Evans & Partners - Case Study
Evans & Partners expands finance capabilities with Board
Evans & Partners is a premier Australian investment firm that provides a wide range of investment and advisory services to private clients, philanthropic organisations and institutional investors.
It was established in 2007 and grew to 130 staff across Sydney and Melbourne, before merging with Dixon Advisory in February 2017 to form the Evans Dixon Group.
Evans & Partners is one of the brands operating under the new group, which offers investment and wealth management services and has operations in Australia and the United States.
Evans & Partners is a success story, and its journey is not too dissimilar from other great small businesses, adopting technology that it slowly outgrew as time went on and it scaled up into a sizable enterprise.
“Like most small new businesses, we were using an accounting system that suited our purposes but as the business was growing in size and complexity, the system no longer met our needs,” - Jim Biemond, Financial Controller, Evans & Partners
“That was the key driver towards us changing our accounting system. We needed a greater level of analytics. The content and format of reports was pre-determined by the way our old system stored the data; there was limited flexibility to ask different questions or to present data other than by division or region,” says Biemond.
Evans & Partners also ran its annual budget in a system that ceased being fit for purpose.
The company knew there was a better way to operate. It wanted a system that better met reporting needs and was more efficient.
In 2015, Evans & Partners embarked on a project to migrate its finance and reporting system.
After evaluating its options, the firm decided to move to Board and SAP Business One for its budgeting and reporting.
Board was implemented in two stages. In the first stage, the Board reporting capsule was introduced to address the company’s reporting and analytical needs.
In 2016-17, the firm engaged business intelligence consultancy LightARC to implement stage two of Board, which was a budgeting capsule.
“The great thing about Board is it’s such a robust toolkit that, with the system knowledge and technical expertise of a business partner like LightARC, you can quite easily change and enhance to better meet your needs,”says Biemond.
With Board bedded down, Evans & Partners is able to collate and present financial data in a more efficient way for their business needs.
Reports can be delivered quicker and at higher quality.
“The key benefit for us overall was efficiency,” says Biemond. “We could produce more and better with the same finance team resources.”
“There’s so many more ways that you can collate the data and present it in our new system,”says Biemond.
Historically, the finance team was limited in the type of data it could include in reports, and in its ability to show trends or compare data to different periods of time.
Another improvement was to Evans & Partners’ yearly budgeting process.
“We designed the Board budgeting capsule in a way that we could enhance it towards rolling quarterly forecasts,”adds Biemond.
Biemond is pleased with the new setup and the difference it has made to the business. “I think we’ve done it successfully,” he says.