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Online Retailer Brandsal Group Supports Rapid Growth with Adra Suite

Brandsdal Group, one of Norway’s largest online retailers, has gained a better overview of their data and greater control at the end of the period, while freeing up valuable time for the finance and accounting teams to focus on more strategic tasks for the company.

When the finance department of Brandsdal Group took over the home office in March 2020, they had no idea how much growth they would experience in the months to come. The group, which consists of the subsidiaries blivakker.no, Cocopanda and netthandelen.no, saw the top line increase from 900 million in 2019 to 1.3 billion in 2020 – an increase of 44 percent.

When a company experiences significant growth in a short amount of time, it often comes with new issues. Accounting manager Kjetil Homme Berntsen has experienced this first hand. “The transaction volume increased considerably, and we experienced enormous pressure on the warehouse and purchasing function. The finance department had to handle significantly more work, but with the same number of resources,” Berntsen says. These challenges put pressure on manual work that was happening at the end of the period, and Brandsdal was determined to find out which processes they could improve in order to increase efficiency and create value for the company.

“Before the pandemic, we had to approve payments on paper, but overnight we had to do it digitally. For us, it was a lot about finding smarter ways to work,” Berntsen points out. Automated transaction reconciliation Transaction reconciliation is time-consuming work that entails a significant risk of human error. For Brandsdal, one of Norway’s largest online trading players, high transaction volumes are part of everyday life – it is not unusual for 250,000 orders to be processed with associated transactions, payments and refunds.

Brandsdal chose the Adra Suite by Trintech to provide a more modern approach to their end of the period work. Adra Matcher now automates the transaction reconciliation process. By doing so, they have freed up time for the employees to spend on tasks adding value for the company.

“The fact that Adra Matcher does not place any restrictions on the file types we can import makes our job much easier. We spend less time when there is automatic reconciliation; we can let it be matched, and then we deal with the discrepancies. We use the time we save on more value-creating work for the company, such as supporting internal reports,” says Berntsen.

Standardized Documentation Process

Previously, each individual accountant in Brandsdal documented the balance on a common server every month. Although the IT department made regular backups of the documentation, this involved a high risk. If, for example, someone deleted something without realizing it, it would become a major issue due to documentation requirements. At the same time, it was time-consuming for the employees to identify records that were insufficiently reconciled or had discrepancies; they had to go through each individual document and compare against the balance sheet. When Brandsdal implemented Adra Balancer (another part of the Adra Suite), they no longer had to hand-balance.

“Having a system that handles the identification, at the same time it handles the progress of the balance reconciliation, created huge value for us. We have a much better overview of where we are on track at the end of the month,” says Berntsen.
With Adra Balancer, Brandsdal has standardized processes, and the software makes it easier to comply with the Bookkeeping Act. This makes the finance department less dependent on people – and the job of the auditor easier too.

“When everyone has their folders and files, over time there will be a difference in how each individual works and what they document. But when we have one tool, we manage to keep everyone on the same path, where we agree on how to document and what to include. It helps us to ensure comprehensive documentation for each month, quarter and year. This makes it easier to carry out internal control for the reconciliation procedure, while at the same time simplifying the work of the auditor,” Berntsen elaborates.

Better Visibility Throughout the Period-End

Previously, Brandsdal used the method of making checklists in spreadsheets, which isn’t easy to keep track of, especially when several people are going to make changes in the same document.

“It is easy to lose track of where you are on the trail; perhaps someone has forgotten to cross off that the tasks have been completed, deleted other people’s information or forgotten to reset tasks from the previous month,” says Berntsen.
The company recently adopted Adra Task Manager (another part of the Adra Suite), a tool for task management where you can enter the entire annual cycle of the finance department, so that you have control over the tasks and procedures. “Now we have a task list that is reset every month, and we have an overview of where we are in the process. We very quickly get an overview of which companies are doing well, where we need to put in extra resources to finish on time, how many actions are overdue and much more,” says Berntsen.

To learn more about how the Adra Suite can help your teams be more efficient and empowered to support the growth initiatives of your business – click here.