Data integration and technical accounting for numerous subsidiaries
Our client, a leading Internet company, quickly expanded through organic and inorganic growth. Accounting and controlling were to do justice to the growth. At the same time, financial standards had to be met in Germany, the EU and the USA.
The rapid growth and annual accounts according to IFRS, HGB and US-GAAP made it necessary to centrally store the accounting data of all 16 subsidiaries. At the same time, internal standards were to be applied to all subsidiaries. Key figures and product hierarchies had to be defined centrally and rolled out to the subsidiaries.
niologic consolidated project management into Kanban flows for the recently formed BI team. In addition, regular meetings and common communication channels were structured to ensure correspondence among the BI experts.
In a further step, the requirements were structured from a business perspective and modelled into a common data model (Snowflake, Kimball approach). Dimension data were to be presented equally in all subsidiaries.
Subsequently, several product hierarchies were introduced and stored in a structured and maintainable manner using Microsoft Master Data Services™ (MDS). In this process, each product was assigned to several product hierarchies. Different hierarchies were thus introduced to administration in the subsidiary, to product management and the financial area. Through a special modelling of the product hierarchy, key figures were made calculable on every branch and every level of the product hierarchy. By using an InMemory database, all combinations of products and key figures could be calculated.
After the data for the first milestone had initially been supplied by the subsidiaries as a data export (CSV), a standardized data view was created in each subsidiary in a further step.
Parallel to the teams from BI and Controlling, niologic worked with the IT department on a connection of the network infrastructure and firewalls between the BI area and subsidiaries (mostly VPN connections, NAT, firewalls).
After the technical infrastructure of the network and databases was in place in the subsidiaries and also the parent company, ETL processes were created to load transaction data for accounting and controlling on a daily basis and to update the product hierarchy.
In addition to the normal KPI reporting, corresponding calculations for customer inflows and outflows as well as accruals according to IFRS/HGB and US-GAAP were prepared. Furthermore, reports on the quality assurance of the ETL process and data quality were implemented successfully.
In addition, historical invoice data and EOL products were restored during the creation of the data insights.
Result and customer value
The close cooperation with the customer teams for BI and controlling resulted in a widely accepted solution. The close and trusting cooperation with internal teams and subsidiaries made it possible to integrate all existing customer and transaction data.
At the same time, the daily transmission of transaction and product data enabled automated evaluation or drill-down of the entire product portfolio. Therefore, manual follow-up checks of reports and semi-automatic report generation in the subsidiaries was no longer necessary.
Digital processing of historical data from proprietary accounting systems made it possible to compare brands and subsidiaries over a maximum period of 15 years.
The increased efficiency thanks to automation meant that it was not necessary to set up controlling teams in the subsidiaries. Addtionally, the parent company’s existing personnel could be concentrated on evaluating financial reports.