Arctic Trucks originated in Iceland over 20 years ago and is now a multinational business with bases in Iceland, Norway, Dubai and in the UK. The company has two distinct strands to its business: it works closely with OEMs, such as Nissan, Toyota and Isuzu to re-engineer their vehicles to deliver enhanced capabilities in challenging environments and its own Arctic Trucks team has undertaken numerous Antarctica expeditions helping to establish a reputation for excelling in extreme environments
Synapse’s flagship solution for financial reporting, Cloud CFO, has been chosen by Arctic Trucks to speed up the consolidation process and provide a robust financial reporting platform for the business’s future global expansion plans.
Cloud CFO provides a complete solution for Group Company Consolidated Primary Financial Statements, Forecasting and Statutory Accounts. It will enable Arctic Trucks to push back the production of management accounts to the local centres of Iceland, Norway, Dubai and the UK and make the availability of consolidated accounts, instant.
The Cloud CFO system replaces a process using manual spreadsheets which, according to Jim Little, Finance Director, Arctic Trucks Limited is ‘extremely time consuming’. He says: “The challenge we faced was that every entity was running a different ERP system which made the pulling together of management and statutory accounts very difficult.”
Typically, it would take the team 10 working days to produce the numbers in the local system and then Jim’s team in the UK would spend an additional 6 days producing the consolidated packs. With the new system at their disposal, Jim has set the local entities each a target of 6 days in which to produce the monthly management pack and this will effectively cut the time taken to produce the management accounts in half each month.
Like so many growing organisations, Arctic Trucks has been constrained by budgets and the use of manual spreadsheets presented the most economical option. However, the risks associated with the use of spreadsheets, including incorrect formulae and potential contamination made finding an alternative a real priority.
In his previous position as Financial Controller of a global group of businesses, Jim Little had used standalone Consolidation systems and longed to bring to Arctic Trucks something similar in terms of strengths including clear ownership and visibility, standard reports and conversion into a single currency of euros but without the expensive cost of ownership.
Cloud CFO ticks all those boxes and more too. Jim says: “It costs significantly less than the tools we had been looking at and being able to pay a monthly subscription, makes it much easier to control cashflow.”
The fact that Synapse, the developers of Cloud CFO, are based in Birmingham and only a short drive away from the Warwick office of Arctic Trucks, provided an added incentive. Jim makes the point that: “It is great to work with another local company and the Synapse team offer us such a personal service; they never mind me spending time with them at their offices. We really appreciate getting to work closely with real experts.”
One of the key strengths of Cloud CFO for Arctic Trucks lies in its spreadsheet interface so it is simple to pick up and run with quickly. “As it is Excel-based, it makes it easy to view and interpret the numbers,” comments Jim Little.
Jim has spent the last month loading the first 6 months of data into Cloud CFO along with the budget for 2018 and the plan is to reconcile the first 6 months and then run the September results in parallel with the old process before conducting the first ‘proper’ run in October. The day can’t come soon enough for Jim as he is looking forward to ‘ditching those horrible consolidation spreadsheets.”
“In selecting Cloud CFO, we have rolled all our month end processes into a single competitively priced system that will improve efficiency as well as provide us with the necessary time and capability to analyse the numbers in detail and will, I am confident, contribute to our long-term global expansion plans. The more straight forward, the better,” says Jim Little.
Brian Donnelly, CEO, Synapse comments “We are delighted to be working with another local company based in the West Midlands. Arctic Trucks recognises the strength of a modern cloud consolidation tool that will help achieve a streamlined and more efficient month end process and allow the finance team the time to focus on growing the business.”