Group Accounting in the Maersk Group was looking for a solution to streamline their closing process, that would reduce the time consumption of reconciliation, and thus ease the workload. In the end, this would assist Group Accounting in optimizing and improving internal audit.
The Maersk Group is a worldwide conglomerate that operates in some 130 countries with a workforce of over 88,000 employees. As a global conglomerate, Maersk is involved in a wide range of activities in shipping, logistics, and oil and gas industries. At the headquarter, Maersk Group Accounting is responsible for coordinating and preparing the Maersk Group’s interim and annual financial statements for internal audit. Besides performing an extensive set of periodic internal controls, Group Accounting carries out quarterly variance analysis investigating and explaining the differences between this and last year’s figures on different line items such as revenue, staff cost, assets, etc. This exercise is very time consuming for Group Accounting as it involves many iterations of explanation sheets and supporting documentation, going back and forth between controllers and reviewers. Furthermore, the process has the potential to be further complicated by last minute changes being made to figures. In other words, Group Accounting needed a streamlined workflow to encompass changes to the underlying dataset, thus improving the closing process. An example of these changes is: staff costs for business unit X has been explained and reviewed, but last minute changes force the work to be redone. The last step of the process involves finalizing and presenting the work for the external audit team.
In September 2015, Group Accounting started using Impero for managing the monthly and quarterly internal controls in the closing process. Group Accounting also planned to use Impero to streamline the variance analysis process. This led to the development of the Impero datasheet. The variance analysis process is now fully supported by Impero, ensuring an efficient yet flexible workflow. Figures are easily being uploaded to the dynamic Impero datasheet and distributed to relevant group accounting controllers. Controllers provide explanations and supporting documentation to the individual figures, work is then submitted for review and signoff. The dynamics of the Impero datasheet allows for changes being made to the underlying data, notifying controllers of these changes. The external audit team is granted online access to data relevant for them to review. However, as complicated as this may sound, time spent on implementation and user education has been close to zero due to the carefully developed user experience design of Impero.
To learn more about the Maersk Group, please visit www.maersk.com