Journey towards strategic finance yields continuous forecasts and business performance visibility
Founded in 1924, Ventura Bus Lines has evolved from operating a single bus route to carrying more than 32 million customers across Melbourne every year. A series of acquisitions solidified its status as Australia’s largest privately owned bus company. It also presented a challenge for the finance team.
The business suddenly had several different entities, each with its own accounts and a myriad of spreadsheets. It made budgeting tedious and forecasting near impossible. “There would be 20 spreadsheets to be consolidated for month-end close and 100 for the annual budget,” explained Scott Clapton, Senior Management Accountant. “Still, we could not get a comprehensive view of the business.”
The team turned to Adaptive Insights for a faster and more powerful way to drive business results.
Streamlined budgeting and forecasting models deliver strategic insight
Using a cloud based solution for budgeting, forecasting, and reporting has made it much easier to coordinate and manage different entities. Budgeting and forecasting data for each entity is entered into Adaptive Planning where it automatically rolls up into a consolidated view of the business. There’s no longer the need to spend days linking spreadsheets and double checking calculations.
Annual budgets can be produced in two weeks rather than two months. Forecasts are based on comprehensive models rather than assumptions and look as far forward as ten years. The finance team also has more time and data to analyze results and predict performance.
“With Adaptive Insights, we’re able to make forecast changes on-the-fly and immediately see the impact,” said Clapton. “We really know where we’re heading, whereas before it was a bit of a guess.”
Putting data and discovery into the hands of the business
The relationship between business managers and finance is a collaborative one today with finance able to deliver increasing insights to the business in real-time. The team tracks both financial and operational metrics, like fuel usage and customer satisfaction. And with Adaptive Insights Report Builder, reporting is a breeze.
“In the past, it would take an hour or more to set up a report and we might only run it once. Now, it’s as easy as click, drag, drop and run. So we can cut up the data in new ways without putting a strain on resources,” said Clapton. “It’s saved two days a month on board reporting alone.”
The business can visualize and analyses its pertinent metrics too using dashboards with Adaptive Discovery. Operations managers, workshop managers and recruitment all track different metrics. These include key drivers like profit and loss, repair costs, headcount and leave balances.