CGI helps Bell streamline its financial operations
"Congratulations to CGI and its teams. Months of hard work are now showing the benefits and contributing significantly towards our objective to move away from being number crunchers to become value-added business advisors."
Stephen Skinner, Senior Vice President - Finance, Bell Canada
Bell Canada is Canada's largest supplier of telecommunications services. With one of the world's most robust and reliable public switched networks, Bell Canada provides advanced voice, data and image communications to millions of business and residential customers across Canada.
Bell's financial processes involved using a number of external applications for budgeting and planning, capital management, reporting and analysis purposes. The complexity of the environment extended the month end close, and Bell wanted to significantly improve this. Different financial reporting packages using multiple systems had been developed for each of the business sectors, resulting in some data redundancy and potentially different views of the financial situation and key performance indicators (KPI) within the organization. Additionally, there was no single management source for required financial or other KPI information.
Bell called on CGI to help its group of companies improve their internal financial processes, provide better financial information to all management, ensure accuracy of reporting and compliance with securities requirements, and advance financial month end close schedules.
The key component for Bell in its finance transformation was to use new SAP tools (BW, Portal, and SEM) in order to improve and streamline its accounting procedures and internal and external reporting processes.
CGI's task would be to redesign and implement accounting and financial processes specific to planning, budgeting, YEE, month-end analysis, and Balance Sheet accountability.
The desired solution would need to reduce costs for people, processes, and technology. The solution would also have to be integrated within the existing IS and IT environment. And finally, all of this would have to be achieved while adhering to very tight timeframes.
CGI's extensive knowledge of Bell's financial processes put it in a unique position to help the telecommunications leader. Together, the companies set out to implement a number of improvements to Bell's existing system, using a phased approach.
A dashboard pilot would illustrate the capabilities of SAP's Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) tool to Bell's executives, who could see the results and provide immediate feedback on the design approach. The SAP Portal would be implemented as the single place for Bell managers to access all required financial and other KPI data.
Implementing a Balance Sheet sign off tool with the workflow incorporated would ensure executive sign off on all Balance Sheet accounts. It would also provide a quick way to verify the status of the Balance Sheet throughout the month end close process and also allow the posting of notes for any items.
A new budgeting tool, as well as new tools for the planning, forecasting and YEE processes, using SEM, would significantly improve these functions and ensure consistency.
Multiple new cubes would be created in the SAP Business Warehouse (BW) area to provide all the required reporting and analysis capabilities of the Finance community. And finally, the month end close would be conducted earlier to significantly improve the ability for the corporation to react to the ever-changing business pressures with better information.
- Application Tools: SAP BW, SAP SEM, SAP Portal
Bell Canada's new financial system has already improved the company's financial processes and operations. The SAP SEM application tool, in conjunction with SAP BW, provides significantly improved reporting to senior executives. Management now has easy access to financial and KPI data through SAP SEM-CPM, and a new SAP SEM-BPS tool will provide full budgeting, and forecasting capabilities. New SAP Business Warehousing cubes (multidimensional data models within the SAP Business Information Warehouse to identify, monitor, and analyze key performance indicators) have replaced multiple other applications and assured the consistency of information. The SAP Portal is now the single access point to required financial information for all managers in the organization. The Balance Sheet Accountability tool ensures responsibility for Balance Sheet accounts, in line with SOX requirements.
"When I exited the Bell Canada performance review session for Q1, I was thrilled with the outcome," stated Stephen Skinner, Senior Vice President - Finance, Bell Canada. "The quality of information portrayed in everyone's decks has substantially increased, and we had consistency between decks and consistency with the overall Bell summary. Congratulations to CGI and its teams. Months of hard work are now showing the benefits and contributing significantly towards our objective to move away from being number crunchers to become value-added business advisors."
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