Client Stories

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Reduction of Monthly Close Timing

Business Situation

A home improvement firm, specializing in window and door sales was struggling with several significant accounting process challenges:

  • Month-end close was inefficient and labor-intensive, often taking 30-40 days after month end to complete.
  • Weekly commission processing for salespeople, the company’s lifeblood, was manual, paper-based, error-prone, and difficult to audit.
  • Job-level sales, cost and profitability information was only available after month-end close completion and was based on manually assembled information prepared by the accounting department.
  • Sales recorded in the company’s CRM were completely disconnected from the accounting system and could not be reconciled directly.
  • Financial and operational reporting was sorely lacking and, when provided, was only available several weeks after month-end.

As the business grew, increased transaction volumes finally overwhelmed the accounting department’s ability to ‘just work harder and longer’. Something had to be done differently.

Solution

We applied our 3-pillar approach to identify the core underlying issues and created a roadmap to achieve their desired outcomes.

PROCESS: We conducted an initial discovery project which included interviewing stakeholders, mapping their processes, and identifying the underlying causes of their problems. Working with the client, we rationalized their business processes resulting in more efficient workflows, elimination of duplicative data entry, elimination of redundant manual ledgers, and improved data quality.

TRANSACTION SYSTEMS: Using the customer’s existing CRM and accounting software, we designed a solution where the CRM became the subledger for sales and cost of goods sold. Summarized data from the CRM is now reconciled and loaded to the accounting system, eliminating hours of redundant data entry and accelerating the close.

Also, an automated and integrated application was developed to support all commission calculations which also eliminated hours of redundant data entry, eliminated all paper and errors from the process and facilitated auditability.

REPORTING: By adding Power BI to their existing Microsoft 365 platform and connecting to their existing database, we greatly enhanced operational and financial reporting. New reports were developed to replace manual worksheets across the company and operational reports can be viewed daily rather than having to wait several weeks after month-end close was completed.

Results

The company’s accounting processes and systems are now integrated and aligned. The accounting team closes their books in 5 days, commission calculations are no longer a burden, and job level profitability reporting is available for review daily. Leadership can view company performance at a level of detail like never before, enabling them to make confident, data driven decisions.

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MS / SCA Logos
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MS / SCA Logos