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Sarbanes Oxley : Technology : Spreadsheet

Food Retailer Eradicates Manual Spreadsheets
March 27, 2013 12:00 PM

Delhaize Implemented AssureNET GL Increase Control and Drive Process Efficiency
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Tony Bethell
VP EMEA
Trintech Group

Trintech, a leading global provider of integrated software solutions for the Last Mile of Finance, has released this case study illustrating how international food retailer Delhaize Group has implemented its AssureNET GL software for financial process compliance. AssureNET GL is a component of Trintech’s Unity platform, a suite of modular software that empowers companies to automate their Last Mile of Finance to increase efficiency, improve visibility, shorten cycle times, lower costs, and reduce risk.

Challenges
Within Delhaize Belgium (the sub-group of companies including Delhaize Group activities in Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) accounting department, a large number of manual excel spreadsheet were used to reconcile approximately 331 General Ledger (GL) accounts each month, all of which were maintained independently.  The preparation and review of the monthly reconciliations was a daunting and time-consuming task with no visibility into the performance of the reconciliation, whether the reconciliations and closing tasks had been completed on time, if supporting documentation was attached, or more importantly if there were any issues to resolve.

Early 2010, a reorganization of Delhaize Belgium Accounting department started aiming to enhance control on two levels:

  1. By business process or cycle, a horizontal approach across all companies in scope which is the responsibility of Transactional Accounting department.
  2. By company, a vertical approach through all accounts of a specific company, which is the responsibility of Financial Accounting & Control department.

Objectives
To ensure the quality of the day to day operational accounting Delhaize Belgium identified seven business processes across seven companies to be included in the scope of the initial project.  

The objectives of the project are:

  1. To develop and maintain key control on company accounts (P&L, Balance Sheet and CFS)
  2. To better understand and explain the content of each account of the  financial statements in both local GAAP and IFRS
  3. To be able to follow-up the closing tasks on a daily basis
  4. To reduce the manual effort on creation and review of individual spreadsheets
  5. To grant a global overview of all performed controls and tasks
  6. To increase ownership by allocating each account to a determined reconciler and reviewer  
  7. To reduce exposure to errors and to mitigate risk


Capabilities Provided
Delhaize selected Trintech’s UNITY AssureNET solution to increase control and visibility of the GL reconciliation, and to improve efficiencies through automation.

The UNITY AssureNET solution allows the company to:

  • Remove the high level of manual spreadsheets used in the preparation and review process of the GL
  • Define accountability and ownership and align to responsibilities and tasks
  • Provide real-time visibility of status and controls
  • Better comply with the internal audit requirements
  • Single central repository for supporting documentation
  • Detect, flag and resolve issues early in the process

“AssureNET GL allows Delhaize Belgium to have greater visibility and control over our financial statements across all companies in our scope. This enhances our ability to ensure consistency and data quality, while reducing the work load associated with our monthly reconciliation work. AssureNET GL is an integral component of our Comprehensive Accounting Excellence program.” Said Laurent Carlier, Financial Accounting & Control Manager Delhaize Belgium.

“We are very pleased to have Delhaize join Trintech's growing group of Fortune Global 500 clients. AssureNET GL has provided Delhaize Belgium with a powerful and tailored solution for its accounting control operations, turning what was a complex and inefficient spreadsheet based exercise into a vital management tool, reducing error and enhancing productivity.” Said Tony Bethell, Trintech Vice President, EMEA.

Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer active in six countries and present on three continents through its different banners. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG). At the end of 2010, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 2,800 stores, with 805 stores in Belgium & Luxembourg. Delhaize Belgium posted at the end of 2010, EUR 4.8 billion in revenues and employed more than 17,000 people. F

Trintech is the leading global provider of integrated software solutions for the Last Mile of Finance.  From the time a transaction occurs to the time financial statements are issued, Trintech’s innovative Unity Suite automates data collection, account reconciliation, financial close management, financial reporting, XBRL, and financial control testing.  As a result, our 600 clients and 100,000 users worldwide benefit from an enterprise wide view into critical financial processes, and are able to increase efficiency, improve visibility, shorten cycle times, lower costs, and reduce risk.

Trintech clients include 50% of the Fortune 50 and nearly 25% of the Fortune 500 representing retailers, manufacturers, financial institutions and healthcare providers globally.  Trintech clients include Google, Microsoft, RR Donnelley, Regis Corporation, Walmart, O2, Blackstone, BAE Systems, Skype, HSBC and Toyota Financial Services.  



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