PwC had the district challenge of reconciling regulatory shifts back into financial planning and budgeting. Even without the added complexity of regulation changes, the budgeting process was exceedingly slow due to the use of manual spreadsheets. PwC quickly realized that it was not the process, but the tool that caused problems.
Due to PwC’s complex business model, they needed a tool that would provide the necessary transparency. Anaplan’s platform provided transparency, while additionally delivering real-time data and the flexibility needed to handle complex simulations. From A to Z, the total implementation took 80 working days.
Success was immediate. With Anaplan’s platform, PwC’s long-term planning, which used to take three weeks, was completed in less than one week. With the availability of real-time data, number crunching that used to take a week can now be completed immediately, allowing PwC to “act and react” at the same time.
Sandy Aers, CFO at PwC Belgium, shares how her organization keeps pace with the fast-evolving global regulatory landscape by replacing its existing slow and cumbersome spreadsheet-based processes with Anaplan.
My name is Sandy Aers, I’m the CFO for PwC Belgium. PwC delivers audit, tax, legal, and consulting services to various clients. I have a team of 40 people. We assure financial compliance and close the books on a monthly basis. I’m responsible for the finance operations. We’re responsible for the budgeting process and the treasury compliance.
Our goal is to be sufficiently agile to deal with all the changes that come our way. If you think about globalization, about the evolving regulatory landscape, about the technology advantages, we need a framework where we can achieve that goal.
Last year, we had a lot of remarks about our process. What we noticed within our budgeting plan was that the process was very slow. We came to the conclusion that it was not the process, but the tool. Together with the partners, we went through all steps of the process, and what we were missing was we couldn’t do any simulations, it was Excel-based, it was complicated.
As we have a complicated business structure, we needed a more transparent tool. Anaplan was the tool for us. It’s real-time-based, it can deal with complex situations, and we could do simulations. We had a fast implementation, we had about 80 working days to go from A to Z through the whole process.
What we noticed with implementation of Anaplan was that it was easy. Why? Because it’s cloud-based, so you don’t need an infrastructure, you don’t need the people of IT, you don’t have to look through all the interfaces that are linked to that platform. And that’s why our finance team could work on [a sole] basis on that implementation.
One of our first success we had with Anaplan was the implementation of our long-term plan. Our long-term plan normally takes about three weeks; this year we did it in about one week. The biggest advantage of Anaplan today is the immediate result. If you have to do a lot of number-crunching, then often it takes a week before you see the end results. With Anaplan, it’s immediate, so it means that you can act and react at the same time.
When we look what we have achieved with Anaplan so far, we definitely continue to look into other use cases, like price-setting. My name is Sandy Aers, I’m the CFO for PwC Belgium, and Anaplan empowered us to improve our budgeting process.