Energy Company Finance & Accounting Process Sourcing Investigation

Successful Business Solutions

TBI was initially retained by this company to assess the effectiveness of this finance and accounting processes, systems and organization. As part of this assessment, TBI conducted process analyses, evaluated processes against industry best practices, benchmarked current costs and service levels, conducted an outsourcing feasibility analysis, made recommendations for improving all aspects of the operations, and conducted a cost benefit analysis of different course of action. When company executives were approached to consider sole sourcing of finance and accounting outsourcing services to a vendor, TBI was retained to provide consulting assistance during the outsourcing investigation and contract negotiation.

SOW &SLA Development

The process maps, performance information and effectiveness improvement objectives developed in the initial study provided the foundation for development of a formal Statement of Work and Service Level Agreement for the in-scope services.

TBI worked closely with company management to set objectives for the outsourcing contract negotiation, and supported the process by drafting and managing the completion of the development of all needed business related documentation and contract terms and conditions. TBI team members also were part of the outsourcing negotiation team.

When the client ultimately terminated the sole sourcing negotiations, unable to agree to price, TBI was retained to assist them in formulating “Plan B”. This involved using the business documentation (e.g. SOW, SAL, etc.) as the foundation for considering how to transition the existing corporate and business unit finance and accounting units into a shared service organization that could better support the enterprise.

RFI Approach

The information systems that supported the finance and accounting processes were an important consideration throughout this entire sourcing investigation. The company has a diverse set of proprietary finance and accounting systems in place with substantial weaknesses in efficiency, flexibility and integrated reporting capabilities.

With limited internal application development capabilities, the client needed to obtain vendor assistance in design/selection/implementation of an integrated financial system, regardless of the business process sourcing approach taken. When the shared services approach was taken, TBI recommended and was asked to help the client develop an RFI for the needed finance improvement services.

TBI helped to educate the company about ERP alternatives and vendors with strong financial systems implementation and system integration capabilities, and then worked with them to craft and RFI strategy that included a pre-qualification phase and a formal RFI (including a White Paper on the systems work for which assistance was being sought).

TBI also prepared guidance on managing vendor due diligence and vendor assessment during the competitive period. The diagnostic information developed by TBI on strengths and weaknesses of the company’s current finance and accounting systems provided the starting point for the participating vendors.

The RFI process designed by TBI enabled the client to gain:

  • Advice and assistance from knowledgeable vendors in formalizing the approach of most potential benefit to the company in improving this finance and accounting application
  • Information that helped the company to understand the pros and cons of use of a formal RFP process or a sole-sourcing process in the next step.

It also:

  • Offered vendors a formalized opportunity to present their qualifications to the company in a managed process that provided them a fair shot at bidding on subsequent work.
  • Provided information to vendors about the company and it requirements and gained information about vendor’s early, thus streamlining subsequent vendor’s proposal development and evaluation processes.
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