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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Meet the Companies Leading the Way Toward Finance Transformation

At Oracle, we’ve seen over and over again how finance leaders can transform their organizations with a combination of best practices and technology. Today, I’d like to share five stories of outstanding success—our 2016 Leadership in Finance Award winners.

China’s First Automobile Works Gains Enterprise-wide Visibility

When you’re China’s largest car manufacturer, you expect to compete on a global scale—and you can’t do that using outdated, manual reporting tools. You need a finance department that’s armed with the tools it needs to move quickly and drive strategic decision-making.

First Automobile Works Group (FAW) is China’s oldest and largest automotive group, with annual sales exceeding two million units.  The company wanted a financial system that allowed it to plan, invest and communicate across its enterprise more effectively—as well as providing the transparency needed to ensure compliance and identify potential risks.

The finance department, led by CFO Teng Tieqi, needed easier access to key performance indicators, reports and dashboards. FAW turned to Oracle Hyperion Planning to help create a new planning and budgeting process that covers each department horizontally (organization, process, standardization) and each subsidiary vertically (planning preparation, performance assessment, etc).

The results:

  • FAW Group reduced monthly rolling forecast time by 50%
  • The time required to generate monthly reports decreased from 2 days to mere hours
  • The company increased the accuracy reports by up to 50%

Looking ahead, FAW is exploring the use of in-memory business analytics to improve the statutory reporting process and support a better financial transformation process.

Transforming the DoD’s Finance Operations

Accounting for slightly more than half of all federal discretionary spending, perhaps no federal agency receives as much budgetary scrutiny as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

The department has undertaken an ambitious initiative in recent years to “transform the budget, finance and accounting operations of the DoD.” The goal of this program, called the Defense Agencies Initiative (DAI), is to modernize and transform financial management across the department.

The initiative, led by DAI Functional Sponsor Gregory Little, involves the integration of financial management systems and the standardization of business processes across 16 of the 23 agencies within the department.

The implementation began with Oracle Federal Financials. The DoD has added other solutions, including Hyperion budgeting and forecasting to align financial plans, models and forecasts across cost centers and lines of business.

Once fully implemented, the system will provide a real-time view of integrated business processes, accessible to authorized users from any location. This holistic view will help defense agency financial managers, auditors, and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service make sound business decisions to support the nation’s defense needs.

Little summarizes the benefits of the program, saying:

 “We now have the ability to accurately trace a financial transaction throughout the end-to-end process and have over twenty Defense Agencies operating within one standard, shared service global model. DAI has provided financial management capabilities and standardization that has greatly improved audit readiness, performance, and reduced errors."

Cloud Opens Doors to Growth for Grupo Posadas Hotel Chain

Hotel businesses that focus on agility will have the most success growing their markets, according to a 2016 E&Y Global Hospitality Insights report. The most agile businesses will use tools that provide analytics to make informed business decisions. The need for operational agility is one of the reasons Grupo Posadas adopted cloud-based financial solutions.

Grupo Posadas is a chain of hotels in Mexico, with more than 140 properties and revenues of $8.1 billion pesos. The company deployed Oracle E-Business Suite and Hyperion Financial Management to consolidate financial reporting and adopt an integrated planning, budgeting and forecasting system. 

Compliance tools within the suite help the company’s CFO, Arturo Martínez del Campo Saucedo, and his team manage regulatory compliance directives. Some of primary benefits to date include:

  • Reduction of financial close times
  • Reduction of transaction costs and time
  • Streamlined acquisitions
  • Support for global expansion
  • Increased business agility

The company is using the analytical applications and dashboards in Oracle Hyperion to improve analysis and decision-making. The information allows the company to create a consistent, unified financial master data platform so performance-management and business-intelligence applications share the same data and metadata.

Martínez del Campo and his team also see the value in public SaaS applications and expect to adopt Oracle Innovation Management Cloud, Oracle Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud as part of their overall business modernization efforts.

ERP Pushing South African Provincial Government Entity on its Way to the Top

How do you become the “leading government transport service” in South Africa? For the Western Cape’s Provincial Government Motor Transport (GMT) trading entity, it’s a combination of smart sourcing strategies, the best technology, and most importantly, a passionate team to make it all work.

The entity’s services include supplying, maintaining and supporting vehicles for government use in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. GMT identified opportunities to improve financial management, including migrating to an accrual-based financial system by insourcing previously outsourced functions, such as the management of repairs and maintenance.

Bringing these functions in house meant that GMT needed to establish a client-care call center and related systems. GMT needed a system to manage all of these functions efficiently. The entity started by implementing Oracle E-Business Suite to redesign and streamline key business processes in finance, procurement, lease management and asset management.

Furthermore, GMT implemented custom solutions written in Oracle which include functionality to manage auctions, vehicle tracking, a vehicle bookings module and interfaces to third party fuel services.  GMT systems run a private cloud on a local Oracle Partners’ Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

GMT also has custom solutions built within the system, which include functionality to manage auctions, vehicle tracking, a vehicle bookings module and interfaces to third-party fuel services, says Johan Koegelenberg , head of GMT, Western Cape Government. The entity has achieved several benefits already, including faster preparation of financial statements, clean audits, improved cost control, access to information not previously available, faster decision-making, better management of assets and easier identification of areas with challenges.

GMT isn’t stopping there. The agency plans to add further enhancements, including teleservice, fax and email integration. 

What does this mean for the future of GMT’s goal to become the “leading government transport service” in South Africa? GMT considers the enhancements critical to improving its customer service to other government departments in the future and expects the further implementation to be expanded to other government institutions in the Western Cape province.

Cloud ERP Brings Data into Focus for Insurance Broker Hub International

At Hub International, the finance team is considered “everyone’s partner.” In other words, they’re responsible for connecting the entire enterprise.

Hub, a top-10 global insurance broker, was struggling to gain consistent reports from multiple expense reporting systems across the organization. The company was working from multiple general ledgers, which made closing, reporting and investigating issues a challenge.

“From a management perspective, we had little access into general ledger details within the environment,” explains Angelo Fusaro, Hub’s vice president of finance and special projects.

Fusaro led an effort in November 2014 to implement Oracle ERP Cloud to improve visibility and control. The cloud-based system allowed the finance department to consolidate 20 different systems into one and eliminate 95% of the extensions and localizations necessary under the previous system.

Oracle ERP Cloud also allowed Hub to establish a shared-services model to centralize accounts payable, travel and expense reporting across 16 different accounting centers. The results: in less than two months, Hub realized a 25% to 40% reduction in costs. The company has a goal of a 50% reduction in close time—from five days to two. 

According to Fusaro, the implementation has provided:

  • Insight into information
  • Better controls
  • Opportunities for shared services

Moving ERP to the cloud has also allowed the finance team to become a more agile organization and keep pace with the needs of the business, Fusaro says.

Congratulations to Oracle’s 2016 Leadership in Finance Award Winners

 
Left to Right: Samuel Martinez, Grupo Posadas (accepted award for Arturo Martinez del Campo Saucedo); Johan Koegelenberg, Western Cape’s Provincial Government Motor Transport; Teng Tieqi, First Automobile Works Group; Jeff Henley, Oracle; Gregory Little, Defense Agencies Initiative; Angelo Fusaro, HUB International

 

I invite you to join us in Boston, April 11-13, 2017 for our premiere executive event, Modern Finance Experience, where we’ll present the newly-announced Change Agents of Finance Awards. There are 10 award categories available, so nominate yourself or a colleague today.

Each of our 2016 recipients has demonstrated outstanding finance leadership, a drive for excellence, and a willingness to tackle persistent business challenges. We offer our congratulations to all the winners, and are proud to have worked with them as customers and strategic partners.

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