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Redesigning financial closing processes... A matter of time and efficiency

Key messages

Redesigning the group's financial closing process

Obtaining efficiency gains consisting of a workload reduction and an improved balance between peak periods and idle time

A more efficient closing process with a focus on continuous improvement

The author of this articleStéphanie Struelens - Business Manager
We supported our client at redesigning their financial closing process in order to decrease the throughput time and increase the efficiency of the process.

Client

The client is one of the largest banking & insurance groups active in Belgium and holds subsidiaries in several European countries.
 

Why TriFinance?

The client chose to work with TriFinance thanks to our proven track record within various departments of the group and our specific TriFinance approach combining process redesign tailored to the bank’s specificities and particularities.

After a multi-step selection process, they chose TriFinance for our pragmatic approach, our knowledge and expertise within financial institutions and the large set of best practices and lessons learned we shared.

"By implementing our proposed improvement points, the client can win five to six days in the closing process."
Stéphanie Struelens - Business Manager

The Challenge

Our TriFinance project team has supported the client at redesigning their group closing process in order to achieve the following targets: to decrease the throughput time of the external publication of the quarterly financial results by ten days, to obtain efficiency gains consisting of a workload reduction and an improved balance between peak periods and idle time.

Therefore, we proposed a set of best practices grouped around 6 change concepts that had to be applied in a holistic way, meaning cross-departmental and cross-entities within the group:
●    Keep Focus
●    Closing Office
●    Reporting community
●    Process anticipation
●    Hard close
●    Process stabilization
We implemented these concepts by identifying bottlenecks and pain points in the current way of working, analyzing the root cause of these inefficiencies and by suggesting improvements in terms of governance, process and people (systems and data being out of scope) based on market best practices and lessons we learned from previous track records. 
 

The result

After five months of project, we managed to deliver several outputs, including the creation of a new group-wide Target Process to report financial figures earlier, the formulation of a “Minimum Viable Product” regarding the output necessary for reporting, the use of thresholds for corrections and declaration of evolution and the establishment of a Closing Office - a coordination entity with clear mandate of the Management. Finally, we also performed a feasibility study of the new target process at the reporting departments of the Belgian entity and the group level.

Our conclusions? Considering the complex system architecture and the heavy organizational structure and by implementing the proposed improvement points, the client will have won five to six days in the closing process. 
 

'It was a very instructive experience to dive into the various best practices provided by TriFinance experts regarding the Closing process, Finance & Risk Management and amongst other things RPA."
Inne Vermeiren - Project Consultant

Learnings for our project consultants

This project has been very instructive and challenging due to the short time-frame for the analysis, the ambitions set by the client and the large scope of analysis (cross-department, cross-entities). 

We divided the project team into several streams allowing us to have more focus, expertise and a stronger relationship with the specific stakeholders to ensure there was enough involvement and empowerment from the internal employees. We focused on implementing a culture of breaking the silos, keeping the focus and continuous improvement.

Inne Vermeiren - Project Consultant: “Next to profound insights in the consolidation process on a group-wide level, it was a very instructive experience to dive into the various best practices provided by TriFinance experts regarding the Closing process, Finance & Risk Management and amongst other things RPA. In addition, I had the chance to improve my knowledge of project and change management, by leading one of the streams which focused on continuous improvement.”


 

For more info, you can always contact: Stéphanie Struelens.
(stéphanie.struelens@trifinance.be or 02/895 55 36). 
For more case studies: take a look on our website www.trifinance.be
 

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The author of this articleStéphanie Struelens - Business Manager

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