Case study: How do you set the course for a successful future?

Choosing the best possible accounting standard

Challenge

With about 1,000 employees, Sersa Group is one of the most important railway technology companies in Europe and North America. It provides turnkey solutions globally and its services range from refurbishments to building new rail sections. Up to now, the company used the valuation method in its accounting, based on the Swiss Code of Obligations.

Building up the Group's finance function

Sersa Group decided to insource its consolidated financial statements. For this, it was looking for an experienced partner that could help Sersa with the conceptualisation and implementation of an appropriate consolidation solution which would reflect the structures and the requirements of the chosen accounting standard.

Possible new regulations

The problem that Sersa Group faced was triggered by a possible change in regulations which would have required Sersa Group to provide its consolidated financial statements according to a true and fair view. Choosing the correct accounting standard was therefore an important decision that the company wanted to consider carefully. 

We were able to transform a challenge into an opportunity. PwC helped us with their consulting and did everything for us to be in better shape in the future.

Bernhard Marti, CFO, Sersa Group

Solution

PwC is highly experienced with helping companies convert their accounting standards. Together with the implementation of a consolidation package, the solution was also to provide a base for planning and budgeting in one single system.

More in-depth analysis

PwC experts identified potentials and opportunities using a high-level gap analysis. Basing themselves on the insights won, they found the "IFRS for SMEs" to be the best option to deliver a true and fair view. With this, Sersa Group fulfils the legal requirements and the international aspect, and it can avoid having its accounting become too complex.

Software that fits

The company needed a proper software solution so that its consolidated financial statements under "IFRS for SMEs" can be prepared correctly and efficiently. Despite the tight deadline, PwC paid a lot of attention to this particular aspect and worked closely with the company in implementing it. After all, the right Corporate Performance Management software needed to fulfill the criteria of the new accounting system but also to be extensible. Finally, it was also important that company employees should be able to work the system themselves.

Wide acceptance

Another goal was to accelerate the closing process in the future. By implementing Tagetik 3.0 and training the staff involved, PwC provided the ideal foundation for a smooth and efficient operation. What helped bring the project wide acceptance from the employees was the transparency and the frank communication used. 

Result

The CFO of Sersa Group knew from previous projects that PwC is a reliable partner – even if the deadline was very tight. It was possible to completely fulfill the project's targets with only few resources by appointing the right people who possess excellent know-how in this field.

Open exchange

Communication was not only smooth but also complete. This got all the persons involved on the same page, not only in name but in fact, a true team spirit evolved which truly made this into a team effort: support in building up a group finance function and by introducing a flexible and user-friendly Corporate Performance Management system and by providing guidance in choosing the ideal accounting standard.

Solution also built for the future

Sersa Group is now in the position to operate the solution by itself and in fact, got more than just a pure consolidation tool. It will be just as easy to integrate new planning and reporting requirements into the Corporate Performance Management system without straining the resources of the group. As it is, Sersa Group has found a sustainable solution.

Valuable synergy effects

In this project, PwC not only brought to the table well-founded technical expertise in regard to accounting and consolidation, but also process and system-oriented skills. This resulted in important synergies when designing the Corporate Performance Management solution and finally, a sustainable increase in efficiency within the finance function.