Strategic Finance: Unlocking Financial Insights Before Vs After Bunker

Strategic FInance - Before & After Bunker

Strategic Finance: Unlocking Financial Insights Before Vs After Bunker

Discover time-saving tactics and analytical strategies for your finance team

Manasa Kumar

Content Marketing Manager

Strategic FInance - Before & After Bunker
TL;DR: 
  • Compare strategic finance processes before and after implementing Bunker, a financial analytics platform
  • Before Bunker: Manual data collection, difficulty tracking costs across entities, time-consuming vendor management, and challenges in internal communication.
  • After Bunker: Cuts over 50 hours of data sourcing and aggregation, provides granular visibility into costs, and streamlines financial processes across multiple entities

 

Your team manages multiple spreadsheets on a monthly basis to gain insights and answer questions. You have accounting software in place for tracking your finance and invoices. You’ve heard about financial analytics platforms, but you’re not sure if you need one in your existing workflow. Well, this blog is for you. We’re going to share real-life examples of what your life will look like before and after Bunker, a financial analytics platform built for finance professionals by a CFO. 

We spoke to Suparna Vimal, Head of Strategic Finance at Style Theory, Southeast Asia’s largest circular fashion platform. Suparna, who has been a long-time user of financial efficiency tool, Bunker, shares her experience below. 

 

On any given day, a finance head like Suparna is faced with a lot of questions:

  • Why did costs go up?
  • Why did revenue go up?
  • What are the costs going to look like?
  • What are our recurring expenses?
  • Are we going to be profitable next month?
  • Are these valid entries?
  • Should we continue spending on this?

 

.. and she needs to have these answers on her fingertips. 

 

Here’s what her workstream looked like before she heard about Bunker: 

 

Life Before Bunker

Before vs After Bunker

1. Manual collection of data

Despite using accounting software to automate journal entries and bookkeeping, Suparna’s team consolidated huge volumes of data to prepare financial statements.

Her team would manually calculate metrics such as variances between actual and budgeted numbers. Overall, Suparna’s team would spend over 50+ man-hours off sourcing and aggregating data for review of financials. 

2. Difficulty in tracking costs on an entity level

Suparna’s business operates in multiple regions, each with its own operational models and cost structures. Her team was tasked with tracking costs on a per entity level and making decisions based on consolidated financials. 

 

There was a lack of visibility into ad hoc spends and difficulty in understanding movements without spending significant time.

tracking costs

Detailed break up of entity-level information wasn’t available in the accounting software. So her team would manually track costs on a per-entity level. They would have to repeat this process whenever the need arose. This was a challenge, given that operational models and cost structures varied across regions.

 

Warehouse operation costs too frequently varied depending on volume and the balance between part-time and full-time staff. It was difficult to maintain visibility over these actual expenditures. 

 

Additionally, managing unexpected expenses was a challenge in an operations-intensive business. To be on top of these costs was critical to keep the P&L optimised, but a time-consuming feat..

tracking costs 2

3. Finding answers

Financial reports provide surface level information to finance heads who then have to further dive deep to make critical decisions, convince investors and report to the Board. 

How do you get this context if your data is spread across multiple spreadsheets and accounting software? You cannot solely rely on your accounting team to provide answers to your questions. 

 

What is a common challenge in accounting and bookkeeping processes is something Style Theory’s team also faced – matching costs to the right invoice and assigning it to the exact month when the cost was incurred.

finding answers

4. Time-consuming process to track and manage vendors

Many vendors, especially in the operations-heavy industry, use complex pricing models, bundled services, or tiered pricing, making it challenging to compare offerings and determine the most cost-effective solution. 

 

Different vendors may even use different metrics, terminology, or service-level agreements (SLAs), making apples-to-apples comparisons difficult. This makes tracking vendor spends and negotiating for the best price even more difficult. 

 

Style Theory operates across several regions with varying verticals and sometimes multiple vendors for a single fulfilment cost. The team was tasked with booking multiple transaction categories for each entity. The Style Theory team was keen to find a better way to identify trends in spending and dig into the exact cost-saving insights.

5. Internal communication on cost fluctuations

Most businesses have complex cost structures with multiple cost drivers and interdependencies. To address this challenge, managers should be able to break down costs into manageable categories. This can only be done if you have deep insights into your general-ledger level data handy. 

For this, the finance team had to establish consistent measurement units, and utilise a cost calculation tool that could handle the complexity. 

 

Suparna would request the Style Theory team to check the accounting software for cost breakdowns for different categories such as customer service, delivery costs, online marketing, office expenses, etc. The relay between the team and finding the answers would consume a lot of time before answers were found. 

Life After Bunker

  • Tracking Costs Across Different Regions
  • Internal Storytelling and Consignment Payouts
  • Visibility into Actual Spends for Ops-Heavy Business
  • Vendor Analysis
  • Speed and Workflow Efficiency

1. Tracking Costs Across Different Regions

overview dashboard bunker

Bunker has enabled Suparna to monitor costs at a granular level, providing visibility into actual spends per entity and region. Bunker built direct visibility to over 10,000 rows of General Ledger data across multiple accounting softwares and entities. This has helped her make data-driven decisions based on consolidated financials. 

What does Bunker do?

  • Spot check your numbers across your business units, in minutes – if not seconds
  • Track most significant movements in their key cost buckets
  • Tag hidden costs to then eliminate them
  • Assists in tracking savings during vendor migration
  • Identifies and corrects errors in financials, preventing double bookings.

 

According to Suparna, “I don’t use Excel for management meetings anymore, I use Bunker. It saves a lot of back and forth with having to dig through an accounting system or chase other people to bring you an answer.”

2. Internal Storytelling and Consignment Payouts

AR dashboard

Suparna finds Bunker to be a powerful tool for internal storytelling, enabling her to answer questions from management about cost increases, potential areas for cost-cutting, growth opportunities, and more.

 

Bunker’s insights have empowered her to make data-driven strategic decisions and effectively communicate the rationale behind them. 

 

Bunker also helps Suparna track A/R A/P discrepancy and ensure the right way to balance cash inflow from customers and outflow to the relevant counterparties.

What does Bunker do?

  • Bunker can help answer the next 10 questions management will have; it’s an automated financial analyst that helps answer why costs went up, where to cut costs, how to grow, etc 
  • Track AR ageing and accounts payable 
  • Highlights movements in numbers that are highlighted for quick discussions 
  • Helps form a narrative around numbers with data visualisations and actionable insights 

Bunker helps finance heads like Suparna tell the story concisely – intelligibly defensible – top to bottom like a knife through butter. 

3. Visibility into Actual Spends for Ops-Heavy Business

Bunker’s ability to track every line item and provide visibility into actual and ad hoc spends addresses the challenges faced by finance teams in an operations-heavy business.

 

Bunker provides transaction-level insights into P&L and MoM dashboard spends in a single view.  

 

Discrepancy between cash and p&l is highlighted, accruals are tracked, and movements in spends are also tracked closely. 

What does Bunker do?

  • General ledger-level deep visibility into ad hoc spends – not just surface level
  • Streamlined understanding of cost movements.

 

According to Suparna, “Bunker’s ability to track every single line item and provide visibility into ad hoc spends is a game-changer for finance teams in ops-heavy businesses.”

4. Vendor Analysis

Bunker helped Suparna’s team identify opportunities to optimise costs across entities with the help of vendor insights and access to the right data, including vendor variance, vendor count, vendor account distribution and untagged transactions. 

 

In essence, Bunker transforms the daunting task of vendor management into a strategic advantage, enabling finance heads to make informed decisions, optimize costs, and ultimately drive greater value from their vendor relationships.

5. Speed and Workflow Efficiency

CEO and management can spend less time in aggregating and organising their data – and more time in understanding it. This speeds up decision-making and planning at Style Theory. 

 

Data visualisation through waterfall charts in Bunker relay complex financial information in a simplified and digestible format that helps make strategic decisions quickly. 

 

Bunker provides a sanitised check of the books after the pre-close, highlighting transactions with significant anomalies, including missing and untagged transactions. and prevent them from recurring, thereby improving the overall business processes. 

What does Bunker do?

  • Cuts down 50+ hours of sourcing, aggregating and formatting data. 
  • Identify mistakes, correct entries before the close and improve workflows
  • Efficiency in tasks like auditing, budgeting, and reporting.
  • Provides a single source of truth for financial data

 

Final Thoughts

The challenges faced by finance heads like Suparna in vendor analysis, cost tracking, and strategic decision-making are complex and time-consuming. However, as her experience with Bunker demonstrates, the right financial analytics tool can transform these challenges into opportunities. 

 

By providing granular visibility into costs across regions, facilitating internal storytelling, and improving workflow efficiency, Bunker has become an indispensable part of Suparna’s financial toolkit. 

 

It not only saves countless hours of manual data aggregation but also enhances the quality and speed of financial insights, enabling data-driven decisions that drive business growth. 

 

For finance heads grappling with similar challenges, Bunker offers a compelling solution. To see firsthand how Bunker can streamline your financial processes and unlock strategic insights, book a quick demo with us. 




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