One of the leading HR services providers in Belgium, generating a revenue of about 200 million euro with a workforce of 1.500 people, expressed the need for specialized tools to enhance and streamline their collaboration with different accounting agencies. Due to lack of investments in this area over the years, this had resulted in a technological deficiency. To address this issue and ensure the necessary attention and budget allocation, the company recognized the need for a dedicated project manager to oversee the development of new applications for this particular segment.
The IT gap
The client's historical focus on improving end-user tools and primary payroll applications led to a notable deficit in accounting tools. Many essential software components were either degraded or non-existent. Recognizing this challenge, the management proactively appointed TriFinance project consultant Ben Tuerlings as the dedicated product and project manager to implement new tools, effectively bridging the existing IT gap.
In the initial phase of the project, the TriFinance expert delved into the intricacies of the client's IT architecture. His tasks included addressing deficiencies, aligning IT with accountants' requirements, understanding the IT roadmap, and navigating the prioritization process in a company transitioning to a collaborative governance model.
Throughout the project, it became evident that the accountant segment within the organization lacked the necessary influence to secure the essential IT budget and resources.
In response, the management strategically decided to elevate the accountants' status within the organization, recognizing them as a critical intermediate sales channel and a source of revenue. This move was aimed at increasing their overall relevance and priority.
The struggle to secure the necessary resources for the accountant segment had persisted over several years. Despite being aware of the growing issue, the management's decisions did not immediately result in increased IT investments. As a result, the management had to consistently reach out to the IT organization to emphasize the importance of focusing on this strategic segment.
Due to the lack of available documentation, Ben Tuerlings initiated the development of a comprehensive IT framework to approach the situation from a holistic standpoint. By collaborating with key stakeholders, including IT, sales, marketing, internal accounting, and the support center, the complete picture and requirements were unveiled.
"As a project manager," Ben explains, "I had to create an affiliation tool that allowed accountants to add new customers in a fully digitized acquisition process. Additionally, I developed, tested, and launched an e-invoicing solution in the market."
Ben Tuerlings, Project Manager, CFO Services
"At a certain point, as a project manager," Ben explains, "I had to manage the implementation of two new IT solutions: the first solution was an affiliation tool that allowed accountants to add new customers in a fully digitized acquisition process, the other was e-invoicing for outgoing invoices."
Creating an application to meet all requirement
Ben Tuerlings supported the final development of the tool meant for reconciling booking data and launched the first version. Unfortunately, the application faced several challenges, including an inability to generate reports within an acceptable response rate and a user interface that hindered easy navigation. Ben successfully persuaded management to reevaluate the back-end application. As a result, a new budget was approved to rebuild the back-end, ensuring alignment with all (non)-functional requirements.
As the project also involved delivering a new tool to help accountants modify the wage package for a specific customer type, the TriFinance expert played a pivotal role by participating in end-user advisory boards, contributing to the user experience (UX), and defining the application's scope.
The transformation can begin
Based on the experience of their declining sales figure and the dissatisfaction among end-users, the necessity to invest in the accounting segment became evident for the client’s management. Ben Tuerling successfully created an investment business case, envisioning a plan encompassing approximately 10 projects that would impact nearly all IT development teams. This plan would eliminate the technical debt and secure a considerable competitive advantage. Later, the business case was approved by Finance, then presented to the board and finally approved.
The transformation of the company's approach to address user dissatisfaction and bolster sales can now begin.