When we set out to go Enterprise Agile by 2020, we knew it would have to be done leveraging disruptive technologies and driving rapid behavioral shifts in business. This strategic vision led to a re-imagination of an internal activity -- the streamlining of one of the most important processes in any organization, the monthly closing of financial books, which in turn has a direct bearing on quarterly and annual closing timelines.
TCS decided to enhance its financial closing process by introducing multiple layers of digitalization. As a result of this fast closure of our books, our P&L is now available on Day 1. This in turn helps our business leaders make fast and confident decisions with a complete real-time view of their operations. Fast closure is enabled through digitized business performance metrics, and by leveraging MFDM™ (Machine First™ Delivery Model).
In-memory computing has helped achieve near real-time reporting that enabled the release of business P&L results on day 1 and a consequent result declaration in 7 days (our fastest turnaround time to deliver quarterly results). This speediness provided a lead time of 10 -15 days for leadership to make decisions and chart an immediate course of action for subsequent quarters. The process has been made automated and intelligent through AI, giving us a continual and, may we add, invaluable stream of data and analytics to help us stay on top of our game operationally.
The ability to generate P&L statements on Day 1 for an organization with 450K+ employees and across 47countries is no mean feat. The leveraging of multiple technology-stacks and optimizing complex financial accounting processes made this reimagination program one of the most innovative ones in the finance domain. The transformation also paved the way for paperless AGMs s and digitalization in operations in a governed manner.
Last but not least, auditable financial data was delivered faster and more accurately through global data consolidation. It was possible thanks to standardized performance management, core accounting and vendor management processes. All governance aspects were built into the system and were demonstrated to auditors, fast!
Furthermore, the way finance teams used to work has been completely reimagined with this boost in efficiency and productivity. The lead time for our P&L statement dropping to 10 hours from the earlier 120 has unlocked a slew of business benefits for us. Where earlier, our results were published in the last week of the next quarter, we now manage this in a mere 2 weeks. We have been able to declare our annual and quarterly results in under two weeks, so our shareholders stay informed sooner. (It was declared in one week for Q2FY21, on the 7th of October.)
This single set of expedited financial processes has also helped us optimize our human resources. Given the earlier pace of work and levels of human intervention during financial closing, all teams were on alert and available 24x7 for an extra five-day period; back-up staff was present for longer. Now, we pull this off in just two days – the last day of a month and the first day of the following month.
This digital transformation in our financial process has been seamlessly supporting a business growth of 25% since its deployment in FY20
This project saw the involvement of around 10 multi-located agile teams working in tandem and was jointly driven by two units – our internal IT unit and the finance team. Agility and design thinking clearly played key roles in the end-to-end process. Technology initiatives that were implemented within the finance ecosystem included, cognitive monitoring (TCS IgnioTM), in-memory analytics, and self-service reporting.
The focus remained on core process simplification, digitalization, and automation, and identifying the best technologies to enable this. The idea was to eliminate the possibility of human-introduced error, to mitigate duplication and redundancies, and strengthen the fitness of our financial operations.
Our financial transformation has helped us punch one more hole in our enterprise agility belt. It has made the TCS financial ecosystem robust and future-ready to handle scaled up operations. These reimagined internal processes have impacted business management and have given our leadership a (quicker) heads up to plan our future quarters. Simply put, it’s just one more way that we demonstrate how we’re a step ahead on the digital curve.
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