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Overview

With operations spread out across the world, Marie Stopes International (MSI) were looking for a global view of their accounts at all times in order to support reporting, compliance and decision-making. Since adopting Infor SunSystems, MSI have moved from having 37 systems to one centralised platform that handles all of their financials securely and accurately.

Centralised reporting standards

Reduced risks from 100% data accuracy

Real-time insights and more informed decisions base on analytics

Reduced overheads from working on 37 systems to one global platform

About Marie Stopes International

Marie Stopes International is a global organisation providing personalised contraception and safe abortion services to women and girls. Its local teams of professionals are passionate about the work they do in communities across 37 countries. The high-quality services they provide give a woman the power to choose if and when she has children so that she’s free to pursue her plans and dreams for herself and her family.

A global view

With operations spread out across the world, many of which are located in the developing world, MSI requires a global view of its accounts at all times in order to support reporting, compliance and decision-making. Until recently each country had its own individual version of Infor SunSystems for financials, which proved to be both expensive and difficult to manage from a number of standpoints. Firstly, having 37 systems to backup, protect and maintain was a costly challenge, requiring local skills which are not always easily, or readily, available. And given the sensitive nature of MSI’s remit, it is not uncommon for the organisation to have to close down operations in countries with particularly volatile political climates, resulting in systems becoming obsolete. Finally, from a reporting perspective, 37 disparate systems meant that it was difficult to ensure consistency and create a common chart of accounts. 

Against this backdrop, a decision was therefore made to replace MSI’s 37 legacy systems with a single global accounting platform to capitalise on economies of scale, and drive greater consolidation.

A new dawn

With consolidation the primary goal, the multi tenancy architecture and flexibility of Infor SunSystems was key to MSI’s decision. Its ability to support multiple language, currency, regulatory and tax requirements, as well as vast numbers of business rules and analysis codes, meant that the team had absolute confidence that it was the right solution to support its global accounting framework. 

The right team  

MSI selected the solution through business software consultant Sapphire Systems, following a thorough procurement process. The decision was based on strong consultancy and global support, as well as expertise across both the accounting and NGO environments.

The scale of the project was vast and Sapphire Systems’ global team of consultants worked closely together with MSI, migrating huge swathes of data and undertaking the deployment in a number of phases in line with project goals.  

Having deployed the global platform for 280 users, MSI then installed BI capabilities via Infor d/EPM for 500 users to support greater consolidation, analysis and insight.  

Global benefits 

With the new global platform in place, MSI now has a common chart of accounts which are administered centrally, and a common reporting standard which all countries must adhere to. This common way of working allows MSI to put in place business rules which mitigate user error and reduce risk, which is crucial in promoting best practice.

Management reporting is now slick, synchronised and truly global, with the capability to easily produce both statutory and regulatory accounts, as well as project accounts to report on donor activity.  All data is automatically sent to Infor d/EPM which provides the depth of analysis required to gain a picture of each country and make more informed decisions.   

“The benefits of moving to a global platform are immense,” comments Andrew Wilding, Global Finance Applications Manager, Marie Stopes International. “Previously, MSI would have spent almost a month receiving, converting and uploading the accounts from each individual country onto a central system. As well as running the risk of inaccuracies, the process was so time consuming that it was typically a whole calendar month before MSI could report on the previous month’s numbers. 

“Now the process is completed in a week, with consolidated reports complete by the middle of the month. Furthermore, the data is 100% more accurate, reducing risk, and instilling much greater confidence amongst the finance team. The ability to run fast analysis and derive meaningful, real-time insights means that we can make better decisions,” he adds.

“In reducing our IT footprint from 37 systems to just one, we are also reaping the benefits of lower overheads. Having just one system to support means that we have much more confidence in both availability and security.

One step ahead

“It goes without saying that this wholesale shift to a global accounting platform represented a big step change in the way we manage and produce our accounts,” Andrew concludes. 

“As our chosen partner, Sapphire Systems played an important role supporting us during the change process and continues to offer us a highly professional 24-hour global support service, providing on-going technical and application support and advice.”

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