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The long and winding road: from financial consolidation agony to the ultimate consolidation freedom with RollupSheets

With a career spanning over 20 years, Wessel van Zyl CA (SA) has progressed through the ranks after obtaining his BCom Accounting degree at University of Pretoria, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1991, to his current position as chief financial officer of listed civil engineering and construction group Esor.

His 17 years in the construction industry have given him more than enough exposure to complex accounts, construction industry peculiarities and a myriad of operational structures - often across borders and currencies. He therefore has a special appreciation for the benefits that a solid financial consolidation tool offers.

Reaching the point where he could easily compile month-end consolidations comprising 250 reporting packs has not been an easy road, however.

From consolidation agony...

As general manager of shared services at a listed construction company in 2003:

  • The company was using a DOS-based consolidation tool that didn’t run off a central database or have import capabilities across its operations which at the time comprised five divisions.
  • Each division had to be consolidated individually and signed off separately by the auditors, costing a fortune in time and money to finalise.
  • The task was especially cumbersome given that each reporting pack could represent as many as 100 contracts for each division across 30 tabs and 60 columns in each tab.
  • And despite the intricacies of trying to present a single view of the group’s accounts via this system, it was still streets ahead of the previous method that consisted of using spreadsheets to compile and consolidate reports. Here the process was restricted by connectivity issues, the need to password protect documents and the fact that version control was non-existent.

To the ultimate consolidation freedom...

  • By deploying, a specialist construction enterprise accounting system costing, project and enterprise accounting is integrated and it can be rolled out as a stand-alone installation.
  • Data captured via this system is then incorporated into the group’s chosen consolidation system, Rollupsheets from Infinitus, without any of the headaches or jumping through hoops that were previously encountered.
  • As a supplementary consolidation software solution it is both cost effective and time saving requiring very little change management and thereby training. In addition because it is self-maintainable there are no hidden maintenance costs.
  • A flexible, customisable financial consolidation tool means that there is no need to re-audit financial accounts from group operations that have been audited at company level.
  • This has provided him with significant savings in time and effort, while providing peace of mind that his financials and reporting packs represent a true and accurate position that business executives can confidently use to make decisions.

It seems, and I don’t think I am imagining it, that his former anguish has since been replaced by a glint of glee in his eye, all thanks to RollupSheets.

Is RollupSheets suitable for your Statutory Reporting, Monthly Reporting, Planning, and Forecasting?

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, it’s time to revolutionise the way you consolidate with RollupSheets.

  • Do you use Excel to consolidate?
  • Do you have multiple users, locations; cost centres; business units or regions to consolidate?
  • Do you experience any complexity?
  • Do you have strict deadlines to report against?
  • Do you have unnecessary risk elements around your consolidations? Systems, processes, people, time and data integrity?

A typical RollupSheets engagement process for our client is as follows:

Step 1: Get in touch with the RollupSheets guys with your specific consolidation requirement and or reporting challenge/s.

Step 2: Initial, 60 minute engagement meeting to define Organisation’s consolidation requirements.

Step 3: RollupSheets proposal is presented within 5 days from scoping session.

At RollupSheets we pride ourselves at delivering first time, every time, all the time with a 99% in-scope, in-budget and on-time track record!