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Accenture helped this client reengineer the financial forecasting process for its card services division to improve competitiveness. The new process will help the client improve its strategic decision-making, meet new and more stringent regulatory requirements, and position itself more competitively in the market.
The client is one of the largest global financial services firms with operations in more than 60 countries. Its services include investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity.
Driven by an urgent need to improve competitiveness and meet new and more stringent regulatory requirements, this financial services organization sought to reengineer its process for forecasting card services.
Its existing forecasting process was lengthy with limited analytical capabilities. It left the firm’s core finance team with insufficient time to review forecasts and provided inadequate insight to inform strategic change. In addition, new regulatory requirements had created the need for a more statistical approach to forecasting.
The client engaged Accenture to assess the forecasting process at its card services division and propose a target-state vision that incorporated leading practices. The strategic imperative was to build a process, managed centrally, that provides more transparent, efficient and consistent forecasts.
The project was executed at the firm’s headquarters in the United States between July and September of 2012. The successful execution of the assessment required distinct skillsets. The six Accenture resources assigned to the engagement brought project management skills; thorough enterprise performance management (EPM), financial services industry and card services experience ; risk and compliance knowledge; as well as technical implementation knowledge, analytics and customer segmentation know-how from Accenture’s Global Talent and Innovation Network (GTIN).
The project comprised a current-state assessment, creation of a target-state vision and development of an implementation road map.
To understand the client’s card services organization and the challenges it faced, the Accenture team interviewed 10 client executives and led workshops with stakeholder groups from the card services division’s five business units. The target-state vision comprised an integrated performance management framework and capability rigorously focused on the drivers of shareholder value and business partnering. The target-state operating model offered a baseline upon which the “Design Authority,” a client team representing stakeholder groups, could build the target-state planning structure.
The proposed implementation path comprises a 12- to 18-month journey made up of two phases. The first phase consists of process quick wins, driver-based methodology design, management reporting diagnostics, information technology tool evaluation, and a change management process to guide the organization through the necessary cultural shift. The second phase will consist of full process design and enactment, as well as the implementation of all driver-based models within a performance management tool set.
To limit potential risk and help provide the client with a certain outcome, the Accenture team consulted with approximately 50 industry and subject matter experts; met with client leadership to align on project scope; and made use of Accenture’s industry-leading mastery scales to identify the card services division’s strengths, areas for improvement, and alignment with leading practice.
Should the client follow the implementation roadmap, it will see an approximate quantitative return of approximately $1.6 million at an expected 18 percent rate of return. This will be obtained by eliminating process inefficiencies, integrating driver-based forecasting models, automating allocations and reducing report generation time. Additional qualitative benefits will be gained via increased data and process standardization, improved root cause analysis and additional time available for finance to focus on insight generation. This sets Card Services on a path toward high performance.
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