Automation, Transformation, Integration: How Solutions 30 Cut Two Weeks from its Annual Reporting Process
- Manual data input, version and data controls were adding time and stress to the entire financial reporting process
- Disconnected translation and design requirements were introducing potential risk
- Teams were forced to work in silos: their technology wasn’t enabling seamless communication and collaboration
- Targeted process automation has shaved an estimated two weeks off the entire end-to-end reporting process
- Translation and design are both managed within the platform. The team now has confidence that data is consistent across all materials created for the report
- All data and work are now traceable and they have established a clear audit trail
Why They Chose Workiva
- Financial Reporting
For Solutions 30, what they say is just as important as how they say it. As a rapidly growing company, they understand the value of facilitating seamless communication and collaboration. And their annual and interim financial reports, produced in both French and English, depict the growth firmly rooted in their customer-first ideology: acquisitions that better support market needs, their drive to always stay ahead of the curve, and evidence that their efforts are paying off.
After struggling with versions controls, disconnected translation, design challenges and risk introduced by manual data input, they knew that their drive for ongoing digital transformation needed to extend to their financial reports processes. They wanted the engine that powers their reports to match the ambition, precision, technical capability and innovation they’re known for.
According to Jeremy Cornu, Head of Group Consolidation at Solutions 30, as the company was growing and changing dimension, it was time to enhance and change the process to deliver the annual and intermediate financial reports. “Solutions 30 has grown very fast over the past few years, and we needed to both streamline and consolidate our reporting process,” Jeremy said. “There were multiple people working on manual inputs for each section of the report, which then needed to be consolidated manually, introducing risk of error...everything needed to be reviewed again and again. It was incredibly time-consuming and stressful.”
Jeremy’s team wasn’t only concerned about time being wasted. They also had to allot enough time for external translation and design. “We were working with a third-party translation agency and a design team,” Jeremy shared. “Such a process requires a lot of proof-reading. Errors can occur when formatting the document. It requires a significant number of iterations, which is time-consuming.”
João Marques Gomes, Deputy Group CFO & Finance Transformation Program Manager at Solutions 30, realized their previous process was time consuming and lacking efficiency. He explained, “Our company is laser focused on delivering best-in-class services. So it doesn’t make sense for us to be slowed down by legacy, unsophisticated processes. We needed to help out our business as we would, and do, with our customers and understand how to fix the reporting process. That’s why we kicked off a targeted transformation initiative.”
A platform that’s proven at scale
Solutions 30 had several priorities for their transformation project: automation, simplicity, speed and integration of data, teams and process.
Regarding automation, it was important for them to ensure that any changes in data were reflected in the report. “Linking data with text isn’t possible with a lot of solutions, but it was important for us,” Jeremy explained. “It was also important for everyone to work within the same system and have access, in real time, to the same information. We knew what we needed to do to ensure the consistency of our data and help us to quickly move through each step of the reporting process. We found it in the Workiva platform.”
They were also looking for a solution that would help them to navigate the continually evolving regulatory landscape. For João and his wider team, it’s critical to work with technology that can prove its ability to scale. “The last thing we want to do when buying any new technology is to rip it out and replace it in a couple of years because it can’t keep up with our needs,” João said. “So, when we were looking to transform our financial reporting process, we looked for firms that could demonstrate that they were tuned in to regulatory change and show that they are ready, willing and able to adapt. Workiva was that company. One specific example of this is their built-in XBRL® tagging capabilities. We can do everything that we need, including tagging, translation and design, within the one platform.”
Stress relief—from implementation to the final mile
When João and Jeremy were assessing Workiva, they also considered their wider ecosystem. This wasn’t a change that was happening in isolation. It formed part of the company’s wider digital transformation and needed to align with their overarching objectives. They were keen to ensure that the solutions they chose would integrate well with each other and support the continuous exchange of information across their entire ecosystem.
João shared their experience of assessing the platform and implementing it. “Creating a much simpler and more straightforward infrastructure is important to us. We need assurance that the technology we use will deliver on what it promises and help our colleagues to do their best work. We had no concerns about the Workiva platform’s APIs. In practice, there have been no issues with connecting data across multiple sources and housing it within one central hub. We collaborated with KPMG consultants who, alongside the Workiva support team, assisted with optimising the solution for our needs during implementation.”
The team can now translate reports within the platform and link data across Workiva spreadsheets, documents and presentations with their design files. The result: a lot less stress in the last mile for Jeremy and the reporting team.
“The Workiva platform hasn’t just streamlined translation and design for us. It’s made it completely frictionless. This is true for all elements of the reporting process. We needed greater flexibility and more automation in our financial reporting process. We got that and more: a platform that enables a collaborative approach with multiple contributors working in the document at the same time instead of on different versions. Everything is traceable. We have a clear audit trail. But it’s the confidence throughout that all data is consistent, and knowing that we maintain control over translation and design processes, that has made the closing process so much easier,” said João.
The connected solution that saves a lot of time
Solutions 30 now uses a platform that enables them to improve consistency of data in their reporting process. It saves the team a lot of time. “We estimate that it’s cut two weeks off the entire end-to-end reporting process, which is huge for us,” João said. “It allows us to provide more in-depth insight and ensure that our reports are fully aligned with our investors’ and customers’ needs.”
For Jeremy, the automation the Workiva platform offers has been immensely beneficial. “Now we barely ever have to make any manual adjustments to the data. We can push one button and our entire financial statements are updated. It’s simple but effective.”
João’s advice for other companies? “Implement Workiva. And, when you do, spend time at the outset to set up your reporting document structure and links. It will help you to save time down the road.”