Automating and standardizing financial close processes is essential to driving the strategic direction of the Dallas Cowboys.
As a rapidly growing organization, “America’s football team” has always prioritized continuous innovation — both externally and internally. In addition to operating as a football organization, the Dallas Cowboys also manage over 150 different companies with 600 full-time employees. Prior to implementing Adra® by Trintech, the Dallas Cowboys struggled to gain control, visibility, and real-time insight into their close processes.
Dallas Cowboys’ Financial Close Challenges
Manual and Time-Consuming Close Processes
As the Dallas Cowboys continued to scale their operations, they noticed that their reliance on spreadsheets and legacy tools was impacting their back-office workflows. The organization’s finance team previously spent a significant amount of time manually matching and reconciling accounts rather than dedicating their time to value-adding initiatives. Over time, this dependence on legacy tools and systems prevented the Dallas Cowboys’ finance team from being as effective and efficient as possible.
Lack of Visibility and Control
Another challenge that the Dallas Cowboys ran into when utilizing manual methods was the inability to gain visibility and control into their core financial close processes. As a result, they were unable to evaluate the risk profile of their accounts and generate accurate financial reporting.
“Planning and forecasting is only as good as the data you are using to generate it and one of the biggest data-related challenges in many organizations is that data tends to live in silos — it comes from disparate sources.” – Tom Walker, Chief Financial Officer of the Dallas Cowboys
Prior to automating their close processes, the Dallas Cowboys would spend two to three hours at the end of each month-end close to fully gauge the current close status. This time spent gathering crucial financial data further impacted the productivity of the Dallas Cowboys’ finance team.
The Dallas Cowboys’ Return on Investment
In 2020, the Dallas Cowboys implemented the Adra® Suite — including Adra® Matcher (high-volume transaction matching), Adra® Balancer (automated balance sheet reconciliations), Adra® Task Manager (financial close management and control framework), and Adra® Analytics (providing insights and reporting), and experienced the benefits of automation within the first month of implementation.
Full Control and Visibility into the Month-End Close
After implementing the Adra Suite, the Dallas Cowboys gained control and clarity into their close processes. Adra Task Manager empowered the Cowboys’ finance team to standardize their processes and keep track of dependent tasks in a centralized location.
“We have all dependent tasks linked within the Adra Suite so the next person has visibility and is notified automatically when they can start the next step in the close process. I truly feel having the Adra solution has taken a load off my team’s plate that used to be spent tracking what journal entries and reconciliations have been completed.” – Tom Walker, Chief Financial Officer of the Dallas Cowboys
In addition, Adra Analytics, Adra Balancer, and Adra Matcher empowered the organization’s finance team to gain control over their internal processes by producing accurate and high-quality financial data and evaluating how to enhance their future processes.
Improved Morale and Productivity Across Accounting Team
Implementing financial automation doesn’t just improve the overall close process; the benefits also positively impact the people involved. Rather than dedicating their hours to manual, tedious tasks, the Dallas Cowboys’ finance team was able to commit more of their time towards strategic, value-adding initiatives, further improving employee morale.
“By allowing the technology to do what it is built to do and enabling employees to focus on more engaging and productive work, our finance team can see greater value not only from a budget perspective but also in having a foundation from which to build or enhance a workplace culture that is more likely to attract talent and boost employee morale.” – Tom Walker, Chief Financial Officer of the Dallas Cowboys
Overall, the Dallas Cowboys saw a significant return on investment by automating their close processes with the Adra Suite. Adra has been instrumental in helping the Dallas Cowboys gain real-time visibility across their financial close process, ensure cash flow management is streamlined, manage risk, and standardize internal controls, and close quicker each month with confidence in the numbers they are reporting.
Written by: Alex Clem