Graphic Packaging International (GPI), a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest producers of fiber-based consumer packaging in the world. GPI’s successful business strategy is a combination of organic growth and strategic M&A. In order to build a simplified operating model for the growing enterprise, GPI selected Accenture to design, build, test and deploy its new SAP® solution. GPI chose SAP 1909 Central Finance®, Group Reporting, MDG and Centralized Payment and Receivable Management solutions for its strong automation capabilities and pathway to full SAP S/4HANA® 1909 functionality. GPI picked Accenture to implement the solution because of our scale, deep understanding of finance and operations, and experience implementing Central Finance–full program went live in 2021.
From the very beginning, GPI’s goal was very clear: to transform its finance function by consolidating financial data from multiple Enterprise Resource Planning solutions (ERPs) and create a more efficient, harmonized and consistent accounting and reporting structure. Project Cornerstone – as GPI called it – focused on three key objectives:
Consolidate GPI’s global financial data in a single platform.
Streamline GPI’s group level reporting.
Improve GPI’s decision-making by leveraging SAP S/4HANA’s latest features.
Accenture assessed the existing systems landscape, helped identify a solution that GPI could scale across the business and integrate with future acquisitions easily. Together, the two companies created an end-to-end strategy to simplify and drive consistency in GPI’s month-end processing and reporting. Soon after the project began, it switched to 100% remote delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When tech meets human ingenuity
Building confidence with business simulations
During the planning phase, we gained buy-in from GPI’s finance teams by detailing the benefits of Central Finance (CFIN) compared to its legacy systems. For example, GPI was extremely enthusiastic about the CFIN capabilities to extract data in real time and provide standardized reporting processes across multiple SAP systems. Accenture implemented SAP Master Data Governance to harmonize master data and move it to CFIN while maintaining its integrity.
Ahead of Go-Live, the combined Accenture and GPI Project teams ran multiple mock cycles and one full, two-month long business simulation with real production data. During this simulation, GPI ran its business, close process, and data reconciliation in parallel within the CFIN system. Successfully operating the system and reconciling financial data helped GPI see the solution’s clear benefits and move forward with confidence.
A valuable difference
Accenture implemented SAP Central Finance and Group Reporting, streamlining data across legacy ERP systems and providing the base architecture for GPI’s journey to SAP S/4HANA. Core processes such as receivable management and central payments have subsequently gone live as well, providing centralized payments and cash management.
GPI is already seeing benefits from consolidated reporting, with data providing greater visibility to business activities. Financial transaction data successfully reaches CFIN from legacy applications, enabling group reporting consolidation close within 5 business days.
With finance processes now operating on a common global platform, GPI has a harmonized, lean accounting model that simplifies accounting workflows through automation. Accenture is continuing the effort around standardization through acquisition integration.