Worldwide Facilities is an independent, national wholesale insurance broker, operating from over 35 offices to provide brokerage for all types of specialty business, program management, and underwriting on behalf of more than 50 specialty insurance companies. Established in 1970, Worldwide Facilities is ranked the fifth largest property/casualty wholesaler on Business Insurance’s 2020 Data and Ranking List.
Worldwide Facilities went live on the Oracle ERP Cloud in March 2020. Their finance team used a mix of standard and custom Financial Reporting Studio (FRS) reports alongside the Essbase Spreadsheet Add-In for ad hoc inquires and drill downs against the Oracle ERP Cloud GL Balances cube.
Although the finance team was pretty satisfied with FRS, they still felt the reports weren’t as flexible as they would like, nor were they intuitive enough to justify rolling out to the wider team. They were less happy with the Essbase Spreadsheet Add-In, because they felt the drill-through feature didn’t work consistently to show the details of their balances.
So, after living with this approach for five to six months, they decided they needed a better solution.
Gavin Humason, Assistant Controller at Worldwide Facilities, explained that “using the built-in tools from Oracle just didn’t seem to give us the same functionality that we were used to.” Humason had been working with an insightsoftware solution at his previous company, while using the on-premise Oracle E-Business Suite, so he knew that there were better tools out there for finance that would offer more functionality.
His team chose to implement insightsoftware, as they knew that this would give finance the self-service reporting solution they needed to create repeatable reports with built-in drill downs, over near real-time data. They also knew that the tool would be easy to deploy to other people on the team, thanks to its intuitive and familiar Excel interface.
Building to Success with insightsoftware
Although Worldwide Facilities’ implementation of insightsoftware’s reporting solution is still in its early days (around a month since implementation), the team has been using it to support ad hoc inquiries for variance analysis and account reconciliation, and they have already noticed significant time savings and improvements to their reporting process.
Humason explained that prior to implementing insightsoftware, it was a challenge for Worldwide Facilities to run inquiries across a range of accounts. Now insightsoftware’s solutions make it much easier to look at financial statement line items and drill into the details faster than their previous P&L reports.
For Humason, “being able to jump from the General Ledger down to a subledger makes it much easier to investigate variances.” Humason identified that, “with insightsoftware, it’s fast and simple to navigate to the actual invoice number that you want to see.” Where further analysis is required, Humason noted that “insightsoftware allows us to access our data in a format that can easily be put into a pivot table,” joking that “in finance, anything can be resolved with a good pivot table.”
Another benefit the finance team has seen from implementing insightsoftware alongside Oracle ERP Cloud is that it’s much faster to retrieve account details. For example, it took Humason less than 30 seconds to retrieve account details using insightsoftware, compared to several minutes using the native reporting tools (depending on the number of activities in an account). These time-savings soon add up into some considerable productivity gains when you are analyzing all expenses for a month, for example.
It is also much easier to manage the Excel-based reports that finance teams love. Previously, when using Essbase, Humason recalls that when updating the hierarchy within a report, “it’s almost like you have to recreate the report from scratch.” Now, Humason stated that insightsoftware is “much more dynamic in the way it brings in the latest version of our account hierarchy.” Again, this saves time and removes the need for specialist knowledge to maintain reports.
Since implementing insightsoftware, Worldwide Facilities has benefitted from productivity gains and more flexible reports that meet the needs of their business. These benefits include:
- Fewer delays with the ability to retrieve account information in under 30 seconds, compared to several minutes using native reporting tools.
- Faster variance analysis and account reconciliations with integrated drill downs from balances right down to subledger transactions in Excel.
- More flexible data presentation and filters that are built with finance in mind: Data are presented in a format that finance teams love and is easily adapted into pivot tables.
- Customizable reports: It’s easy for finance to create and manage reports, which saves time and allows them to respond quickly to changing business needs.
Looking to the future, Humason and his team are looking to do much more with insightsoftware. They are currently looking to create custom, repeatable reports in Excel that automatically roll forward to the next period, which will drive further time savings and free-up more of his team’s time to focus on value-added analysis.
With the benefits they have seen already, Humason wishes he’d implemented insightsoftware sooner to help with the “throes of year-end.”