altium packaging financial consolidation transformation

Financial Consolidation & Closing

- 3 min read

A financial consolidation transformation journey with Altium Packaging

We are no strangers to hearing how organizations struggle to make the most of their financial data using Excel and similar spreadsheet-based tools. True, spreadsheets are fine for storing and sharing high-level financial data. However, when it comes down to extracting key information and undertaking essential tasks like generating financial statements, they struggle to perform at the level required from any company looking to utilize their data for business growth. A modernized approach is needed to undertake a financial consolidation transformation and return valuable insight to finance teams and the wider business. 

Financial consolidation and closing is a necessary operation for finance teams to perform. It is, however, a complex and all-too-often laborious task when not supported by the right platform. Next-level financial consolidation software, such as Board Financial Consolidation (Board FC), replaces the time-consuming, manual tasks traditionally associated with the financial consolidation process within a single, highly flexible solution.  

For Altium Packaging, this was a critical pain point for the team to overcome. As a result, they launched a digital transformation initiative, picking Board FC as the right platform to lead this journey. Hong Dinh – VP, Controller at Altium Packaging – notes, “We were looking for something that allowed us to have a lot of flexibility… Board is just that. With embedded BI and CPM capabilities, Board FC delivers deep insight into financial and operational results to greatly enhance financial consolidation activities.  

Altium Packaging and Board 

Altium is a packaging solutions provider with manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada, producing rigid plastic packaging for different market needs, including consumer industrial oil containers, food and nutrition labels for products like yogurt and orange juice, and healthcare packaging and labeling for prescription bottles. Altium also has a vested interest in the recycling and sustainability space – facilitating the reuse of plastic containers to produce new rigid bottles. 

Enjoying a significant period of organic growth, mainly through multiple large-scale acquisitions (sometimes up to three or four in a year), the need was there for a financial solution that can be flexible enough to adapt to these key changes at an organizational level. Hong Dinh reflects, pre-Board FC, that, “…a lot of our processes were not modernized, how we generated financial statements for our GAAP, as well as our internal management, was really done in Excel. 

It was vital, then, to adopt a solution that could manage the generation of financial statements and offer the flexibility to impact wider business areas. Accordingly, the Altium team worked with Board Professional Services to set up a full year of historical actuals – providing a full GAAP balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow for their proposed go-live date in Board FC.  

Within the first month of using the solution, the team at Altium had an integrated platform for all their external financial statements. As a result, the company now has an enhanced and revigorated approach to its decision-making processes. More power and time have been given to the packaging company’s finance team, opening new avenues to look at and analyze their data and what it will lead to.  

For the team at Altium, this is just the start of the journey. As Hong Dinh notes, “Board isn’t just for consolidation or planning. There are other areas that we can build upon. Already looking forward, the team is now looking to implement a Board-based top-down forecasting solution to replace the existing Excel-based manual processes. In moving their annual financial planning to a rolling forecast approach, that will add flexibility to financial planning over the next five years, the solution will include: 

  • income statements 
  • balance sheets 
  • cashflow calculation, planning, and actual data comparison 
  • cashflow planning by month (for the planning year and following year – 24 months) and by year (for the 3 years following the planning year) 
  • calculations of specific lines on the income statement, based on drivers (such as volume per day times by the number of days per month) 
  • planning at cost center, month, and general ledger (GL) account level (these groupings are based on data hierarchies and mapping of Business Units such as food and beverage, consumer industrial group, healthcare, employee resource group (ERG), corporate HQ, and corporate SG&A functions) 
  • full year (budget) planning in addition to the forecasting planning (while some plans will be populated with actuals, and therefore locked for entry, others will be open for planning to provide the ability to have different saved forecasts available)  

In addition to rolling forecasts, Altium’s finance team is also looking to establish a time-effective cost center hierarchy, enhanced and additional internal reports, and introduce scenario planning into their overall financial planning process. 

Board Financial Consolidation: Everything you need for effective financial consolidation 

With Board FC, organizations can automate the complexities – that would otherwise take a lot of time and effort – involved with multi-level consolidation across the business. The Board platform is the only financial consolidation solution on the market that combines powerful, out-of-the-box consolidation capabilities with the flexibility of a drag-and-drop Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) environment.  

With this unique functionality, Board FC delivers accurate group reporting, fast closing, and complete financial control over a company’s financial and operational areas within a single, integrated environment. 

Why is this important?  

Finance teams reduce the cost of time and difficulty when undertaking financial consolidation and lead sound decision-making processes across finance and broader operations. As noted above, finance departments often use spreadsheets to complete their financial consolidation processes. This means that: 

  • the number of errors (typically human errors such as an incorrect figure inputted or the wrongly linked spreadsheets giving errors) vastly increases 
  • the risk of duplication also increases, where multiple financers may be working on the same task at the same time without being able to see, in real-time, what the other is doing 
  • organizations face tighter regulations in terms of deadlines and disclosures, adding further pressure in finance teams to deliver fast, accurately, and transparently 
  • the process itself is far more drawn-out than it needs to be, taking longer to complete and often proving expensive during the close stage. 

These factors surmount a substantial barrier to companies required to consolidate and close their financial data. Add in the wider complications involved with the financial consolidation process, such as foreign current conversions or eliminations, and the difficulties of using spreadsheets (and ERP systems) become more evident. 

Adopting Board FC is the first step to transforming financial consolidation and closing at your organization – automating lengthy processes, overcoming the myriad of complexities involved with the task, and driving the right decisions from the finance area and beyond. 

Board Financial Consolidation brochure 

Want to learn more about Board FC and what it can bring to your organization? Look no further than the brochure, filled with all the benefits of the integrated approach and how Board helps companies navigate financial consolidation and closing more efficiently.

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 Board Financial Consolidation

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