Global law firm integrates acquisitions, gains 360-degree view of finances
Following a merger that increased Pinsent Mason’s size by one third, the now larger law firm had a number of different financial systems—including two general ledger and practice management systems—that needed to be consolidated within months to see its finances as a whole. The global firm is made up of many different practice groups, offices, countries and currencies, and began seeking a solution that would accomplish the following:
• Drill down capability into the numbers for each practice group, office, and division
• Collaboration on financial data in local languages and currencies
• Understanding the overall top line and multi-dimensional view of the business
Failing to have this in place quickly could have resulted in potential regulatory non-compliance, lost revenues, and losing many of the benefits of the merger. As Andrew Brett, Financial Accounting Manager for Pinsent Masons revealed, "By working with Workday Adaptive Planning’ UK partner, Clear Plan, and seeing how Workday Adaptive Planning could perform for our law firm, we were completely confident that the software would work for us - and it did!"
Understanding the business as a total sum of its parts
Prior to Workday Adaptive Planning, 90 percent of the finance team’s time was consumed with finding numbers for the monthly close. This often took up to 15 days before they were happy with the final data. "Now, within a day we can see the numbers, and within two or three we can run reports and start analysis without errors or discrepancies," said Brett.
What’s more, with previous systems it was difficult to incorporate data that was in different databases or different geographies which compromised the accuracy of the data. Pinsent Masons also was able to identify inaccuracies in its general ledger postings that were invisible prior to Workday Adaptive Planning. "With Workday Adaptive Planning, all the data across separate accounting systems and geographies is integrated seamlessly," added Brett.
The finance team becomes more than the scorekeeper
The increased productivity now enables Brett and his team to focus on new initiatives in cash flow and balance sheet forecasting to guide longer term investments in IT, real estate, and personnel, projects they simply didn’t have the time to accomplish before. "Now, we can advise on investment decisions, forecast and, indeed, reforecast if need be, providing valuable insights that can help grow the business, rather than simply reflect on it," said Brett. "Partners and the Executive Board increasingly want information more quickly and more accurate, particularly as we plan to expand into other territories. With Workday Adaptive Planning, this is what we can now deliver."