Irle Deuz GmbHA tradition of success – Consolidation and group reporting at Irle Group
As the management company of Irle Group, Irle Deuz GmbH is also responsible for the financial accounts and the supervision of the IT systems for all the Irle Group companies. With the introduction of a software solution from Corporate Planning for consolidation, planning and reporting, the company has been able to fulfil the demands of both these tasks.
Irle Group, based in Deuz near Netphen, North Rhine-Westphalia, can look back over three hundred years of ironworking and foundry tradition. Its recipe for success is continuous progress. Today, the group is a modern enterprise with numerous subsidiaries in Germany and abroad. The management team of Irle Deuz GmbH is actively involved in the shaping of strategic developments, organisational principles and business guidelines in the management of the subsidiaries. The management company looks after the financial accounting and reporting, payroll accounting, corporate performance management and repair and maintenance, as well as the running of the IT systems for the subsidiaries Siwaco GmbH, Walzen Irle GmbH, GapCon GmbH and Irle Kay Jay Rolls Pvt. Ltd.
Consolidation during the year
Sticking to its proven concept for success, Irle Deuz GmbH saw that it was necessary to replace the consolidation solution in use at the time with up-to-date and more powerful software. Rebekka Steiner, responsible for corporate performance management, and Jens Dietrich in his role as IT manager were put in charge of this project. “Our existing Excel solution was completely overwhelmed by all the demands which had evolved,” is how Jens Dietrich describes the point of departure. This resulted not only in consolidated financial statements taking a long time to produce and needing to be painstakingly checked by hand. Another consequence was that a consolidation was only carried out once a year. For the management, however, this was no longer adequate. Detailed information on the position of the group as a whole and of the individual subsidiaries in comparison was required during the course of the year as well.
Decision for progress
The management accountant and the IT expert invited various software providers to give demonstrations. So that they were not limited to hearing the vendors‘ points of view, they also contacted users of each software solution to find out about fields of application, user satisfaction and performance. At the end of this selection process, the decision was made to introduce the Corporate Planning software: the CP-Cons module for consolidation and the Corporate Planner module for operational management. “What convinced us was the software‘s straightforward handling,“ emphasises Rebekka Steiner. Another factor was the recommendation of the software by Varial Customer Care in Netphen. At Irle-Deuz, Varial software is used in financial accounting and in human resource management. The convenient data exchange through a standard integration between the systems was a point in favour of the CP-Software. The decision having been reached, the implementation could then begin.
In the introduction of the software and in building the group structures in the software, the Irle Group management staff were assisted by Corporate Planning employees. Together they made general definitions relating to user administration, the scope of the consolidated reporting entity, the structure and assignment of the charts of accounts, and other basics such as parameters for unifying the individual financial statements and for data transfer. This meant that the implementation could be completed more quickly without affecting day-to-day business.
Consolidation made easy
Since then, consolidations and group reviews are regularly completed in corporate performance management without any further assistance. A clear workflow diagram guides the Irle-Deuz staff step by step through the entire consolidation process. Each of the consolidation steps can be carried out independently of the others, and manual adjustments can be made at any point. The data are taken from Varial Financials and a proprietary Access solution and imported via CSV files. IT manager Dietrich sees a key advantage of the new software in the simplification of the merging process, and Rebekka Steiner is delighted with how much easier her work has now become: “Recurrent consolidation postings can even be saved so that they don‘t get forgotten.“
Alongside the classic consolidation procedures, the software is used most of all by the corporate performance management staff for reporting purposes. For instance, order backlog, sales and new order figures are compiled and presented with intercompany sales eliminated. In this respect, however, the two have a long way to go yet. They are looking to extend the group reporting even further and integrate graphic analyses into the reports. Hence, rather than coming to a standstill, corporate performance management will be working on the success and progress of Irle Group with a view to the future.
"The Corporate Planner and CP-Cons modules convinced us with straightforward handling and a standard integration to our pre-system Varial."