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Group budget template delivers improved financial reporting

Group budget template delivers improved financial reporting

Overview 
Our client is a UK student housing provider, managing a high number of properties across a number of sites. In 2016, the business merged with another large group, thereby becoming one of the largest student accommodation providers in the UK, with over 50 properties spread across several sites. QX has been serving the client for more than 6 years and with the relationship maturing over this time, the team is able to consistently meet the SLAs with over 99% accuracy. 

Business challenges
Following the merger, the client’s primary goal was to ensure that the best practices for accounting and reporting were consistently implemented across the group. The key objectives were to:

  • Standardise the reporting processes for the entire group and obtain quality data for planning, budgeting and forecasting. 
  • Get the final data from the site managers in the format suitable for the new software that was under implementation. 
  • Develop a facility to drill down to view details on common parameters for each site, e.g. type of accommodation, region, occupancy, bed count, etc. 

How QX helped
The head of the 15-member delivery team at QX worked closely with the client’s Operations Director to fulfil the above objectives. The key steps they took to make this possible include:

  • Undertook a review of the current processes and introduced standardised budget templates and consolidation.
  • Trained staff across sites to input accounting data into a standard format and created a master template for gathering all the budget data with standardised budget assumption definitions.
  • The task of collating the data from two separate software systems was automated through a template that converted the data into the format required for reporting. This template was mapped to the accounting software used by the company. 
  • The QX team worked with both separate sets of software systems during the implementation to ensure ongoing smooth operations.
  • Developed the facility to drill down to view details on common parameters for each site, e.g. type of accommodation, region, occupancy, bed count, etc. 

Benefits delivered
QX’s willingness to meet the priority to overcome the accounting challenges stemming from the merger – changes in policy, accounting processes, reporting and more – enabled the client to continue its operations without disruption. The client realised the following benefits: 

  • Through the on-time delivery of the consolidated Group Budget, investors, board members and other senior stakeholders were able to get a complete and transparent picture of the entire business, enhancing their understanding of the overall health of the business and the impact of each property on the parent organisation. 
  • The template allows authorised personnel to drill down on the basis of region, site, bed count, occupancy, assets, and a wide range of other parameters, providing an easy and quick overview. 
  • Version control feature, with a central or regional head authorising any changes, ensures complete visibility on any amends. 
  • Auto-generated graphs, pie charts and other visual data representations to enable easy understanding of the data and allow the client to take better strategic decisions. 
  • QX team’s initiative in taking on the task of creating a consolidation group budget report template saved the expense of hiring a costly external consultant. 
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