With an expanding reach to over 2.9 billion people and exposure to greater than 26% of global GDP, SEEK is constantly looking for ways to boost operational efficiency. In the company’s finance department, this means keeping a lid on costs and streamlining financial consolidation, reporting, and planning functions as the company grows.
“It had become clear that current manual intensive processes we had in place could no longer cope with our strong growth, says Nic Casboult, CFO Asia Pacific & Americas at SEEK. “We needed a new approach that would improve our ability to serve the business without requiring an increase in headcount.”
Working with Anaplan Global Strategic Partner Deloitte, SEEK developed a transformation program named “Cloud 9” that focused on three key areas: financial group consolidation, revenue and personnel planning, and reporting.
The Cloud 9 finance transformation program included selection of a new technology platform to support the finance function. After a comprehensive review, the team chose Anaplan for three main reasons: Anaplan supported the company’s move to software-as-a-service applications, offered an intuitive user interface for both the business and model builders, and promised fast implementation and time-to-value.
“SEEK’s Cloud 9, Digital Finance transformation project was required to provide sophisticated and timely decision-making information, helping the business focus on value-adding activities to enable improved business performance while improving the finance cost-to-income ratio,” said Thierry Lotrian, Partner, Deloitte Australia. “The Anaplan platform enabled SEEK to scale up at the speed required to align with their growth agenda while providing business users a flexible and agile solution.”
Once Anaplan was deployed, significant benefits quickly became apparent—including some process times being nearly twice as fast. “We have reduced our month end consolidation processes from 15 days to 8 days by shifting from spreadsheets to Anaplan,” Casboult says.
Rather than manually cutting and pasting data from more than 50 spreadsheets, data collection is now fully automated.
Anaplan also provides the company with a consolidated view of its statutory and management reporting across its entire operations in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Latin America—something that previously was very difficult to achieve. “Anaplan has helped to improve reporting to senior management and aids in planning and forecasting,” Casboult notes. The company has improved its finance cost-to-income ratio and has more confidence in financial data, which Casboult notes is important for its growing M&A agenda.
Casboult says Anaplan is a great fit for SEEK because the platform is able to scale and evolve as the company’s requirements grow. “Shifting from a legacy, on-premise system to a cloud-based platform gives us the agility and flexibility we require,” he says. “As well as providing an exceptional, user-friendly platform, Anaplan is a great cultural fit for SEEK.”