Case Study: Finance Transformation

Client: Global Media & Advertising Firm

Function: Finance Department

Project: Finance Transformation

Project Objective

A global market research business wanted to deploy a global finance transformation program across its Latin American operations including the adoption of a consistent way of working, creation of best practices, simplification of Financial controlling and enablement of greater interoperability of employees.

Intellilink had worked with the client to design and implement the transformation program across their other regional operations of the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, and was chosen to manage the Latin America project.

The program was designed to standardize the Finance organization including job roles and responsibilities, policies & procedures, and systems.

Challenges

The challenges of implementing the change program were significant. Least of not which was the number of operating units; across 11 countries, each country with an average of 4 and as many as 6 brands per country – with at least as many Legal Entities per brand –, each with its own finance staff, offices, processes, policies, and disparate accounting systems.

The journey began with the Controller of each country appointed to the position and given responsibility to drive change. Often this was someone previously responsible for one of the brands, or a new hire. Intellilink assisted in managing the change initiatives and in ensuring client stakeholders maintain focus.

The shifting of roles & responsibilities within the organization to align with the pillars of the Global Finance Operating Model for Accounting and FP&A led to a politicized environment that created challenges in decision making. This required increased stakeholder management in order to deliver the intended results.

Finally, the process standardization initiative took place during an already intensive period where Finance teams were still adjusting to reductions in headcount and changes to the global Finance operating model.

Solution

A series of workshops were run with Country Finance teams to identify gaps between the current state processes in each Operating Company and the global standard process flows developed by Intellilink covering Procure to Pay, Order to Cash and Record to Report activities. Focus was given to identifying process gaps, correct responsibilities / swimlanes, SOX compliance, and technology enablement.

The workshop yielded an action plan in which initiatives were prioritized by level of effort and criticality. Regular calls facilitated by Intellilink and the Latin America Regional Finance Management Team were established to manage the delivery of the actions and to provide the country teams with additional information and guidance where needed.

In addition to Program Management, Intellilink directly drove the development of deliverables to close action items, complementing the responsibilities of the Finance teams which were dedicated full time to Business-as-Usual activities, in addition to part time to the transformation. Deliverables created and accepted after thorough stakeholder reviews include detailed workplans, and standardized SOX-compliant regional policies, forms, and procedure documents in local language. Intellilink has also been integrally involved in the development of communications and training materials to cascade change, as needed.