"We've also managed to take one head out of the team, which I think you can say was directly because of Vena and the efficiencies that it's brought us."
Laura Szreider heads up the Financial Planning & Analysis team at iPSL, a market leader in processing domestic cheques for most major UK banks. For years, her team was in "Excel hell," where financial data was compromised, spreadsheets didn't operate the way they should, and the entire budgeting & forecasting process took six weeks.
After implementing Vena, iPSL saw a dramatic four-week reduction in budget and forecast cycle times. The process became so efficient that the FP&A team was able to lean out, reducing headcount by one and relying on Vena's effectiveness in place of an eighth team member.
Hear more from Laura in the video above, or read the transcript below.
I'm Laura Szreider, I work at iPSL. I'm head of financial planning and analysis.
I've been at iPSL for four years now. We are in the UK banking industry and the payments industry. We look after the clearing of cheques in the UK for most of the big banks.
We have a finance team of seven people. My responsibilities are to look after the budgeting and forecasting for the team and to communicate the outputs of that with our banking clients.
Oracle is our general ledger system and we also used to use Hyperion on top of that because that's what our group companies used.
We were in what you might call Excel hell so we had lots of interlinked spreadsheets, an awful lot of risk and awful lot of manual intervention. And it took us roughly six weeks to get a budget or a forecast done from end to end, just because of the amount of different processes that we had to go through.
Having implemented Vena, the six week cycle has reduced to ten days and everything is now done in a way that is streamlined and transparent. We can definitely interrogate our data way more easily so we can slice and dice it all the different ways that we need to.
We've also managed to take one head out of the team which I think you can say was directly because of Vena and the efficiencies that it's brought us.
So during the implementation, we were really struck by how easy it was to customise Vena just for us. It was really helpful for us to have Excel as the main way that we interacted with the tool, because that is something that everybody is familiar with already.
On a day to day basis what I really like about Vena is the way that I can compare data really easily, so I can compare a budget to a forecast, a forecast to an actual, this year to last year to the year before at the touch of a button and that's really helped me out.