Revolutionising a budgeting process

Using automation and improved workflows, a US based biotech company was able to reduce their budgeting process by 900 hours.
130
days a year saved
5
data sources
50
concurrent users

The challenge

Our client is a public company based in San Francisco that manufactures synthetic DNA for clients in the biotechnology industry. Founded in 2013, it has rapidly grown to reach a market capitalization of $2.4bn.

They had historically used a Microsoft Excel-based budgeting process which was struggling to cope with the increased scale and complexity of the business as it grew. The process was manual, time-consuming, and prone to human error, providing limited control for finance. Without a central repository for inputs, there was also confusion over versions and audit trails. Additionally, historical and plan data sets used to support budgeting were held in separate systems, making comparisons and validation of budget inputs challenging.

The solution

After analyzing the company’s processes, it became apparent that their growing complexity meant that they had outgrown Microsoft Excel’s capabilities. With the aim of supporting their needs and their growth trajectory we developed a budgeting application configured in Metapraxis Empower  that can manage their requirements as they scale. The application provides:

  • automated integration of data from their main SAP, Snowflake and various Excel sources, including latest actuals and prior plan, to support and validate inputs,
  • collaborative and concurrent user accessibility by cost center owners, budget owners, and ELT,
  • a budgeting process workflow providing clear visibility of progress to date and inputs outstanding, along with a full audit trail and supporting commentary,
  • automated calculation methodologies to support areas of complexity such as allocations and cross-charges,
  • immediate impact analysis of budget inputs and insightful budget reports.
"The successful rollout and adoption of the budgeting application has led to expansion of their use of Empower to also support forecasting and management reporting, achieving one source of the truth for the finance team."
Abhishek Singh, Head of Customer US, Metapraxis

The impact

Increased confidence in the budgeting process: defined calculation methodologies ensure consistency across the business, removing human error, and the insightful budget reporting improves the understanding of budget assumptions and impact.  

Improved collaboration: commentary functionality enables dialogue between, ELT, budget owners, and cost center owners throughout the process, improving quality and the commitment to the resulting budget.

More efficient processes: cost center inputs are available for review instantly without manual collation, providing clear visibility and ownership over the latest plans. Over the course of the budgeting processes approximately 10 man-days of effort were saved by the finance team.

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