Finding a clear way forward in the wake of a major acquisition

Financial operations integration gave a consumer packaged goods company needed visibility in today’s market


Global CPG company


Consumer & Retail – Food & Drink

Primary goal

Integrate financial operations after a major acquisition


When an acquisition doubles your revenue in your largest market, there are some big numbers at play—especially when you’re a $48 billion CPG company. And the bigger the numbers, the bigger the impact of every strategic and tactical decision you make. You can’t afford to have your visibility clouded and your decision-making hampered by having two disparate financial operations functions each with its own systems, software, and people. So, when a global CPG company found itself in this situation, it called on KPMG to drive fast, smooth, cost-efficient integration of financial operations.


Key outcomes

Increased engagement 

and global alignment between cross-functional teams

Greater visibility

 into consolidated spend driving meaningful insights and more proactive decisions

Days shaved off

the monthly close cycle

More accurate

revenue and sales forecasting


Client transformation journey

Click on each part of the journey to learn more about our client’s transformation.

  • Where they were
  • Where they are
  • Where they’re headed

Where they were

Looking for the “one way” forward after acquisition-fueled growth.

Albertsons is committed to “one way.” Meaning that, as large as the company becomes, it aims to remain unified in its vision and in the systems and tools that support it. 

Acquisition-fueled growth naturally opens the door to “many ways.” By 2019, different divisions and subsidiaries had their own back-office solutions. People, processes, and data were becoming more siloed.

A different kind of company might have assumed that decentralized processes are an acceptable consequence of multiple acquisitions. Or that you can’t be one of the biggest industry players and move with startling speed and agility when it comes to acquisitions. But accepting trade-offs like those is not the Albertsons way.

Company-wide opportunities

  • Replace nearly XX aging applications that differed across divisions and subsidiaries
  • Reduce manual, disparate processes freeing up more resources for advanced analytics
  • Enable enhanced reporting and make it more widely available across the enterprise
  • Act with greater speed and agility to capture value in acquisitions

Finance Opportunities

  • Process XXX,XXX transactions per month with greater efficiency
  • Reduce 10,000+ manual journal entries per period
  • Decrease >3-week close
  • Shorten the >3-month annual budgeting cycle
  • Provide better support for a growing e-commerce busines
  • Control rising finance function costs and derive greater value 

HR Opportunities

  • Decrease hiring and onboarding times to keep pace with staffing needs
  • Be more efficient in complying with more than 800 collective bargaining agreements and dozens of government contracts
  • Introduce enterprise-wide training programs
  • Unify and automate workforce administration processes across the enterprise

Where they are

290,000+ Albertsons employees come together every day in the cloud.

Today, cashiers at 2,200 stores all log their hours via the same mobile app. That data flows seamlessly to payroll, and across the enterprise-- where it’s available for everyone from store managers making data-driven staffing projections to CFOs reviewing budgets.

Back-office staff spend less time on manual processes and more on analyzing data in ways that help lower costs and improve performance every day, and inform due diligence during acquisitions.

HR executives and business managers find it easy to access candidate information, share observations and schedule interviews, quickly and easily moving the right candidates through the hiring process.

And candidates who become new hires, continue through the same efficient, cloud-based environment as they complete onboarding and get to work—already a part of Albertsons’ “one way.” 

Company-wide success

  • Installed a single, modernized digital platform serving the entire enterprise
  • Accelerated the project schedule by XX-months due to a dual-installation of Finance and HR
  • Migrated 290,000 employees from legacy systems to Oracle Cloud
  • Increased insight-driven decision making across functions, driving performance and growth gains

Finance Successes

  • Decreased balance sheet reconciliations by 85%
  • Achieved a consolidated retail and corporate close within a shortened period
  • Reduced the types of P&L statements from 100+ to 4
  • Reduced operations costs across the board
  • Enhanced availability of data-driven insights that help to capture maximum value during acquisitions

HR Successes

  • Installed an automated, central solution to efficiently administer 800+ complex union agreements for all employee populations
  • Deployed a custom application for union rule processing enabling a single HCM platform to administer benefits to all employee populations
  • Created a digital-first, digital anywhere experience resulting in higher employee engagement
  • Reduced new hire onboarding time
  • Reduced the time it takes to fill staffing vacancies
  • Streamlined and improved the process integration of new employees post-acquisition
  • Integrate processes and technology across the employee lifecycle from recruiting through compensation and performance

Where they’re headed

Making sure the “one way” continues to be the best way.

Long before the go-live date, Albertsons was collaborating with Oracle and KPMG about future initiatives. They wanted to know what to expect from upcoming product releases and how they should be planning to leverage new functionality.

The company’s agile mindset combined with its investment in Oracle Cloud and KPMG Powered Enterprise will keep it in a position to continue evolving, always finding the best way forward as one, strong enterprise.

Company-wide vision
  • Continue to enhance analytics-driven planning and forecasting
  • Optimize the supply chain

Finance Vision

  • Achieve a continuous, virtual accounting close
  • Increase data monetization 

HR Vision

  • Migrate payroll, benefits, and absence mangement to Oracle cloud for 2023
  • Insource benefits administration

Successful integration of financial operations inspired new transformation goals and produced a powerful ripple effect across the enterprise


Fast, cost-effective integration through a five-phased approach

Click on a phase to scroll down to its description.


1. Vision phase

Developing a high-level strategy for integration and performance

KPMG deployed a highly experienced team of senior finance professionals from the U.S. and Europe. The team’s industry experience ran deep in food as well as other sectors, helping ensure a multidimensional perspective on key financial operations issues. We assessed our client’s requirements and integration concerns and developed a nuanced understanding of the two separate financial operations functions.

Two key opportunities emerged early on:

  • Shift the business away from time-consuming efforts associated with manipulating data offline and direct efforts to analyzing data online in real time to drive meaningful insights
  • Promote a proactive approach to monitoring market trends by analyzing on-demand data and circulating timely reports

Combining our finance and industry experience with a deep dive into the client’s situation helped us envision a high-level integration strategy that would leave financial operations not only unified—but also stronger and more agile.

2. Validation phase

Collaborating with our client to envision a future state

After gaining a clear picture of our client’s current state, we set to work defining a future one. This involved collaboration in several forms:

  • Meeting with stakeholders across the enterprise to better understand how financial operations served various functions and to identify opportunities for strengthening its role
  • Conducting sessions with company leadership to understand the broader business objectives that required financial operations support
  • Helping our client identify opportunities to streamline operational processes, accelerate the development of key insights, and provide more accurate predictions
  • Working directly with the client’s supply chain finance team to evaluate and harmonize the array of methodologies and business requirements that were in place at both companies prior to the acquisition
  • Reviewing current-state Enterprise Capital, Plant, and Procurement reporting to identify differences across key processes

We used the insights we gained to provide a holistic perspective on enterprise-wide operations as well as to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that would help guide how we designed data models, streamlined processes and reporting procedures, and defined roles and responsibilities. Along the way, we also uncovered a number of opportunities to optimize the legacy close process. 

3. Construction phase

Putting the structures in place to support a single, efficient financial operations function

Using a practical, results-driven approach, KPMG created and implemented needed structures, policies, and processes to help ensure a smooth, successful financial operations integration.

  • Developed a structured, streamlined approach to managing key integration activities, governance, and status tracking and reporting
  • Implemented a communications strategy that improved integration visibility and transparency, and reduced the number of change requests submitted to the integration project management office
  • Established standard, formal roles and responsibilities across financial operations
  • Defined business requirements, dependencies, and information availability during the close cycle
  • Redesigned the forecast and monthly close process
  • Developed a single set of standard operating processes for use across the integrated finance function
  • Integrated and centralized processes to enhance cross-functional collaboration
  • Developed and prioritized 50+ recommendations for accelerating the close cycle
  • Supported development of an enhanced data model that fit the new organizational structure, improved overall visibility, and helped drive adoption of new financial processes aligned to future-state objectives
  • Supported development of a management reporting application that consolidated enterprise spend reporting and implemented a new, centralized Oracle selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expense application
  • Implemented recommendations that helped align enterprise reporting and optimize the monthly “rolling forecast” process
  • Documented supply chain finance reporting methodologies and business requirements
  • Provided future-state recommendations for more accurate enterprise-wide supply chain reporting and monthly rolling forecasts

4. Delivery phase

Driving socialization and adoption across the globe

Integration would not have been successful without the support of teams in the U.S. and throughout Europe. To help increase understanding and adoption of new roles and responsibilities as well as processes and tools, KPMG developed a robust change-management training initiative and documentation. We also created a detailed communication strategy that kept all employees informed of what the changes where, when they were coming, and what needed to be accomplished.  

5. Evolution phase

Continued support of ongoing transformation

KPMG teams in the U.S. and Europe worked together to monitor the success of the new integrated finance function, addressing cross-border issues, helping ensure that regional silos had been fully decommissioned, and continuously supporting more standardized, unified, and efficient ways of working.

As a result of the successful integration, KPMG was invited to present at the client’s global conference and to lead a “Future of Finance” workshop with the global CFO and global finance team. This led to the launch of a broader, strategic, integrated business services program with the goal of digitally transforming global operations.


Turning insights into opportunity

Why financial integration is key to value capture

Everyone knows that the food sector has become more saturated and volatile and that a sound M&A strategy can fuel performance and growth. Having worked with so many leading CPG companies, we have insights into what drives value and what threatens it.

When data silos, manual processes, and fragmented reporting capabilities are left in place, you sacrifice speed and agility. And when you rely only on internal data, instead of leveraging third-party sources, you reduce your insight into shifting consumer demands and market opportunities. Rapidly integrating financial operations, establishing healthy data ecosystems, and optimizing reporting environments are all key to the kind of insight-driven decision-making that helps capture optimal value from every deal.

At KPMG, we know financial operations and data and analytics. We know the CPG industry. And we’ll get to know you. Then we can work together on transforming your business.


Could your financial operations be more effective at supporting company performance and growth?

Let’s talk about where you’d like to see your business headed and how financial operations transformation could help you get there.

Emad Bibawi

Emad Bibawi

Partner, Advisory, Internal Audit & Enterprise Risk, KPMG US

+1 212-954-2033
Sanjay Sehgal

Sanjay Sehgal

Head of Markets, Advisory, KPMG US

+1 216-875-8113
Christina Cavanagh

Christina Cavanagh

Manager, Advisory Finance Transformation, KPMG US