Case Study: Retail Accounting Process Improvement Project
The client is a large multi-billion-dollar national retail grocery store engaged with more than 270,000 employees. MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA) was engaged to conduct a review of the retail accounting processes. The analysis of the current state processes focused on the identifying areas of improvement. The functional areas within retail accounting that were reviewed included:
General Ledger/Journal Entry
Period (Monthly/Annual) Closing
The client’s retail accounting processes had become increasingly inefficient which impacted the labor and technology cost to the organization. The primary factors leading to the process inefficiencies were manual workarounds and custom ad-hoc applications that were created because of their aging infrastructure, specifically their ERP system. MSSBTA’s expertise was needed to quantify a “business case for change” to address the identified inefficiencies.
The initial catalog of processes to be reviewed was determined using the APQC® Process Classification Framework for accounting/finance. Collaborative workshops were conducted with each of the identified functional teams of the client’s retail accounting group to document their current processes and pain points. After each session, MSSBTA performed process analysis to identify gaps and inefficiencies.
Recommendations from MSSBTA’s process analysis were validated with the retail accounting functional teams. Then, targeted areas of improvement were prioritized by the executive team based on quantified impact. This iterative approach gave ownership to the real accounting teams to sustain results.
An executive summary of the process analysis was presented to the retail accounting management team as well as representatives from the corporate financial management team. Based on the discussion, it was agreed that a project should be funded to examine the technology infrastructure that was supporting the retail accounting group.
Retail accounting process analysis
Executive presentation summarizing the recommendations