Business Intelligence Finance Reporting Across Borders

Industry: Advertising Services

Challenge: The customer, a US affiliate marketing network, has been slowly and steadily growing into a large network of sister companies. As time passed, there were multiple spin off and M&A opportunities so today, the network currently contains publishers, an affiliate marketing platform, an email marketing infrastructure  company, an email deliverability SaaS and a holding company.

The global nature of their operations as well as the intricate relations between the participants makes aggregated financial reporting challenging and time consuming

Solution

We have helped them adopt the Domo Business Intelligence platform and use it as a centralized, unique source of truth place where they can get an accurate understanding of the health of their finances.

The challenges they were facing were very common to the challenges global and multinational companies are facing: they have business units, subsidiaries and incorporated companies in multiple countries, subject to different accounting regulations, located under different time zones, conducting their business in different currencies.

As such, answering a simple question like “how much revenue did we generate yesterday?” becomes difficult to answer and involves receiving and aggregating different reports, files, pdfs and emails on a daily basis.

In order for the executive team to have a unified view of the entire subsidiaries and offices financials, usually there are 2 solutions:

  • If the company uses the same accounting software in all the subsidiaries, the executive team will have access to static reports after the closing of the month. This process, in our experience, takes more than 15 days after the month end closure. The downside of this process is that the data is refreshed only once per month and the executive team has little opportunity to monitor the ongoing operations, forecast how well the month is going and react swiftly if necessary.
  • In order to have access to more granular, daily updated data, usually an analyst needs to ask all the subsidiaries and offices for daily finance reports. These types of reports are usually received by email, in writing, PDF documents, PowerPoint presentations or Excel tables.

To solve this problem and allow the executive team to have access to daily refreshed information and have the opportunity to timely ensure the company meets its target, we have automated the finance reporting process.

  • We have firstly connected to the underlying data sources of all the accounting and operation software each subsidiary and office is using and then
  • We have standardized the data by bringing it under the same format, time zone and currency.
Detailed flowchart of the ETL process in Domo, showing data integration from multiple sources for standardized financial reporting.

Having standardized this, we have, then, developed a dashboard that allows the executive team to monitor the financial health of the organization:

Domo dashboard displaying a comprehensive view of revenue performance with comparisons to budget, forecasts, and previous year data for an affiliate marketing network.

The report allows the company to monitor the actual results compared to the target, at daily, MTD (month to date) and YTD levels. Moreover, the underlying calculations create an estimate of how much revenue they could be able to generate based on past performance.

Result

  • The customer has access to automated daily finance reports that are accesible through the Domo portal or received by email
  • By monitoring it closely, the team can understand if the actual revenue and gross profit results are under or over the company target
  • Moreover, by monitoring the report closely, the team can understand if the actual results are under or better than the projected values and this is an opportunity to take corrective actions to ensure they will meet their targets by the end of the month.
  • Domo’s Personalized Data Permissions (also known as Row level security) feature allows us to manage access by groups. Depending on the role and company of the user, they have access to specific areas of the report or to the revenue of specific companies within the group.

Technologies and Tools

MongoDB, MariaDB, Domo, Python