In 2014, final version of the International Financial Reporting Standards 9 (IFRS 9) was released. It was an extensive substitute for IAS39, the present guidance for accounting of financial instruments. With the deadline of 1st of January 2018, every banking institution had to classify its financial assets with changed criteria.
Context of our collaboration
To fulfil these requirements not only the IT system landscape of our customer had to adjusted, but also the rework of reporting processes did generate high efforts and costs. Coping this challenge, a standard software had been introduced for all consolidated companies of the group. Financial and risk systems as well as the new impairment model and a reporting module had been integrated therein.
Our goals were:
- Implementation of new regulation standard IFRS 9
- Rollout of IFRS 9 requirements across all consolidated foreign companies
- Establishing communication standards and methods within the international network
- Support of foreign companies during IT implementation and business adaption
The complexity of changes regarding business regulation as well as IT implementation was the most challenging part for our customer. Most of the internal expert staff was already engaged in the ongoing effort to meet the current regulatory requirements. Additionally, almost fifty foreign companies from more than twenty-five countries had to be integrated into the financial architecture and the centrally hosted software application of the German Holding.
The complexity and dynamic of dependent project parameter have been dramatically increased by the intercultural project environment, different IT system landscapes, time zones and country specific local regulations. German processes, best practices, procedures, or templates could not be transferred to the different international locations. Some business impacts for the foreign companies could not be foreseen at all.
The rollout of the centrally hosted software was managed during several waves. Beside the sub-projects development and testing an additional sub-project was introduced to manage the rollout. Every sub-project was led by both an IT and business manager. The team of the rollout sub-project was staffed by several market coordinators that were supporting the specific rollout progress and responsible for significant reports towards the main project management. Weekly status calls, knowledge transfer, project updates, change requests as well as Q&A (Questions & Answers) regarding technical and business topics – all of this was managed by our market coordinators.
To ensure a centralized, systematic, and traceable communication we built up a comprehensive SharePoint with worldwide access twenty-four hours per day.
During the first project phase every foreign market did define their individually added business requirements that had been validated, corrected, and complemented by the holding experts. Based on this, every market was served by a distinct workspace of the centrally hosted software. Workspaces were secured by particular concepts of roles and authorizations and adjusted by functional software parametrization. All foreign company representatives were asked to test their local market workspaces separately. Finally, the integration of the new software into the local IT architecture needed to be assured. During all these project activities including release management and stabilization phases the foreign companies have been supported and guided by our team of market coordinators.
Our approach comprised:
- Creation and implementation of a special rollout concept
- Operative, administrative, methodical, and technical support of foreign companies through all project phases
- Central controlling of all sub-projects across all foreign companies with special focus on milestones and delivery quality
- Transfer of know-how and best practices
- Successful rollout of the new financial regulations IFRS 9
- Well done set up of all foreign companies for an efficient and effective use of the new
IFRS 9 standard software