With Adaptive Planning, our time to month-end close has more than halved and we’re miles ahead in terms of the quality and accuracy of information at our fingertips.
Financial Accounting Manager
After a merger increased the company size by one-third, global law firm Pinsent Masons quickly needed a management solution that consolidated separate ledgers and systems. In addition, the solution had to include drill-down capabilities, collaboration in multiple languages and currencies, and a multi-dimensional view of the merged firm. Workday Adaptive Planning accomplished these tasks and transformed the finance team “from scorekeepers to strategic business advisors.” Instead of reflecting on business decisions, the Pinsent Masons finance team now acts upon forecasting initiatives.
- Lengthy process to finalize data for accounting tasks
- Monthly close took 15 days to complete
- Difficult to incorporate data from separate databases and other offices around the world
- Monthly close analysis and reporting accelerated by 750%, going from 15 days down to 2 days
- Integrated data across separate accounting systems and geographies delivered 360-degree visibility of performance
- Increased productivity toward new initiatives guide long-term investments in IT, real estate, and personnel
Global law firm integrates acquisitions, gains 360-degree view of finances.
Following a merger that increased Pinsent Mason’s size by one-third, the now larger law firm had a number of different financial systems—including two general ledger and practice management systems—that needed to be consolidated within months to see its finances as a whole. The global firm is made up of many different practice groups, offices, countries, and currencies, and began seeking a solution that would accomplish the following:
- Drill-down capability into the numbers for each practice group, office, and division
- Collaboration on financial data in local languages and currencies
- Understanding the overall top-line and multi-dimensional view of the business
Failing to have this in place quickly could have resulted in potential regulatory non-compliance and lost revenues, and losing many of the benefits of the merger. As Andrew Brett, financial accounting manager for Pinsent Masons, revealed, “By working with Workday Adaptive Planning UK partner Clear Plan and seeing how Workday Adaptive Planning could perform for our law firm, we were completely confident that the software would work for us, and it did!”
Understanding the business as a total sum of its parts.
Prior to Workday Adaptive Planning, 90 percent of the finance team’s time was consumed with finding numbers for the monthly close. This often took up to 15 days before they were happy with the final data. “Now, within a day we can see the numbers, and within two or three we can run reports and start analysis without errors or discrepancies,” said Brett.
What’s more, with previous systems it was difficult to incorporate data that was in different databases or different geographies, which compromised the accuracy of the data. Pinsent Masons was also able to identify inaccuracies in its general ledger postings that were invisible prior to Workday Adaptive Planning. “With Workday Adaptive Planning, all the data across separate accounting systems and geographies is integrated seamlessly,” added Brett.
The finance team becomes more than a scorekeeper.
The increased productivity now enables Brett and his team to focus on new initiatives in cash flow and balance sheet forecasting to guide longer-term investments in IT, real estate, and personnel, projects they simply didn’t have the time to accomplish before. “Now, we can advise on investment decisions, forecast, and indeed, reforecast if need be, providing valuable insights that can help grow the business, rather than simply reflect on it,” said Brett. “Partners and the Executive Board increasingly want information more quickly and more accurately, particularly as we plan to expand into other territories. With Workday Adaptive Planning, this is what we can now deliver.”