About Nova Biomedical
Now in its 40th year, Nova Biomedical is a world leader in developing and manufacturing advanced blood analyzers and diagnostic meters. Known primarily for its diabetic blood testing devices, Nova has distributors in 91 countries and operates several wholly-owned subsidiaries, including operations in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., Japan, Taiwan, and Italy.
Nova Biomedical’s global presence presented a number of logistical, operational, and financial challenges. Preparing full multi-currency consolidations of their financial statements in a massive Excel spreadsheet became too onerous to manage despite the late nights and weekends devoted to it. The time it took to process and recalculate any changes to the spreadsheet was debilitating and often signaled formula errors.
After the general ledger team closed the monthly books, Nova’s financial planning and analysis department (FP&A) spent several days reconciling the Excel workbook, conducting currency conversions, repairing broken links, and troubleshooting discrepancies.
For each new product that was added to their line, the time spent on the maintenance of the spreadsheet increased by hours. The FP&A group had to manually add each new product, carefully insert rows for revenue, cost, average cost, gross margin, average selling price, etc., and revise the affected formulas.
Finding a dedicated budgeting and consolidation platform became the priority in 2012. After conducting an exhaustive search of potential options, Nova Biomedical concluded that Budget Maestro, with its ability to create a complete financial statement package, translate multiple currencies easily, and be hosted on their local servers, was the cost effective option that fit their needs. Its flexibility and bandwidth supported their financial and operational goals of efficiently integrating the financial budgets of their facilities around the globe, while not being so complex to require weeks of training.
Jeff Miller, senior analyst, financial systems & business operations, participated in the selection and installation process and was relieved to retire the Excel worksheet that he had worked so hard to build and maintain. Budget Maestro would provide the formula- and error-free environment that would allow him and his colleagues to focus their attention back on planning and analysis rather than on spreadsheet maintenance.
Despite including eight foreign-based entities and 16 databases overall, after the implementation of Budget Maestro, Nova Biomedical’s consolidation process dramatically reduced their financial package preparation time. Individual profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow reports for each entity, as well as rolled-up reports for the parent company, became easily accessible.
The FP&A team no longer spends days reconciling the unwieldy Excel spreadsheet. Where simple changes to the model, such as adding a GL account, previously took hours, Miller now creates a folder and drags the account into the folder. “It’s simpler and our level of confidence is much greater.” The group now has more time to utilize their analysis expertise to review the 22,500 accounts and can be proactive in preparing responses to potential variance inquiries.
Currency conversions were a significant task at Nova. They now use Link Maestro, Budget Maestro’s seamless data integration tool, to not only import the actuals from their ERP system into Budget Maestro, but also to perform the currency conversions to U.S. Dollars. Their foreign offices conduct their business and prepare their budgets in local currency and an automated process translates all of the data into USD. From there, the USD trial balances (actuals as well as budgets) are imported into the parent company’s financial database and the consolidated statements are created. This flexibility allows local controllers to manage their books efficiently in their home currency, and for the parent company to have the results effortlessly compiled from each subsidiary.
Nova Biomedical’s reporting has also been enhanced tremendously with Analytics Maestro, Budget Maestro’s robust reporting and analytics tool.
Miller further explained how Nova adds prefixes to their account numbers using the data marts within the data warehouse to create unique identifiers for each entity, which makes reporting for the individual properties easy. They also have created specific entity numbers for key customers, which allows them to parse their data and isolate variances and trends related to their critical customers’ activities.
In addition to the monthly time savings, Nova has also been able to reduce their annual budgeting cycle by a few weeks. Miller and his colleagues leave the office earlier and no longer spend countless days working until 9 p.m. doing the routine work that Budget Maestro now completes faster and with more accuracy.
As Nova continues to expand and add offices (and local currency databases) around the world, the scalability of Budget Maestro coupled with the strong controls and processes put in place at Nova allows them to bring any new chart of accounts and entity structures into the fold without much difficulty.
Industry: Medical Devices
Location: Waltham, MA
GL System: SAP
“It’s literally just a 30-minute process to get all the reports updated. It used to take us a couple days at least each month to generate that same financial package.”
– Jeff Miller,
Senior Analyst, Financial Systems & Business Operations
“We can go into Analytics Maestro and create just about any kind of graph we want. It’s always connected to the database and it’s always pulling the most recent information. It’s just a matter of changing the time period you’re reporting on and refreshing the cube.”
-Jeff Miller, Senior Analyst, Financial Systems & Business Operations