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Implementing a Unified Group Financial Reporting System using OutlookSoft PowerPoint Presentation
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Implementing a Unified Group Financial Reporting System using OutlookSoft

Implementing a Unified Group Financial Reporting System using OutlookSoft

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Implementing a Unified Group Financial Reporting System using OutlookSoft

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  1. Implementing a Unified Group Financial Reporting System using OutlookSoft Fred Squire Atos Consulting on behalf of GUS plc BPM Partners: Make it Live in 2005 19th April 2005

  2. GUS plc Why GUS wanted to improve our Group reporting How GUS managed the project Why GUS selected OutlookSoft What GUS have learned Where GUS are now

  3. About GUS plc … • Retail and business services group • FTSE 100 company with sales of £7.5bn and profits of £827m • GUS plc comprises : • Argos Retail group; Argos, Homebase, Financial Services, Wehkamp • Information and customer relationship management services through Experian • 66% shareholding in the luxury goods company Burberry • 51% shareholding in the South African retail group Lewis • Each Division trades in a different market place, as a consequence, they operate in an autonomous way

  4. Why GUS wanted to improve Group reporting? • IFRS compliance • Address existing system limitations (distributed architecture) • Automate management and statutory reconciliation activities • Improve confidence in the reported numbers • Reduction in the time spent on low value reconciliation activities • Faster data collection • Faster Board reporting • Improve audit compliance • Flexible platform for future improvements

  5. The approach that GUS used • GUS have worked in three phases • Phase 0: Feasibility • Review our existing management and statutory processes • Produce a feasibility study • Phase 1: Design and Selection • Develop the high level ‘To Be’ processes • Develop the Single Application Design • Develop the Entity Maps • Design the Request for Proposal and Evaluation Criteria • Produce the Case for Change • Project launch and vendor selection • Vendor due diligence • Phase 2: Implementation • Build the application • Document the application • Migrate the historic data from our Hyperion StatRep application • Test the application • Training the users

  6. Selecting OutlookSoft … • GUS did an extensive evaluation of the marketplace: • Reviewed 9 software packages • Invited 5 vendors to respond to an RFP • Invited 3 vendors back for an informal demonstration • Because OutlookSoft was a new vendor GUS carried out extensive international Due Diligence • The same 3 vendors were then invited to demonstrate to each of the Divisions during a formal 2 day session

  7. Why GUS Selected OutlookSoft … • GUS selected Everest as the favourite for a number of reasons: • The interface was Excel • Ease of use • Truly unified and scalable • Fast implementation • Flexible reporting • Level of supplier commitment • Can accommodate our inherent complexities "During our selection process, we whittled the contenders down to three main products. The reason that OutlookSoft's product was selected was down to reputation and standing in the marketplace. The fact that Everest also makes use of Excel was a key factor in our final decision. Everyone in the accounting world is familiar with Excel so, in choosing that intuitive interface, we knew we could minimise training costs and ensure rapid user adoption.“ Martin Boden, Group Financial Controller

  8. Where GUS are now… Mar 2004 Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan 2005 Feb Mar Apr Phase 1 (Design & Selection) Phase 2 (Implementation) Phase 3 (Post imp. review) Process Enhancement Design Single Application Systems Selection Build and Execute Reporting environment Post Implementation Review Design reporting process and assess divisional/group implications Assess appropriateness of support tool Develop Group reporting inventory Design/map entity structure for single database Assess implications for data sources ITT (Invite to Tender) for system reporting software Produce divisional/group road map for implementation Board approval of business case Change management (training, process documentation) Prioritise, design and mobilise the implementation work streams Initiate key ‘must-do’ steps Implementation of agreed projects / initiatives Testing, user acceptance, parallel running, switchover (including data migration) Ongoing tracking, coordination and assurance around programme delivery for each work stream Change management (training, documentation) Ongoing support of new processes and systems Ensure statutory reporting cycle performs as expected Ensure divisional improvements

  9. What GUS built… A combined system capable of: • IFRS compliant statutory consolidation and reporting • Management consolidation, KPI’s and reporting • Budget & forecast collection and reporting • Clever stuff: • Reporting in multi exchange rates simultaneously while only storing input data once in the system • Ability to consolidate using different exchange rates by division • Uses 11 dimensions and 3 cubes • Early adopter of Zoom logic • Full statutory calculated cash flow • Extensive use of SQL logic, expansions and eAAG controls • Physical scope: • Global user base • 5 separate IT infrastructures, policies, software, hardware and standards

  10. All of this is true but there are some learning's … • This should be a relatively simple implementation, it is after all only a glorified adding machine! But • When using a new software package don’t underestimate the need for vendor resources • Project management is a full time activity • Develop a clear plan for dealing with changing requirements e.g. IFRS • Put your best qualified accountants and system accountants on the team • Don’t underestimate the Change Management workload i.e. regular Divisional communications / visits/common project plan and user “buy-in” • The importance of having dedicated project facilities and IT support

  11. From 1 January 2005 GUS have … • A common platform for users to submit their financial information to Group • that captures, stores and reports; Budget, Forecast and Actuals data within one environment • that has been built on the principle that: “There will be one version of the truth” “It used to take two weeks to produce one monthly report. With the new system, we're hoping to reduce that to just one week. That time saving will prove invaluable in freeing up staff to work on other more value-added tasks and analyse performance to aid decision making.“ Martin Boden, Group Financial Controller “… and GUS have built and tested it in 6 months”

  12. Contact Details For further information and questions please contact: Natalie Chiang, Financial Planning & Analysis Manager – GUS plc OutlookSoft UK User Group Chairperson 020 7495 0070 OutlookSoft Mark Atkinson, Client & Partner Relations Atos Consulting Fred Squire