One of the challenges I experienced when working both in Finance and IT at a large UK manufacturing organisation was how to get an accurate count of employees for reporting purposes. What should have been a simple question would lead to multiple and inconsistent answers depending on who you asked. Payroll would provide a number that may include employees that had left but were still owed back-pay. Personnel’s numbers would include new starters, finance numbers would be based on cost allocation, productions would include temporary contract workers and so on.
The impact of this was not only time wasted in trying to reconcile the different views, but also challenges in setting forecasts, disagreements over variances from budget and difficulties in identifying savings. And this was at a company level – agreement by department was almost impossible – hence the part jokingly assertion that the only way to get agreement was to get thousands of employees to stand in the car park and be counted!
Having worked with or talked to a number of organisations outside the manufacturing sector, we are finding that this is not an isolated problem. We have or are working with organisations to use BPC to identify differences between finance and HR numbers, allow traceable adjustments to be made and ultimately to get a consistent basis for reporting and forecasting.
As no one wants to stand in a cold and wet car park, this has to be a good thing.