Case Study

Global month end close for a tier-1 global bank 

Digital & Automation | Banks | London

The Background

  • A tier-1 global bank needed to make a material step-change in managing the monthly production of the books and records

  • Ever-increasing reporting requirements and dependencies on non-financial production of numbers across multiple business lines and countries was rapidly becoming unsustainable

  • Unable to provide senior stakeholders with regular and timely progress/issue/risk reports tailored to their responsibilities

The Challenge

  • The month-end close process had become significantly more complex over time with inputs being required on risk valuations, forecasts and non-financial information over and above pure ledger-based outputs

  • Month-end outputs and process would vary depending on quarter-end and year-end cycles

  • Entirely manual process to track the progress of outputs with a hierarchy of stand-ups to both capture information and relay to senior stakeholders

  • Delays in the process required extensive manual effort to understand the critical path impact and the compensating actions required

The Approach

  • Implementation of a cloud-based Appian workflow to drive the month-end activities and track the issue and risk life-cycles

  • User experience led development to ensure minimal user friction with the system and prioritise a positive user experience

  • Implementation of a change control process to provide agility and allow business variations

  • Dashboards provided to meet the different stakeholders needs with real-time reporting with filters by business, country and region

  • Control steps actively called out and attested to address S-OX

The Impact

  • Initial build with a 12-week timeframe including build-out of global run-book

  • The system replaced manual processes as the primary mechanism for tracking on-going process and for reviewing issues and risks

  • Enabled standardisation of core process globally with local variations justified individually

  • Operational risk reduction through both process tracking and ability to fact-based manage issues on the critical path

  • The outputs and understanding the outputs became the focus rather than the process itself


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