Building an Agile Foundation for a Dynamic Business

Challenges

Building an Agile Foundation for a Dynamic Business

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, Inc., Brookfield’s Public Securities Group invests in publicly traded real estate and infrastructure securities. The group currently manages approximately $16 billion in assets under management globally. Over the past few years, the firm underwent a significant evolution as it reevaluated strategies and laid a foundation for growth.

During this time, the entire company was using a legacy mainframe system that required central administration and IT maintenance, complicated reporting workarounds, and paper-based processes. Accounting workflows were cumbersome and inefficient, especially for the Public Securities Group’s distributed finance team. "We wanted to upgrade to cloud-based financial software with flexible reporting simple configuration, and reliable security," noted Kyle O’Connor, vice president of finance and accounting for Brookfield’s Public Securities Group. "Choosing Sage Intacct was an easy decision because it met all of our key requirements. After comparing it with multiple other options, we were most impressed by Sage Intacct’s comprehensive multi-entity functionality, which I knew I could manage myself without a computer science degree."

Solutions

Automated Accounts Payable Boosts Productivity 40%

With Sage Intacct and American Express vendor payment services, Brookfield’s Public Securities Group completely revamped its accounts payable (A/P) process. As a result, the A/P team cut in half the time they spent securing approvals, mailing hard copy checks for signatures, and entering vendor payments—and cleared their backlog of over 100 bills. Thanks to Sage Intacct, all of these tasks are now automated. According to O’Connor, "Previously, we had a fire hose of unpaid bills piling up to be reviewed by various business units and then processed, and our A/P team frequently had to work late just to keep up. With Sage Intacct, we’re so much more efficient and can answer ad hoc A/P questions in five minutes, rather than wasting a half hour or so trying to figure out thingslike how much we paid a certain vendor last year. This makes the business stakeholders happy because they can use that information on the fly for decision making or vendor negotiations."

In addition, Sage Intacct’s global consolidations, currency conversions, projects, and fixed assets capabilities streamlined several other financial workflows. The group shortened its monthly close to just ten days, which ended a perpetual cycle of starting on the next month’s close without any break after completing the prior month’s. The firm’s quarterly reporting for its parent company is also faster with Sage Intacct, eliminating more than a week of time from the process, while annual reporting is 50 percent faster.

"We’ve dramatically decreased tedious back office work since adopting Sage Intacct, and I have confidence the system will allow us to largely eliminate manual processes over time. In fact, I expect the time freed by the software will allow my team to take on new responsibilities and scale effortlessly with minimal, if any, added headcount," said O’Connor.

Results

Multi-Dimensional Visibility ShedsLight on Business Performance…