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Master Drilling partners with Futuresense to automate its financial reporting processes

Johannesburg, 29 May 2017

Today's large organisations face the difficult challenge of attaining a clear view of the financial performance of their entire operations. Many find it demanding consolidating financial and operating results using spreadsheets that are difficult to maintain and audit. This keeps finance departments in the role of scorekeeper, rather than being partners that support strategic and operational management decisions.

Master Drilling, a provider of specialised services to the mining industry, operating across a number of different countries, grew from an owner-managed enterprise to a listed organisation, with its reporting processes evolving as a result.

Master Drilling's South African operations include three subsidiary companies, while its international operations include entities in the Americas, Africa and Europe. The local businesses are built around different capabilities, including raisebore and slim drilling, as well as engineering support, and the Chilean, Peruvian, Brazilian and Mexican Master Drilling companies maintain both operational and engineering facilities. In addition, the company has operations in Guatemala, Ecuador, DRC and Ireland.

A consolidated view of the company's financials was extremely complex as a result. According to Master Drilling's Management Accountant, Elzaan Swanepoel, the process was extremely demanding, and required collating data from nine different countries and in three languages. Until recently, all of this was done in Excel.

"The process was manual, and at one stage, the reporting team only consisted of two people, with a lot of pressure on them, as you can imagine," she says.

Master Drilling therefore elected to turn the manual process into a more automated one. Partnering with Futuresense, a leading service provider with extensive expertise in Oracle's Hyperion suite of financial software solutions, Master Drilling embarked on a project to create a system that would allow the company to shorten consolidation, close, and reporting cycles, deliver a single version of the truth and ensure confidence in the data.

Futuresense provided the design and the implementation of the system, using Oracle Hyperion Financial Management to create a solution tailored to Master Drilling's needs. Boasting global consolidation features, complete audit trails, powerful reporting and analysis tools, and robust data integration, Oracle Hyperion Financial Management reduces "control risk" with complete audit trails, workflows, internal review and certifications, controls and validations.

"Oracle Hyperion Financial Management was the perfect solution to help Master Drilling simplify and speed up the consolidation process. By minimising the need to enter, check and double-check actual results, we felt it was a good fit and would help the company achieve new levels of efficiency and automation," says Riaan Mellet, Director at Futuresense.

"The project was far easier than I expected, with Futuresense providing excellent service and support at every step of the way. Each challenge we encountered, they helped us overcome, and they used what we gave them, but made it more useful," adds Swanepoel.

"The results have been excellent. Hyperion has substantially cut down the time it takes us to do a consolidation. In fact, it is so efficient that the system could now be a one-man show. When we did the consolidation of the latest financial year-end data, Hyperion more than halved the time it took, and it has enabled our small team to add a lot of value. Futuresense helped relieve the pressure with their superstar service, and we are looking forward to working with them to centralise the console at head office - the next step in the project."


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