The last mile in a marathon may have spectators on their feet with excitement, but when it comes to creating financial reports, it is more often the source of great frustration.

That was the experience of Waco International of South Africa, where the last mile of reporting process for the consolidation and creation of financial year-end reports, was time consuming and in need of an overhaul.

Waco International is a leading industrial and commercial services company for scaffolding, formwork and shoring systems. The company earns a significant percentage of its revenue through equipment rentals.

“This company is a global player, with numerous subsidiaries and a footprint in many countries. Its international headquarters is quite small with limited resources, and management needed to improve processes for last mile reporting with reliable data. Spreadsheets were being used, but couldn’t provide optimal results: the process was tedious and exposed the company to risks related to the close, consolidate and reporting phase,” explained Synergy principal consultant, Sunet Leimecke (TM1 and CDM team leader).

“We knew that with IBM solutions, the company could meet compliance obligations, lower risk and distribute reports efficiently and on time.”

”We knew that with IBM solutions, the company could meet compliance obligations, lower risk and distribute reports efficiently and on time. Added to that, the organisation would reduce auditing fees, decrease costs and improve profitability.”

An existing client of Synergy – a Premium IBM Analytics Business Partner, that had already implemented IBM Cognos Controller for its financial consolidation – Waco International was ready to explore additional offerings for financial statement reporting.

“Staff at Waco had been spending too much time creating annual reports and were unable to focus on critical business areas, including analysing data and making informed decisions.”

With trust already established, Synergy’s technical professionals worked closely with Waco to prove how IBM Cognos Disclosure Management could assist with Waco’s reporting and compliance requirements.

“The result is that Waco International’s CEO, financial director, financial manager and group accountant specialists implemented IBM Cognos FSR – subsequently trading up to IBM Cognos Disclosure Management (CDM) – to improve the reporting process,” said Leimecke.

“Synergy provided both product and user training to the Waco management team, who were quickly able to take advantage of the products’ ease-of-use to build their solution and reports themselves. Of course they had our on-going technical support, plus we assisted them on a regular basis, reviewing their work just to make sure they were still on the right track. And on track they were, having already produced their first year-end report,” she added.