Financial statement generation process improvement for a global power company

The issue

This German company, which previously operated as a regionally based electricity company, has evolved into an international multi-utility group, comprising over 3,000 wholly or partially owned companies in more than 120 countries.

The company engaged PwC to speed up its process for generating consolidated financial statements by optimising the company’s organisation and improving business processes in both the holding and operating companies. Our goal was to cut the time required to close the company’s books and issue the annual consolidated financial statements from 45 days to 22 days --- and to do so within two years. Likewise, we aimed to have quarterly financial statements prepared and issued within 16 days after the closing date.

Our approach

Using the PwC’s proprietary SmartClose methodology — Scoping, Analysis Re-Design, Implementation & Continuous Improvement — we were able to help our client:

  • Establish a joint SmartClose project team with staff from both PwC and the client organisation
  • Communicate SmartClose ideas and goals to the client organisation
  • Carry out SmartClose kick-off workshops for client staff
  • Development specific SmartClose solutions
  • Test process optimisation
  • Coordinate local PwC support in the US, UK, Czech Republic, and Slovakia
  • Monitor SmartClose progress on an ongoing basis
The outcome

Goals for the project were met or exceeded and the client, with our help, was able to:
  • Shorten the publishing time of financial statements
  • Improve data quality
  • Standardise closing, data-transfer and reporting processes
  • Optimise automation of financial statements preparation
  • Develop a process management structure for closing procedures