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EAT reduces reporting errors with cloud financial planning tools

Matthew Finnegan | Sept. 26, 2014
Replaces spreadsheets with Anaplan SaaS system.

High street food chain EAT has reduced reporting errors after replacing spreadsheets used for financial planning with a cloud based system from Anaplan.

The company, which owns 100 shops around the UK, introduced the technology in 2012 to manage finance processes such as reporting and integrated planning.

"When I joined EAT, we operated three independent planning processes: long-term planning, company level planning, and store planning," said EAT chief financial officer Strahan Wilson.

"The lack of integration meant that it was both time consuming to move between each and the reliance on spreadsheets meant that often errors appeared. I chose Anaplan because I saw this as a great opportunity streamline the process and reduce the risk of error."

A team of 10 EAT employees now uses Anaplan to run a planning model with around 800 million populated cells, allowing the company to record weekly sales of its products, and calculate costs over the course of a year. It can also generate detailed monthly reports for feedback to senior staff and board members.

"Historically, when building a planning system the process has been very slow as each time a formula was entered a separate consolidation had to be run to confirm the formula was correct," said Wilson.

"With the real-time consolidation that is possible within Anaplan we get an immediate, one-click view of our financial plans."

He added that the Saas system had allowed the company to build a "highly granular" planning model with the help of external consultants.

EAT is also using Google Apps cloud collaboration suite to enable easier communication between its 1,700 employees.

 

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