider was much improved as a result, facilitating closer cooperation with the provider regarding deadlines for file deliveries and solving problems with accounts and cost centre errors.
We also created an improved mapping file which provided details about historical errors and listed possible resolutions. This made it much easier to resolve issues using the mapping file rather than having to go back to the payroll provider each time an error occurred.
Our work enabled the finance team to deliver faster and more accurate posting of journals, completely eliminating the reconciliation of suspense accounts after the payroll posting, with everything posted immediately to the correct account.
The team estimate than in an average month the business is saving around 20% of the total time required for the month end reconciliation in this finance process alone thus saving money for the company. The solution completely eliminated the need for any overtime hours effectively helping to sustain a good level of work-life balance for the finance department team members = a win-win situation both for the company and the employees!
8 hours saved over 4 days
£0.00 additional cost (no overtime needed)
The activities described in this case study demonstrate our approach to finance process improvement and prove that continuous improvement can be applied to almost any measurable process.
Feel free to download a .pdf version of this finance case study