“Manual processes created a lot of nightmares.”
That’s how Kevin Graney—VP of Global FP&A at PRGX—described planning, forecasting and management reporting when he first joined the audit recovery firm in the spring of 2019. It didn't take him long to realize some big changes were needed to modernize the entire finance function and enable more agile decision making.
For example: In order to ensure an accurate management reporting process each month, Kevin and his temamates would have to pull financials from their ERP, manipulate them manually in Excel and then present reports to stakeholders in various formats, languages and currencies. And with more than 80 stakeholders spread across 30 countries around the world, this made for an highly tedious and globally inconsistent process.
“We were spending two to three weeks of FP&A time doing this management reporting every month and we really only had a basic financial view,” says Kevin. “What we were doing with our teams in Asia, Latin America and Europe was much different than what we were doing in the U.S. from a budgeting and forecasting perspective as well. It was a burden not only for the FP&A team, but also for end users.”
This made real-time forecasting and finance-led analysis very complicated and time consuming for everyone at PRGX. Kevin and his colleagues weren’t serving the business as the strategic, data-driven business partners they knew they needed to be.
“In the FP&A world, everyone wants to focus on analytics. Analytics is what makes finance fun, and it’s what helps people make good business decisions,” he says. “Prior to Vena, weren't able to spend much time on any analytical details at all.”
When he launched his Vena implementation in June 2019, Kevin had three primary goals: Improving finance efficiency, standardizing company-wide reporting and simplifying data consolidation for cross-functional buget owners.
“We wanted to go beyond just speeding up reporting or budgeting though,” he says. “We wanted to drive costs down for the business, figure out how to use our time better and really empower our leaders with reliable data for decision making.”
But the most important requirements for Kevin were minimizing change, maximizing user adoption and continuing to leverage his team’s existing expertise in Excel. With Vena Complete Planning—which came with automated consolidations, a native Excel interface and seamless integrations with all of PRGX’s source systems—Kevin now has a holistic view of company-wide data and doesn't need to spend hours manipulating spreadsheets for monthly reporting.
“Typically, when you introduce a new software, people get a little nervous and tend to push back a little bit,” he says. “But we’ve gotten great buy-in with Vena. That’s because we’re providing our cross-functional stakeholders with the information they need in a format they can easily understand.”
With easier access to data, more empowered cross-functional budget owners and a shorter monthly reporting process—all thanks to Vena—Kevin and his teammates have realigned their focus toward driving business value through strategic, finance-led analysis.
“We have a global process now with one consistent forecasting process and one consistent report that we send out. As for that three weeks of time we were spending doing stuff manually, we’ve now saved that,” he says. “When one of our analysts took a job elsewhere, we decided we didn’t need to backfill the role. We’ve realized significant savings and freed up a considerable amount of time with Vena, so now we’re able to perform more analysis with one less person.”
Instead of spending hours copying and pasting from multiple Excel templates, Kevin and his colleagues generate the reports they need in minutes. Now they can focus on far more valuable tasks such as regional profitability analysis, driver-based forecasting and advanced data visualizations.
But, like all savvy finance leaders, Kevin knows this is just the beginning of PRGX’s agile planning journey. He’s looking forward to evolving even more with Vena so he can continue to drive growth with the platform.
“Vena helps us do our jobs a lot better and a lot more efficiently,” he says. “We’re excited to continue learning on that journey!”