Selecting the right system to make vital music royalty payments.

PPL draws on ‘the power to adapt’ to liberate management time for value-added insight and analysis.

In an industry that has changed significantly in the last decade, it is important that PPL continually adapts to manage the increasing complexity and volumes of data required to effectively collect and distribute royalties for its more than 130,000 performer and recording rightsholder members.

Having the right finance system in place to manage these payments to performers and recording rightsholders is key. According to Head of Finance Transformation Liz Earl, “The technological and operational infrastructure of the neighboring rights industry has significantly improved in the last decade, thanks to the work of PPL and many other innovative companies in the sector. These developments have increased the value of royalties collected and paid out, as well as the volume of payments made. There were numerous limitations with our old system which hampered our ability to process this volume. We relied on legacy technology and significant manual effort was involved to reconcile the high volumes of data.”  

After a long search for the right solution, PPL selected Workday.

We wanted to be able to track our revenues more effectively, including supporting statements and analysis, at every point between receiving payment and distributing it on to performers and recording rightsholders.

Head of Finance Transformation

Live updates and transparency eradicate time-consuming errors.

Just a few weeks after implementing Workday Adaptive Planning, the Finance team already sees it as a huge game changer. As Liz Earl puts it, “Previously, the management accounts team would spend a great deal of time reconciling and consolidating data. Everything was in spreadsheets, meaning there were multiple versions of forecasts floating around on emails.”

Now, she says, the situation is entirely different. “With Adaptive, you have live updates as changes are made. And if you want to add an extra person into a budget, you can see instantly what impact that is going to have.”

And the potential benefits are highly significant. “The anticipated time savings will allow us to focus more on value-add activities, such as providing insights and analysis to aid decision making, with less time needed to consolidate and reconcile all the financial data. That will be really beneficial.”

A single operating system that links HR and Finance.

Earl is emphatic about the benefits of operating a system that links HR and Finance. As she says, “Before, our management accounts team would spend days each month reconciling payroll data and reforecasting salary costs. It’s hugely beneficial to now have all of the data linked!”

Other major sources of saved time include the direct integration with the bank that Workday supports: “Before, our CFO had to log into internet banking to release a payment and now it’s straightforward to release in Workday and the payments are processed immediately.”

The ability to scan and upload supplier invoices is another area of significant improvement, enabling easy approval by budget holders – and a major contrast with the old approach that involved signing off paper copies prior to manual update on the system. As Earl says, “As our standard processes become more efficient, we can focus on more value add activities for our performer and recording rightsholder members.”

Workday’s culture inspires confidence in future direction.

“In the 18 months since we selected Workday, everything we’ve seen tells us we made the right choice,” says Liz Earl. “There is so much confidence around the organisation that it’s going to be a key piece of everything we do as we move forward.”

Some of the reasons for this confidence, Earl believes, are to do with the culture of Workday. “It’s not just that new functionality is constantly coming out. It’s also all the support that’s out there—you’re never on your own. Our Customer Success Manager is constantly in touch, looking at ways to ensure we can gain from even the most basic functionality that we’re not using today.”

She also highlights the value of the Workday community. “You have complete faith in what you hear from the product team: and then you also get the hand-holding and support of other customers in the Community, and that is really compelling.”

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