Within a six month timeframe, software vendor TeamViewer overhauled its financial consolidation and reporting activities. The result: better and faster reporting processes and more grip on consolidated financial statements. The transition was delivered in collaboration with consultancy Satriun Group and CPM specialist Tagetik.
Founded in 2005, TeamViewer is a Germany-based provider of remote software support solutions. Its solutions facilitate online meetings, support e-learning objectives, enable remote maintenance & support, and consist of a range of cloud-based offerings that facilitate working from home. With over 200 million active users across more than 200 countries, TeamViewer is one of the largest players in its segment globally.
In the summer of 2014, TeamViewer was acquired by private equity firm Permira. As part of the deal, the new owner requested TeamViewer’s finance department to launch a modernisation track. Up to that point, most of TeamViewer’s financial consolidation and reporting activities were managed and executed through an Excel-based process. The firm’s rapid growth – the software vendor at the time had operations in Germany, US, Australia, Armenia and the UK – resulted in growing pressure on the reporting process, and as a result the finance team was spending too much time collecting, processing and correcting data. In addition, TeamViewer’s CFO Stephan Kniewasser wanted to achieve two primary goals: to meet the reporting requirements of the company’s new shareholders / banks and to strengthen its financial and controlling processes in preparation of a potential IPO.
With that challenge in mind, TeamViewer turned to Satriun Group, a pan-European consulting firm that specialises in Corporate Performance Management. The consultants were given the task to help streamline and speed up the financial consolidation and reporting processes. The scope also involved improving insight, bolstering data quality and allowing for improved breakdowns of performance, recalls Casper van Leeuwen, partner at Satriun Group and project lead consultant. “In the Excel-based reporting process, the cash flow statement was available only at a consolidated level. TeamViewer wanted to produce cash flow statements at both legal entity and consolidated levels. Additionally, the finance team wanted to enhance reporting notes and to automate the creation of the annual IFRS consolidated financial statements.”
After assessing the situation, the project team came to the conclusion that two solution areas would be key. Firstly, the data model blueprint for financial reporting needed to be revised to better accommodate TeamViewer’s requirements. And secondly, automation needed to be leveraged, with Tagetik brought on board as the software solution for Corporate Performance Management. “We designed a financial data model that addressed TeamViewer’s management reporting requirements, as well as being IFRS compliant. Over a hundred validation controls ensure the quality of the information provided across income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement”, says van Leeuwen. With this strong fundament in place, the team designed relevant breakdowns by product and license type for revenues, and by department for operating expenses. On the back of approval from the project management office, the green light was given to set up the data model in the Tagetik system.
In parallel to the building of the solution, the project team started preparations for the roll-out, commonly cited as the most complex phase of a technology implementation, and, in many cases, notorious for its poor track record. An execution roadmap was developed, end-users were engaged through communication and change management initiatives and a learning & development approach was defined. As part of the latter, end-user documentation and end-user trainings were created, building on a blended approach – a combination of classical learning with on-the-job learning, tailored at the needs of the audience. End-users were subsequently trained for the new way of working and the Tagetik application went live “on time and in budget”, says van Leeuwen.
The go-live was “smooth”, a feat which was reconfirmed in the formal evaluation two months later. Whenever issues did surface, the project’s post go-live governance ensured these were swiftly dealt with. “Intercompany elimination, currency translation and equity consolidation postings are now fully automated. The consolidated cash flow statement is done within minutes in Tagetik, compared to days previously”, says Van Leeuwen. Moreover, he points out, compliance to IFRS reporting has been streamlined, including reporting requirements related to financial risks, commitments and contingencies, and income tax reconciliations.
Stephan Kniewasser, CFO at TeamViewer, looks back at the transition with pleasure, describing the work done by Satriun Group and Tagetik as “tremendous.” He adds: “We found the optimal solution both with Tagetik as our new corporate performance management system and Satriun Group as our implementation partner. With their hands-on mentality and truly customer focused approach they helped us to achieve our goals on time and in budget.”