Transforming finance processes through platform integration

August 6, 2019

Implementing digital technology can create a number of challenges to financial operations. Investment business The Carlyle Group recently launched a CPM platform to support its business objectives.

With the continued rise of digital technology, financial businesses and utilizing innovative systems to transform people and processes to enhance business performance through an improved and more flexible service. Through the implementation of new technology, businesses are creating more time to focus on analysis and improving their overall strategic decision-making process.

A few years ago, investment company Carlyle Group started exploring new methods to support digital technology within its financial and enterprise systems that provided a simplistic and easier option to their existing services. At this time, the group utilized three separate systems for planning, budgeting, and forecasting but intended to launch one system that could integrate all of these services into one platform. Carlyle Groups financial planning and analysis group used SAP Business Objects Planning, a traditional tool that no longer provided options to support annual budgeting, quarterly forecasting, and long term plans. Carlyle Group was focusing a lot of time and effort on consolidating and handling information due to technical limitations faced with their systems in place. The Group highlighted that its existing Hyperion Financial Management system required significant customization to meet business needs. The business also relied on a custom HR budgeting and forecasting service that met the needs of a complex investment business but was a single-user system and required added support with excel-based data integrations.

To progress further into the digital era, Carlyle Group knew they would need to implement a more modern, flexible platform, capable of scaling to meet its existing and future business needs. Carlyle explored a range of tools to determine which one suited the company from an FP&A perspective. In the end, the business picked OneStream Software LLC integrated CPM platform.

OneStream operated in the cloud or on-premise and allows businesses to focus on reporting, budgeting and forecasting, all within one integrated system. The CPM platform can tackle the requirements of most businesses as well as the more complex reporting needs of other companies and specific groups.

Financial benefits of the move Carlyle Group selected OneStream for its budgeting, planning and forecasting services but the platform also supported their consolidation and reporting processes, combining this area into one platform. Aside from the productivity benefits, the business also experienced an improvement in their IT infrastructure, making life much easier for both users and system managers. The new platform means a reduction in data movement between systems, making it easier to manage and implement periodic upgrades. So instead of launching a series of upgrades to multiple systems that can take some time, the group can upgrade one application in a matter of hours. OneStream has met all the requirements of Carlyle Group. Through the delivery of a single platform, all data is gathered in one place, making processes simpler and quicker.

The business now has much more access to information and has greatly reduced manual, time-consuming data tasks. Carlyle Group has also highlighted a number of other notable benefits, such a reduction in consolidation times by over 50%, despite a massive surge in data generated. Standard processes that previously took up to a week to deliver, such as expense budget updates, can now be implemented in the same day, in literally a few minutes. Since implementing the new system, the group has expanded their use of the OneStream platform by developing point planning solutions for specific expense areas, generating scenario models to support business strategy and review discussions.

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