Enterprise budget and forecast tracking tool

Large scale enterprise tracking of forecast, budget and actual data across many entities and hundreds of financial coordinators is highly specialised. We developed GMR to allow.

Timeline: 1 Year+

Specialists: 4

Complexity: High

Client:

Industry:

Mining

Project type:

Private cloud platform and Desktop app

User base:

100s

Requirement

Our client, a major player in the mining industry, was reliant on an outdated Excel-based system for budgeting and forecasting. This system was no longer viable due to its inability to handle the growing volume and complexity of data and users, poor performance in daily operations, frequent crashes leading to rework and data loss, and the unacceptable risks it posed to their financial management and reporting processes.

Solution

Our evaluation concluded that Excel was inadequate for managing the extensive daily inputs from over 100 financial staff across numerous complex, macro-driven Excel workbooks, especially considering the issues with time-consuming manual processes, file version conflicts, data corruption, and delays in report generation.

To address these challenges, our solution involved transitioning the data storage and multi-user capabilities away from Excel to more robust technologies, while retaining Excel for its spreadsheet functionalities.

This approach was crucial to avoid extensive retraining and preserve the flexibility offered by Excel spreadsheets.

The implemented solution features:

• A clustered SQL Server environment for secure and efficient data storage of all financial information.

• Advanced C# middleware for rapid calculations, version control, user management, and handling of templates and snapshots for intricate calculations and access permissions.

• A sophisticated C# Excel Add-In that connects with the middleware, centralising data storage and standardising all calculations, routines, and processes.

This new system is now fully operational and has been successfully utilised across multiple financial reporting cycles, effectively mitigating the risks associated with the old system and introducing significant enhancements, such as improved access control, snapshot management, and the ability to maintain multiple budget versions, which were previously unattainable with Excel alone.

Client feedback

"iMSX ensured that our scope was clearly understood, technically achievable, made recommendations for improvements and provided an delivery estimate that met our needs. During the development process, the capability of iMSX was tested through a number of scope changes by us. On every occasion, innovative and functional solutions were offered. iMSX delivered a product that exceeded our initial scope requirements on time and on budget.

Now that the system is in steady state use, our relationship with iMSX has been continued via an ongoing support agreement. I value to the contribution made to our business by Clive and the team at iMSX.”
- Ian Gough (Financial Controller)

Key technology used