Microsoft Excel is a great personal productivity tool and is a favorite of many finance professionals. But for large, sophisticated enterprises, using Excel to support critical finance processes like the financial close and budgeting can introduce errors, time delays and risk.
This was the case at VolkerWessels UK, whose reliance on excel crippled the finance team’s ability to conduct meaningful analysis on the business.
VolkerWessels UK is a leading multidisciplinary contractor that delivers innovative engineering solutions across the civil engineering and construction sectors, including rail, highways, airport, marine, energy, water and environmental infrastructure.
The company employs over 2,800 staff across the UK and brings together best practices in their five business units: VolkerFitzpatrick, VolkerRail, VolkerStevin, VolkerHighways and VolkerLaser. Each of these business units has a long and successful heritage built on delivering quality and bespoke projects as well as providing specialist skills, plants and equipment.
We sat down recently with Daniel Hopson, Sr. Finance Systems Manager with VolkerWessels UK to learn more about their story. Here are some of the highlights from the discussion.
Life Before OneStream
Prior to OneStream, VolkerWessels UK leveraged Excel for the majority of their financial processes, including budgeting, planning and forecasting. For a sophisticated enterprise like VolkerWessels UK, this approach created inefficiencies and complexities in capturing and managing relevant data, let alone leveraging the data for business insights. Mr. Hopson mentioned, “We had little time at month-end to really look at and analyze our numbers.” As VolkerWessels UK grew, the company was forced to seek an alternate solution for complex financial analysis. According to Mr. Hopson, they needed a platform that would be “fit for the future” and enable users to make changes to their data structures with a “simple approach” across the business.
Drill Up, Drill Down, Drill Back – No Problem
After careful evaluation, VolkerWessels UK chose OneStream for their corporate performance management (CPM) processes – leveraging OneStream for financial consolidation, planning and reporting. During their implementation, VolkerWessels UK decided to take full advantage of OneStream’s world-class direct connection abilities. These advanced features enable business users to directly connect OneStream to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other systems. Users then have the ability (see figure 1) to drill through at varying levels of granularity – such as to summarized GL data, to transactional details that make up GL balances and viewing data directly within the source system. “OneStream really enabled the ease of data validation, which was key for us,” said Mr. Hopson.
Figure 1: OneStream Direct Integration Connectors
Building Confidence with Agility and Flexibility
Leveraging OneStream has brought VolkerWessels UK several key benefits, according to Mr. Hopson. Some of the benefits include:
- Analyze the business with flexibility – OneStream enables the finance team to conduct analysis at the project level and by contract type
- React to external questions with agility – VolkerWessels UK can quickly respond to external requests from management to review the business with multiple reporting hierarchies
- Decide with confidence – OneStream’s unified platform gives the CFO and auditors confidence that they can trace through financial statements back to source systems and transactions
By relying on OneStream to capture and map data from disparate systems into various management reporting hierarchies, VolkerWessels UK no longer requires a dedicated end-user to manage data—which frees up resources for more value-added activities. Mr. Hopson noted, “we are now able to review and analyze our numbers in ways we could not before.”
Helping companies like VolkerWessels UK reduce complexity and simplify their financial consolidation, planning and reporting is at the heart of OneStream’s mission – which is 100% customer success. By assisting companies modernize, we are enabling leaders to focus on driving business value rather than moving data between disparate systems and other task- oriented work. Additional benefits of leveraging the OneStream unified platform include:
- Improve finance team productivity – do more with existing FTEs and focus on adding business value
- Improve the speed and accuracy of reports and forecasts to stakeholders, improve decision-making
- Quickly collect, validate and integrate data from any open financial and operational system or external data source with drill back and drill through for transactional details
- Automate manual steps in the financial closing/consolidation process
To learn more about how VolkerWessels UK has modernized finance with OneStream, check out the video testimonial on our web site. And feel free to contact OneStream if you are ready to make the leap from spreadsheets to OneStream for corporate performance management.