The world of Finance is experiencing a landslide. Management information has never been so important to the Finance function. Only working with numbers is no longer an option. It is about the business, so that as a financial expert you are a sounding board to, for example, operations, commerce and ICT. BrightStone Group is positive and proactive about this. Our experts are familiar with (unlocking and interpreting) management information for good insights and effective decision-making. They are also at home in data quality, data accessibility and governance. So do you need a helping hand in the transition of the Finance function? Please read on.
The need for advice
Developments are happening at a rapid pace and companies need to be agile. Are you still keeping track of it all? You probably keep track of most, but in finance, every detail counts. The smallest imperfection can have major consequences. When you trust BrighStone Group, you can be sure you hit the mark every time. The need for advice can arise because you want to professionalise, start new business activities, or because there are carve-outs or acquisitions. Whatever’s going on, we’d love to help you find a solution.
Within our finance consultancy, we offer the following expertise:
Our Financial Control & Consolidation services focus on the financial health of your company. Our financial reports ensure that you look forward and backwards. We also offer you clear dashboards with statistics and figures from which you can derive trends and evolutions.
Our financial controllers work with you to keep a finger on the financial pulse of your company and have a lot of affinity with your business processes so that they can realize effective optimisations in your finance chain where necessary.
A selection of the activities that our financial controllers can take over for you:
- Ad hoc business analyzes;
- Set up and improve management reports;
- Budget preparation and forecast;
- Financial advice on start-up and change of business processes;
- Analyzing processes to optimize costs;
- Managing and optimizing flows of goods;
- Consolidation of figures from different subsidiaries or associates.
That’s where BrightStone Group comes into play. The constant focus of our financial controllers on the financial health of your company ensures that they contribute to strategic choices with advice based on good information. Skillful, but also fast. The process of financial consolidation at group level is certainly still a labor-intensive process, in which we are happy to support and unburden you.
BrightStone Group helps companies with changes in reporting according to the standard framework of guidelines for financial reporting that has been in force for listed companies since 2005. Think of the IFRS and GAAP guidelines such as IFRS 9, IFRS 15, 16 and 17. Our accounting consultants are always fully informed and are happy to advise and assist you.
GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Usually this is in the literature about US GAAP (from the US). In fact, every country has its own GAAP system. This is then registered as local GAAP. BrightStone Group also focuses in its reporting on NL GAAP, or title 9 and consulting in the field of guidelines for annual reporting.
IFRS stands for International Financial Reporting Standards and is the accounting method to make corporate risk management and directors’ liability transparent. As of 2005, all listed companies within the EU are required to prepare their consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS. The AFM also supervises new IFRS, so it is important to always be up-to-date.
The IFRS services of BrightStone Group
From IFRS, we see various potential contributions in terms of service provision (which have already been made or are yet to take place), whereby we can deliver the following:
- IFRS 9: Guiding discussions on the impact of IFRS 9, both on the balance sheet and economic consequences; such as the effects surrounding “classification” and “measurement”, or the “impairment” as a result of an increase in credit risks;
- For both IFRS 9 and IFRS 15 interim support for processing developments within the systems. In concrete terms, you can think of processing contract information with revenue streams, as required under IFRS 15.
- IFRS 16 has a huge impact, as 85% of the lease commitments do not appear on the balance sheet. This means that IFRS 16 has a great deal of impact, both directly and indirectly: think of the effect on bank covenants, exceptions in IFRS 16, or the economic effects and changes in business models. BrightStone Group can be a trusted partner of junior professionals up to expert level in both operational implementation and “thinking along” as a sparring partner.
- BrightStone Group can also make an important contribution to IFRS 17, from operational input to “thinking along” at expert level.
BrightStone Group is always concerned with current topics. In addition to IFRS 9, 15 & 16, we will keep a close eye on the developments surrounding IFRS 17 (Insurance contracts). IFRS 17 is implemented for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2021, but earlier application is permitted. The standard is intended to replace IFRS 4, which was intended as an interim standard. A number of points for improvement in IFRS 17 are therefore related to the following issues:
- A new and consistent framework instead of a variety of “treatments”;
- Consistency with other industries;
- More transparent information about “Insurance Obligations”;
- More clear “recognition” and mitigation of all kinds of Non-GAAP “measures”;
- Protecting customers;
- Clear information about the earnings of the insurance companies.
- The way in which valuation and profit are determined is affected by IFRS. This also applies to the time of processing costs and revenues. This makes the annual accounts look different.
The systems and processes
Due to the more extensive information requirements, the processes and systems often have to be adjusted. It can then be determined immediately whether these systems and processes are still logical and efficient.
Ratios are variable and contracts must also comply with IFRS rules. The same goes for insurance and financing agreements.
The method of performance measurement as a result of new definitions and ratios has changed due to IFRS. This directly affects ratings and bonuses. As a result, IFRS also affects salaries and pensions.
With our business control we help clients to obtain financial insight to realize the set goals and ambitions.
A selection of the activities with regard to financial planning and financial analysis that we carry out for our clients:
- Translate strategic objectives into clear KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators or Critical Performance Indicators);
- Signaling trends and developments in the market and based on this, make predictions (forecasts) and recommendations;
- Financial analysis and reporting of any deviations from forecasts and financial planning;
- Preparation of reliable operational and financial reports (for example business cases, management reports, (long-term) plans and cost calculations);
- Support and monitor budgeting processes;
- Initiate improvement processes, including with regard to planning and budgeting;
- Performing business economic analyzes and strategic scenario analyzes;
- Maintaining internal contacts with management and external contacts with accountants, among others.
Essential shift points
Financial planning and Financial analysis are essential switching points for your business control. Our professionals visit you to carefully review all aspects of this with you and from there to provide concrete deliverables.
Sources and methods
Based on a thorough financial analysis, it is important to derive the best possible predictions for the future financial situation. The information we use in the financial analysis is often based on published financial statements, although its value is limited. Many other sources are needed to complete the picture of a company. A financial analysis can be carried out in various ways. The most famous is the ratio analysis. The other methods used are the vertical analysis, the horizontal analysis and the cash flow analysis. BrightStone Group’s financial consultants know exactly which methods are relevant to your organisation and how they can implement them most effectively.
A good financial process is often supported by technology. We are happy to help you make the right choice for the size, complexity and needs of your organisation. We call this: ERP consulting.
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. When organisations need a new financial package, it is usually decided to purchase a (new) ERP system. As a result, several processes are simultaneously covered, so that the organisation invests broadly and optimizes in the field of automation. An ERP system therefore consists of various modules, a large number of which are related to finance and compliance. The BrightStone Group ERP consultants are therefore familiar with various providers and packages.
We are happy to be your independent partner in ERP consulting. A selection process for a new software supplier is often extensive and intensive. There are many providers and they all have a convincing story. But what really suits your organisation? Which software fits well with your processes, working method and culture? We maintain an overview and adequately represent your interests and wishes.
Because an ERP system has such a major impact on the organisation, it is wise to be very careful with its selection and not to go unnoticed. In the selection of ERP software we roughly distinguish the following stages where we can unburden and guide you:
- Inventory of business processes;
We map out your working method, including all possible optimisations and future plans.
- Drawing up the Program of Requirements and Wishes (PVE);
Here we describe what the must-haves and nice to haves are for you;
- Research suppliers;
We compile a shortlist with the most suitable potential suppliers. These parties will be sent the PVE with the request to investigate internally whether they can comply with this and to report this in writing.
- Drafting business cases;
We work out practical examples of the primary process and your most important secondary (financial) processes.
On the basis of the business cases, the invited potential suppliers give a demonstration with explanation.
- Further hands-on introduction;
The intended key users within your organisation take control themselves so that they can get to know the ERP packages that are still “in the race”.
We make a choice based on all the previous steps.
We are also your adviser during the contract negotiations and, if desired, we conduct these discussions and we arrive at the most favorable agreement possible.
It only starts after the selection. Who does what and how is the support? We can also be your partner during implementation. Our ERP consultants have a lot of experience in managing such projects and also ensure that all parties involved remain on a positive leash. During and after implementation, we assess whether your system is optimally set up and we can assist you in implementing a number of important optimisations.
Managing expectations with your external auditor can sometimes be challenging. Our professionals are happy to advise you on how to proactively shape your relationship with your external auditor, to monitor the audit plan and to save costs. BrightStone Group has Audit fee benchmark data and can provide you with valuable information and advice to start a discussion with your accountant.
Are you considering applying Robotics and / or Automation to your business processes and would you like independent automation consulting about the possibilities? We are happy to help you create the right expectations, create support and select software suppliers. With our automation consulting we also ensure that you have working robots within the agreed time frame and budget.
In contrast to industrial robotics, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) involves administrative business processes, in which the workforce of (high volume) processes is replaced by automation. There is also talk of workforce emulate, in other words the imitation / imitation of human actions that are repetitive and predictable. The four biggest advantages of RPA: you save considerably on costs (so that the investment in RPA is quickly recouped), fewer errors occur, you need less staff and there is higher employee satisfaction.
An example of RPA aimed at accounting is the electronic processing of bank statement transactions, whereby as many transactions as possible are automatically booked on the basis of recognition (also called reconciliation of bank statements). Invoices are recognized by an invoice number, invoice amount and customer number. Something that is therefore always repetitive (invoice payments are more common) and predictable (invoice number, invoice amount and / or customer number are present in the administration).
RPA is based on the premise that existing software is used in such a way as a person made of flesh and blood would. RPA then works out the actions based on certain rules. As with industrial robotics, it is ultimately about improving the efficiency of your (administrative) business processes. Our automation consultants are fully aware of all the latest developments in robotics and automation. They map out your situation and wishes and ensure that the right provider comes to your table and that all goals are achieved.
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