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Global law firm, Kennedys, leverages Workday Adaptive Planning for enhanced accuracy and empowered regional management. How Workday Adaptive Planning is having a positive impact on culture and ways of working…
Kennedys has evolved over the last decade from being predominantly UK-based to a firm with an international footprint, with 76 offices, associate offices and cooperations in 21 countries around the world and more than 2,500 people.
In addition to a core specialism in insurance law, Kennedys’ other practice areas include litigation, commercial and healthcare. The firm’s rapid recent international growth has been underpinned by investment in its systems landscape, for better insight, planning and control.
According to Kennedys’ Group Financial Controller, Andrew Arnall, this growth has had an important impact on the structure and role of the firm’s Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Global Financial Planning, and Accounting teams.
He says, “In particular, we now have Regional Finance Managers across the world who own their regional budgets. This has had major implications for how the firm manages its financial planning and reporting. The move to Workday Adaptive Planning and Office Connect, with the support of implementation partner ICit Business Intelligence, has seen major advances in terms of versatility, accuracy, and collaboration. The future looks exciting.”
“Major advances in versatility, accuracy and collaboration…”
Creating a solid foundation for the budgeting process
The implementation team’s immediate priority was to make Workday Adaptive Planning the firm’s primary source of monthly reporting across many areas of the business, creating a solid foundation for the budgeting process.
According to Andrew: “We have quickly noticed a number of important gains. First and foremost, we’ve been able to eradicate many of the issues connected with version control and potential errors that were associated with the use of spreadsheets. Now, we can build and manage versions and updates that take away the risk of mistakes.”
Andrew believes this is particularly important as the firm continues to grow, which would otherwise increase the risk of error. “Spreadsheets require stringent management,” he says. “With Workday Adaptive Planning, we can create updates in real time, enabling everybody to see the latest version straightaway – the central Finance team and regional controllers alike can access aggregate views in an instant.
“That’s a source of truth that you simply don’t get with Excel.”
Better efficiency and greater insight
Andrew also believes the shift to Workday Adaptive Planning is already having an important positive impact on the firm’s culture and ways of working. “For me, we used to spend too much time on producing reports. We wanted to find the right balance for our finance experts between business partnering and the process of actually creating data. We’ve been able to do this, partly as a result of becoming more efficient and being able to deliver much greater insight.”
He continues, “Our finance business partners have been able to see perhaps the greatest benefits of all. Because they can now bring in data from other selected sources, including HR data, they can significantly improve their reporting and budgeting.”
Andrew also reports that Kennedys’ CFO, Jo Woods, is highly supportive of the ICit Business Intelligence implementation of Workday Adaptive Planning, having seen enormous improvement in the quality of data and reporting.
But the benefits of the implementation go much further that the central Finance team, including greatly improved collaboration across the organisation. “Everybody being able to see the same data at the same time enables significantly greater buy-in for people across our regions,” Andrew continues. “They are no longer waiting for the central Finance team to produce reports, because these are built within Workday Adaptive Planning. Our people everywhere are much better able to self-manage.”
Aiming to be totally Workday-dependent in 12 months…
Andrew emphasises there is still much to achieve.
As he says, “This is a long-term process of change management. The new system has already become our source of monthly reporting across many areas. We’re now working through statutory consolidation, and while we’re currently working with Workday Adaptive Planning and the old methodology in tandem, we’re aiming to become totally Workday Adaptive Planning-dependent within the next year.”
Andrew also emphasises the key role played in the process by implementation partner ICit Business Intelligence. “We’ve been heavily reliant on them to guide us on the way,” he says. “We have maintained the relationship following the initial build they did for us, which gives us a full day of consultancy every month.
“That’s been extremely important to us in getting the most out of the system.”
Benefits of Workday Adaptive Planning
- Eradicating errors and version-control risks
- Major advances in versatility, accuracy and collaboration
- New ability to create and share updates in real time
- More time spent on value-add activities
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We have helped many businesses around the UK implement a range of Financial Planning & Accounting features, that are offered by Workday Adaptive Planning.
Our team of specialist Workday Consultants can discuss your exact business needs, advise you on how to implement Workday Adaptive Planning within your finance practices and also offer training to those staff who will be using the software day-to-day.
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To find out more about the benefits of Workday Adaptive Planning, or ask any specific questions about how it could improve your current financial software options, please get in touch with us today.
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