When COVID-19 drove most of its employees out of the office and into their homes, a Global 100 company needed support for its first-quarter close—in less than 30 days. To accomplish the upcoming close with a remote global workforce, the company’s finance and accounting leaders had to identify and triage potential gaps that could affect the financial close and reporting process.
The company quickly recognized that it needed more support for a workforce unaccustomed to working from home. It needed to assess its end to end record-to-report (R2R) process, anticipate and mitigate potential issues, and determine that its business continuity planning addressed fast-changing COVID-19 guidance. Because the company had successfully worked with KPMG previously, the choice of an advisor was clear.
By rapidly onboarding its own close-support subject matter specialists and developing a robust business continuity plan, KPMG positioned the Global 100 company to overcome internal resource challenges and complete a timely and successful quarter-end close. In addition, we were able to:
KPMG mobilized a significant pool of skilled finance professionals to help the client through this short-term resource challenge. The main risks were clear: a loss of productivity due to work-from-home and school closure requirements and the inability to perform mission-critical processes if personnel became unavailable for even remote work. To mitigate these risks, KPMG teams helped the company:
First, evaluate the financial close process. Second, develop an immediate remediation plan, including staff augmentation, to successfully execute the upcoming monthly and quarterly close. Third, prioritize automation projects to drive down labor costs and improve process effectiveness.
As F&A leaders adapt to the realities of a remote workforce and improved close process, companies able to embrace process standardization and automation will likely achieve material benefits in terms of cost savings and productivity—in the range of 10 percent to 70 percent reductions in full-time equivalent cost, depending on the process.