Cross-departmental Visibility Streamlines and Expedites Financial Reporting

The Client

The client is a large US-focused wireless carrier providing voice, messaging, and data services. With a focus on customer service and innovation, the company enjoys a leading position in the marketplace.

The Challenge

After being acquired, the new parent company wanted financial results to be reported more quickly after each month end. What amounted to a 25% reduction in financial close duration was going to be an intense challenge for an already taxing reporting process.

The Solution

The project began with building and communicating a case for change that would unify staff and management toward a common goal to meet the required reporting deadline. We engaged staff and management to gain collective insight into required deliverables, cycle time, duration, inputs, outputs and dependencies. With this data, we persuaded teams that depended on each other for timely information to cooperate and to modify traditional work habits.

We then identified the critical path to focus improvements on reducing time, extraneous tasks, and frustration in the reporting process. We mapped duration and cycle to clarify opportunities and examine dependencies where the timing of deliverables interrupted process flow.

Tasks and report detail that were not time-sensitive were pulled out of the critical path, and deliverables that could be completed early were moved up in the timeline. By reorganizing tasks that were not in the critical path, resources were freed up to focus on the tasks that were creating bottlenecks.

With no time or budget to implement workflow automation, a simple SharePoint site was stood up to help all parties see where key deliverables were in the pipeline, and to visualize where individual tasks or resources might require intervention and assistance.

The Impact

We were able to successfully reduce the financial close duration by 25%, reduce cycle time and risk, while maintaining the company’s quality of reporting. The project’s focus on cross-departmental dependencies also helped the teams understand how to work together, and how those dependencies complement one another.

Later, when the deadlines for external reporting were also reduced, the same analysis was applied, and external reporting duration was cut by 20%.