Reference case

Manage expansion from a Business Controlling perspective

27 March 2024

After the departure of the Business Controller at a rapidly expanding tech company, they called upon TriFinance to fill the gap. The mission: keeping the controlling tasks on track while finding a new permanent employee for the position and bringing more expertise to the company to facilitate their growth to the next level. Learn about Lawrence's experiences as a Project Consultant in this fast-growing environment.

“This project marked my debut as a Business Controller”, explains Project Consultant Lawrence. “Despite having successfully completed several assignments as a Financial Controller, I felt a level of uncertainty, considering this was a new experience for me. Yet, my self-doubt proved to be unfounded, as I quickly adapted to the role, offering meaningful insights and posing the pertinent critical questions.”

I found this project very enriching as it provided me with a comprehensive view of the entire company, involving me deeply in the business processes and in the critical strategic decision-making with a high level of confidentiality.

Implementing process improvements

It soon became clear that the processes and reconciliations in the company required a significant amount of manual work. “As I had a strong focus on process improvement and automation in my previous assignments, I saw a lot of room for improvement”, states Lawrence. Implementing these process improvements increased the efficiency and effectiveness of different processes and quickly proved the added value of bringing in the expertise of an external Project Consultant.

As I had a strong focus on process improvement and automation in my previous assignments, I saw a lot of room for improvement.

Having an impact on strategic decision-making in the salary budget

“I found this project very enriching as it provided me with a comprehensive view of the entire company, involving me deeply in critical strategic decision-making with a high level of confidentiality”, Lawrence reflects.

The biggest challenge was to draft the 2024 salary budget. Added to this already complex task, 2024 marked the introduction of new fiscal regulations concerning intellectual property, having a direct adverse impact on the salary package of software developers, among others. Nonetheless, the client aimed to mitigate this effect by introducing new compensation packages that included net allowances and a mobility budget.

The introduction of these new salary frameworks led to a significant average cost increase on top of the salary indexation initiated in January 2023. Consequently, a meticulous hiring and attrition plan was necessary for 2024 and strategic choices needed to be made. This approach was instrumental in maintaining the budgeted operational average salary cost, thus ensuring a healthy gross margin.

I initiated a zero-based budget exercise, commencing with a clean slate and methodically building each budget step by step, rather than relying on high-level estimations.

Initiating zero-based budgeting

Another responsibility involved overseeing budgets and conducting monthly variance analysis. Additionally, on a quarterly basis, Lawrence collaborated with budget owners to create a new 12-month rolling forecast. “During this process, I observed that many budgets lacked clear guidance and coherence. So it became evident that budget owners needed assistance in understanding how to construct their budgets more effectively. Consequently, I initiated a zero-based budget exercise, commencing with a clean sheet and methodically building each budget step by step, rather than relying on high-level estimations. Simultaneously, I developed a dashboard for the budget owners to monitor variance analyses at both period-to-date and year-to-date levels, resulting in a substantial improvement in data quality.”

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