How Planning Analytics supports Financial Consolidation across a Group

Financial Consolidation Across a Group of Companies

The client was a certifications company, which had recently been taken over by a venture capitalist.  The client was going through rapid change in the form of mergers and acquisitions. Each new company needed to be incorporated quickly and easily in to the client’s financial systems in a way that would also allow for accurate forecasting.

The client looked at different systems and decided to use Planning Analytics, as it would be one system that could perform the full financial cycle from consolidation of actuals through to planning the client’s future moves.

  • Each company within the group had different source accounting systems, Planning Analytics easily integrated with each one – even providing the ability to drill all the way through and see the individual journal transactions that made up each figure in the statements. This provided visibility with an ease that seemed a million miles away before!
  • Every single transaction was recorded and logged for auditability in a truly easy to navigate format.
  • Users were offered a choice of interface with a web-based browser for quick and easy reporting while access to an excel based interface was available should the users wish to perform deeper analysis with a familiar front-end.
  • Easy maintenance options were enabled: add a new company, alter the chart of accounts, add validation processes. All these things were available as simple user interactions, and no interaction from a developer was required.

By utilising Planning Analytics the client was able to introduce a single system for both consolidation and planning.   This reduced costs in both licensing the software and securing the hardware environment. Why just consolidate your actuals and stop there? Why not use that information as the basis for a detailed forecast?

Simple forecasting techniques were introduced against the business drivers.  The client agreed a series of rules, which took the expected plans and enabled them to be applied against the actuals to prepare full forward-looking financial statements.  This allowed for a detailed plan to be presented to the board and investors, enabling them to make key strategic decisions.

An accurate cashflow statement was created for both actuals and the forecast.  This enabled the client to plan actions accordingly within a cash critical industry, where poor planning could mean the difference between incredible success or closing the doors for good.

The key benefits that Planning Analytics brought to the client include:

  • Full integration with source systems (ERP, CRM etc.)
  • Full intercompany eliminations
  • Full audit trail
  • Easy to use and understand interface
  • Finance managed application (no need to rely on IT)
  • Easily managed validations (soft and hard)
  • Ability to drill through to source data
  • Seamless integration with planning system (as its in the same tool!)

Working with Spitfire Analytics has resulted in the Finance Team becoming an integral part of the business. We are now able to provide analysis and strategic advice on the future direction of the business, rather than spending our time poring over endless spreadsheets.


- Lee Boyle, Finance Director – Engineering, NG Bailey

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