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Delivered improved financial reporting through process standardisation and consolidated group budget template

Delivered improved financial reporting through process standardisation and consolidated group budget template

Overview 
Our client is a UK-based student housing provider, managing a high number of properties across a number of sites. Through a major merger and an acquisition, they became one of the largest student accommodation providers in the UK. QX has been serving the client for more than 8 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 a major merger, the accounting activities were carried out by several teams following different processes and reporting formats. The primary objective was to ensure that the best practices for accounting and reporting were consistently implemented across the group. In addition, the client wanted 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. 

How QX helped
QX team worked closely with the client’s Operations Director to fulfil the above objectives. Key steps taken:

  • 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 sets of software systems during the migration and implementation stage to ensure seamless 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 operations without disruption. The client realised the following benefits: 

  • The template offers a complete and transparent picture of the entire business, enhancing the leadership team’s understanding of the overall health of the business and the impact of each property on the parent organisation. 
  • Drill down facility on the basis of region, site, bed count, occupancy, assets, and a wide range of other parameters, provides 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 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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