PRA Health Sciences Turns to CXO Software to Reduce Time Spent on Reporting

Upgrading their reporting solution helps healthcare intelligence partner drive reporting efficiency and support remote data access.

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Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, PRA Health Sciences is a global healthcare intelligence partner that develops life-saving and live-improving drugs through comprehensive clinical development services. With more than 16,000 employees in over 75 offices around the world, PRA Health Sciences does work that truly has impact worldwide. And reporting on all that activity is truly a full-time job.

Administrating CXO Software

By the time senior manager of financial planning and analysis Katie Howard joined PRA, the accounting team had already been using CXO Software for close to two years. “The decision on CXO Software had been made in 2011,” Howard recalled. “Prior to that, PRA was using Excel dashboards.”

For herself, Howard began using CXO Software in 2013, even before moving to the Public Accounting department. “It’s the most widely used tool in Finance at PRA,” Howard said. After moving to Public Accounting, Howard began training as an Administrator for CXO Software. “I always compare CXO Software to Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) because I took on both duties at the same time,” she admitted. “CXO Software is a lot easier and a lot more user friendly.”

When Howard took over as Administrator, PRA was using CXO Software version 5.3. “We still had to navigate to a remote desktop to design reports,” Howard recalled. “By the time we updated to the newest version, we found out we were the only CXO Software client still on the oldest version.” She worked through the new upgrade with the insightsoftware team, learning the Administrator duties at the same time. “There was a little bit of a learning curve because we had skipped a few versions in our CXO Software update,” Howard said. “But when I started taking over, it wasn’t difficult. And the support team is incredibly responsive any time I’ve had an issue.”

Upgrades Promote Further Efficiency

Upgrading to the newest release dramatically impacted their reporting process timelines for the better. “One of our biggest time-savers from CXO Software was actually a byproduct of us upgrading,” Howard recalled. “Before, we would load information from Hyperion HFM into CXO Software, and it would take about 30 minutes. Now it takes about 5 minutes. The data load is instantaneous.”

When it comes to report building, efficiency goes even beyond time spent. “Recently, I built a report to show revenue for our early business development unit and was able to break it out between geography and subunits,” said Howard. “It was really a time saver because now the leaders don’t have to pull out individual reports. We’ve built a lot of efficiency in through aggregating reports.”

One major benefit Howard has noted from CXO Software is a reliable single source of truth (SSOT) for financial reporting across the organization. “CXO Software gives a much better high-level view by business unit—monthly, quarterly versus budget versus forecast—without having to train all our users on pulling HFM Smart View reports,” Howard said. “And if we have to pull a report a different way, we can use CXO Software as a tie out to reconcile against.”

An additional bonus in the shifting financial economic landscape of early 2020 has been the opportunity to create reliable reports that employees can access from anywhere, especially when instructed to work from home. “I have recently created a few new reports and views for people to see as they work from home. With Hyperion, we would have server issues or it would go down and you couldn’t access what you needed,” Howard remarked. “CXO Software is incredibly reliable, and a good place to find information.”

Navigating Success

Today, PRA Health Sciences uses CXO Software for most of their P&L reports and several balance reports as well. “We use it every month for month-end close,” Howard said. “Every time they consolidate month-end actuals in Hyperion—usually three times a day for the first five days of the close process—they would also update in CXO Software. I’m also able to easily refresh CXO Software dashboards any time we update a budget, quarterly forecast, or meta data.”

PRA Health Services has improved its report creation and access, including:

  • Reduced information load time by more than 80 percent
  • Reliable remote access for reporting and report views
  • Self-service reporting that limits the need for IT involvement

“CXO Software works really well for us,” Howard concluded. “We have good information on how we’re trending against actuals and forecast, prior year actuals, all sorts of different things. CXO Software is reliable, a good place to find the information we need, and a highly visual tool for our executive team.”

CXO Software is reliable, a good place to find the information we need, and a highly visual tool for our executive team.

Kate Howard
Senior Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis

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