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Financial planning and reporting for experts

Reading Time: 2 Minutes 22.04.2021

Performance management practice in brief: German Red Cross North Rhine

Reporting is one of the most important tasks in corporate performance management. The aim, according to Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, the standard German reference work on economics, is to cover the information requirements of the report users. The focus here is on creating transparency and on preparing and monitoring decision-making processes. But what if there are no recommendations or standards regarding report design? What if the users must find their way around different structures and displays every time? This was a problem that was also faced by Daniel Böhnke of the German Red Cross North Rhine State Association. In this short interview, the Head of Controlling tells us how he solved the structural issues of his Red Cross Society's reporting system and what his advice for other organisations would be.

What was your starting point?

Böhnke: We were unable to set up a comprehensive reporting structure because the financial controllers all worked in separate databases and developed their own reporting structures. Added to that were structural issues: too many accounting clients, inconsistent charts of accounts and a lack of transparency regarding allocations. Our aim was to introduce a uniform reporting system on various levels across the whole group – from the group overview to the cost centre analysis.

What were the highlights?

In the course of the implementation, we were most impressed by the creation of a uniform chart of accounts and the merging of all the data into one shared database. This helps us to produce evaluations for the entire group quickly. For me, the Corporate Planning solution's highlights are the automatic report mailing with Report-Mailer, the interface with a drill-down function to the pre-system, and the internal account reconciliation. These features simplify and speed up our work enormously.

What lessons have you learned?

My advice for other organisations would be to define and optimise your processes before proceeding with digitisation. If you spare yourself this undeniably painstaking work at the start, you could soon find that, as a Telefónica Germany CEO once so pointedly put it: "If you digitise a shit process, you'll have a shit digital process." It's important generally to set yourself realistic goals and then to implement them step by step.

About the German Red Cross North Rhine State Association and the project


Topics: financial planning, HR management

Sector: social services

Turnover: € 91 m

Employees: 1,200

Users: 7

Pre-systems: Navision financials, SP-Data (payroll accounting)

Project duration: 3 weeks

You can read more about how software solutions for operational management, financial planning and consolidation are implemented and used in practice HERE.

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