Case studies

Vendor Finance Group "International Reach, Local expertise"

01

Client profile

Our client was a US-owned international group providing vendor finance in locations throughout the US, Europe and the Pacific Rim. In Europe, a programme had been completed to implement InfoLease as the lease contract management system in every location. In certain locations, accounting reconciliation and operational issues emerged, putting processes and controls under pressure.

Richmond Consulting's role was to:

  • Reconcile the InfoLease and general ledger systems, including vendor accounts, arrears accounts, and asset records
  • Ensure that local accounting, legal, tax and US GAAP reporting requirements were met
  • Ensure that the year-end accounts could be completed accurately and on time
  • Review the transactional integrity of postings with the operational systems
  • Automate links between InfoLease and the general ledger systems so that the client's accounting team could spend more time analysing the data, instead of producing it
  • Restructure the database at each location to simplify and accelerate month-end processes
  • Recommend and implement operational changes to ensure that day-end and month-end processes could be performed accurately and efficiently: including the standardisation of control reports, the streamlining of new business input, and the modification of termination and cash-handling processes
  • Provide interim management (from MD, CFO, to operational management levels) that provided leadership and stability within rapidly changing business environments

This work was carried out in the client's offices in:

  • Germany (including the administration of Austrian and Swiss businesses)
  • Belgium (including the administration of the Dutch and Benelux businesses)
  • Spain
  • Italy

Results

As a result of these assignments, the client significantly improved control over its operational processes and allowed its staff to move from fire fighting to customer-centric activities.

International Banking Group Simplifying Complexity

04

Client profile

Our client was a major European banking group with international corporate, retail and investment banking operations around the world.

The bank sought a listing on the New York stock exchange, and as a result it was necessary to restate financial statements for the last five years according US GAAP, rather than using local accounting principles.

The bank’s leasing group (consisting of a number of specialist companies), presented the bank with some of its most difficult restatement issues.

Richmond Consulting's role was to:

  • Identify main accounting adjustments required under US GAAP
  • Develop a series of checks to ensure adjustments were accurate
  • Issue user manuals, accounting guidelines and return formats for subsidiaries to prepare restated data under US rules
  • Restate financial statements prepared under local accounting rules to be US GAAP-compliant
  • Develop a database system to collect data from all group sources, to carry out audit checks and to consolidate the data into global banking reports.

This work was carried out in the client’s offices in:

  • UK
  • Germany
  • France

Results

In this large, high profile, and complex project the client was able to complete the restatement of lease accounting data on time, and with the certainty that professional control checks on completeness and accuracy had been carried out. The database system for the collection of data is now available to the client in order to process regular quarterly information.

Captive Finance Group "Pan European Systems Survey"

02

Client profile

Our client was a finance captive of a leading global computer company. They were engaged in providing customer and vendor financing solutions (leases and loans) for their customers across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. Historically, they had outsourced back office functions to a number of European service providers, and were now looking to bring these functions back “in house”. This strategic project would necessitate significant investment in people and systems.

Richmond Consulting was commissioned to provide our client with a detailed systems survey report, reviewing the “front end” and “lease administration” systems that are available in the European leasing markets today, and to provide a shortlist of vendors that would potentially fit their requirements for a Pan-European systems rollout.
Richmond Consulting's role was to:

Systems consultancy 

  • Present a business profile and system functionality overview of leasing software suppliers.The vendor profile included a review of the business infrastructure of each supplier (number of employees, locations etc), an indication of their European implementation capabilities and a list of customer site references.For the short listed suppliers, the report included an overview systems functionality, including:
    • supported database structure
    • supported financial products
    • multi currency capabilities
    • multi language capabilities
    • general ledger
    • proven interfaces
    • ability to support add-on products (eg insurance and maintenance)
    • income recognition methods supported
    • document generation capabilities
    • automated work queues
    • payment and collection capabilities
  • Provide an overview of the key considerations concerning a systems selection.
  • Provide a high level cost estimate of installing a “front end” and “lease administration” across 6 European countries.
  • The report included an examination of other critical factors that need to be reviewed, when considering a Pan-European systems roll out including;
  • Taxation, Regulatory Compliance, Accounting and Financial Reporting, Language, Local Business Practices, Banking Regulations etc.

Results

Our client was presented with a comprehensive review of the European leasing system marketplace. The report was used as the starting point for a full system evaluation and selection process, and provided management with critical financial input to their business plan.

Captive Automotive Finance "Infrastructure setup for a leading force in vehicle financing"

06

Client profile

Our client was a leading captive automotive finance house, servicing two global automotive brands in the UK. They were operating a business model where their back office had been outsourced to an external service provider.

Our client had taken the decision to bring the processing of their business and supporting systems back in house. The resulting centralised operations centre would eventually be used to service customers across Europe.

Richmond Consulting was commissioned by the client to play a leading role in this large scale project.

Richmond Consulting's role was:

Functional and process definition; manage insource migration:

  • Define and document the accounting and the customer care functions' business requirements
  • Document the operational workflow of the department
  • Manage the migration of activities from the service provider to our client's internal staff

Systems implementation:

  • Define a detailed systems requirements specification
  • Design and roll-out to potential leasing software suppliers a "systems selection questionnaire". This was used to collect consistent functionality and supplier background information that formed the basis of a coherent supplier scoring exercise and formulation of a vendor shortlist
  • Define and manage the systems evaluation process (including structured systems workshops)
  • Provide project management for the data conversion and migration

Extensive systems landscape implemented, including:

  • Point of sale systems
  • Dealer funding systems
  • Proposal management systems
  • General ledger systems
  • Contract management systems
  • Contract hire systems
  • Data warehousing systems

Providing project management expertise:

  • Provide our client with two dedicated project managers (one for the finance function and one for the customer care function), delivering leadership and project management expertise for the migration of systems and operations

Results

We provided our client with the coherent systems selection framework, business process definition, and project management skills that allowed them to build a "state of the art" infrastructure.

Case Study - Captive Finance Group "Automation Gap Analysis"

05

Client profile

Our client was a finance captive of a leading global computer company. They were engaged in providing customer and vendor financing solutions (leases and loans) to their customers across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. Our client was operating a business model where significant elements of their back office had been outsourced to a number of European service providers.

Richmond Consulting was commissioned to review the current operating model (with particular reference to business data and information flows) and to identify areas where the client could automate business processes. An underlying objective of the project was to define closer ties with the systems used by the parent company in the US.

Richmond Consulting was chosen by the client for its combined expertise in financial, systems and operational consultancy and its experience of industry best practice.

Richmond Consulting's role was to:

  • Review the current operating model for the provision of lease financing solutions across the EMEA region. This included a detailed study of:
    • Business process workflow
    • Roles and responsibilities (client vs. outsourcing partner)
    • Potential areas of systems convergence between the client’s local operations and its parent company in the US.
  • Review the current processes and operating environments of each European outsourcing partner, including:
    • Overview of the partners
    • Documenting the financing process (incorporating the required information and documentation necessary for originating, funding, servicing and managing the client portfolio)
    • Identifying areas of systems integration.
    • Review the role and operational objectives of each department
    • Identify data and information requirements (from both a partner and internal systems perspective)
    • Review the current operating process
    • Identify and recommend process improvements following industry best practice
    • Identify and recommend areas for systems automation.

Results

This Gap analysis gave management a unified view of their business processes, from the patchwork of outsourced solutions and systems (both manual and computer) that were currently in operation. It also provided our client with the input needed to create a coherent plan and roadmap to address process or procedural gaps that could be significantly improved through automation.