Ironhack was founded in 2013 with the goal of revolutionizing the tech education landscape. The school offers immersive programming and engineering courses that provide students the opportunity to transform their careers and become successful professionals in the tech space. Since its inception, Ironhack has expanded to nine campuses across eight countries. That growth began to weigh on the finance team, specifically Maria Ares, VP Finance, and Luis Lin, FP&A Associate, who were responsible for preparing reports for each campus and the Global Leadership team.
An exhausting back-and-forth currency conversion process
The most time-consuming part of the reporting process came from managing multiple currencies and constantly converting them on a monthly basis. Complexities arose from changing currency rates and transactions needing to be reclassified to a different market and thus, a different currency. For Maria and Luis, they spent a lot of time having to convert data from one currency to another, then back again just to be able to prepare the reports for each campus in the local currency, and the consolidated report in US dollars.
Adding to the inefficiency was the need to request and wait for data from campus budget owners. Later on, once reports were prepared, they were sent back through email for feedback, and which sometimes became multiple back-and-forth email threads due to disagreements and discussions. The entire reporting preparation process often took up to five days to complete.
End-to-end automation with Abacum
With the implementation of Abacum, Ironhack’s team began to carry out automation across the process. For one, they set up exchange rates in the platform that would timely convert currencies for all reports. This allowed them to reduce the manual calculations and adjustments which often caused minor reporting errors. Additionally, inter-subsidiary reclassifications were mapped out which reduced the need to manually reclassify transactions on a monthly basis, reserved only for non-standard items.
With the linking of Netsuite accounts for all campuses, Maria and Luis no longer needed to request and wait for data to be provided to them. In fact, updating data was so quick and could be updated anytime through Abacum's quick sync feature. More than simply automating his tasks, Abacum was also able to improve Luis’ process of collaboration with business partners. Having all the information in one place led to better and more productive conversations, allowing him to drive more strategic value.
“Financial reporting for multiple markets is a complex process and with our reporting responsibilities, it was key that we didn’t waste time on painstaking work. Abacum came at the right time for us to optimize our tasks.”
Luis Lin, FP&A Associate
Driving value and empowering finance
The end result was a P&L reporting process that saved María and Luis three days to complete. It allowed them to focus more on analysis and insights that matter to their leadership team and business partners, and less on manual tasks. Through the Abacum platform, the speed of having reports ready and the capability to have it organized and shared immediately in working spaces were invaluable.
From complex currency conversion processes to powerful but simple data visualization, Abacum became a key partner for Ironhack's finance team to deliver results, make an impact, and influence key decisions for the continued growth of the organization.