Spending More Time Analyzing Balances and Reviewing Results

Panini Group, established more than 50 years ago in Modena, Italy with subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States, is the world leader in the published collectable sector and the leading multi-national publisher of comics, children’s magazines, and manga in Europe and Latin America. The company has distribution channels in more than 110 countries and employs a staff of almost 1000. For more information visit www.paninigroup.com

THE CHALLENGE

Panini is headquartered in Italy, home to its financial and management accounting teams. Under Italian law, there are strict provisions for administrative liability of companies regarding crimes committed by a business representative. This is unsurprising, given the scale of the problem: bribery and corruption cost the Italian economy an estimated €60 billion per year. This area of law falls under Legislative Decree 231/2001.

Prior to 2012, individuals were liable under Italian law for mistakes made or illegal actions taken at an organisation. Things changed with the introduction of a new Anti-Corruption law, Law no. 190. In consequence, any act of bribery or corruption by any employee acting on behalf of the company could result in administrative liability to the company under that law. This meant that companies needed the correct processes in place to ensure that it had done everything it could to mitigate against such activities.

Panini previously managed its financial reconciliations in spreadsheets and relied on the teams informing the CFO that all actions had been completed. There was no simple way
for the CFO to ensure that all reconciliations had been completed, and that they were correct, without manually checking each one.

By tightening its controls environment and automating the reconciliation process, Panini could ensure that it complied with Law 231/2001.

Region

Europe

Company Size

MidSize

Business Impact

Unprecedented visibility into accounting processes, proper segregation of duties, audit and approval evidence trail, transparency and efficiency assurances

More Growth in the Playbook

In step with Under Armour’s mission of relentlessly pursuing innovation, over the last two years the company has acquired several new mobile app businesses and aptly named this market “Connected Fitness.” For Boyle, these businesses — MapMyFitness (acquired in December 2013), MyFitnessPal and Endomondo (brought on in the first quarter of 2015), and Under Armour’s own app, UA Record — represent not only a new reportable segment, but also three new company codes that operate on completely different non-SAP ERP systems and need to be incorporated into the company’s monthly close process. Using BlackLine, the company has been able to gain visibility into account balances and important information regarding the newly acquired entities. “BlackLine has been really useful in terms of gaining quick visibility into the ending balances in each of the accounts, giving our leadership a chance to review transactional details and key account balances without having full integration of those other ERP systems,” says Boyle. “That will continue to evolve as we go forward.”

The Results

Goals: Adopt a less manual and more scalable approach to monthly account reconciliations and book closing processes, as well as journal-entry retention, support, and review

Strategy: Implemented a scalable, automated, cloud-based solution for account reconciliations, journal entry, and financial tasks that integrates with SAP ERP and delivers push-button reporting and real-time access to data

Outcome: Shaved days of work off the desks of Under Armour’s accounting employees, who are now able to spend more of their time analyzing balances, reviewing results, and ensuring relevance and accuracy, rather than monitoring completeness and executing administrative tasks

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