Modern planning processes and flexibility in operational management
Performance management practice in brief: MLP Finanzberatung SE
Many financial controllers have always relied on Excel and the tried-and-tested functions of this standard tool. However, with success in the field of finance and corporate performance management largely dependent nowadays on the efficiency of the processes and the quality of the data, more and more managers are recognising a need for action. One of these managers is Benno Günther of MLP Finanzberatung SE. In this short interview, the Head of Controlling looks back on the financial services company’s digitisation project, comments on challenges, and names some key advantages of a professional solution.
What was your starting point?
Günther: We planned each of our inputs, such as value drivers and interest, in different Excel solutions, and then transferred the figures to what was just a payment tracking tool. The required output, such as the budgeted balance sheet and cash flow plan as well as the budgeted P&L, was generated in yet more Excel solutions. We were looking for a single tool in which to plan the P&L, balance sheet and cash flow. We also needed to depict several consolidated reporting entities.
What were the highlights?
The main highlight for us was the excellent import function – perfect for connecting our data from SAP. It’s amazing how quickly the Corporate Planning Software lets us respond to changes. Having already set up a new business segment, we could depict it in the tool even while it was being implemented. The straightforward and frank communication with the consultants during the implementation was absolutely first-rate. We were also glad to have the project completed on time and within budget.
What lessons have you learned?
The coaching method worked well for us, the consultants rapidly getting us sufficiently up to speed to use the tool unassisted. I’d advise putting project objectives in precise terms. We also gained a lot from having two project managers so that we could multiply our know-how and avoid staff shortages. Detailed project planning, including milestones, and continuous tracking of the project status are no less essential.
About MLP Finanzberatung SE and the project
Topics: integrated financial planning, systems integration
Sector: financial services
Turnover: € 642 m
Employees: 1,800 plus 1,900 independent financial advisors
Pre-systems: SAP R/3 FI & CO and SAP BW