Case Study

Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro Increases Efficiency and Improves Visibility and Control Across It’s Record to Report Process with Cadency


Main Challenges:

Difficulty managing the balance sheet reconciliation, JE and close management processes across all entities due to a lack of standardization and visibility, as well as the inability to properly store and manage documentation.

Key Objectives:

  • Increase operational efficiencies by standardizing processes
  • Implementing automation
  • Improving visibility across all global entities

Return on Investment:

  • Successfully standardized balanced sheet reconciliation
  • JE and close processes across all entities
  • Improved both granular and holistic visibility

 Ingram Micro operates in 64 countries and focuses on a heavy acquisition strategy, which meant they struggled to perform their reconciliations and close processes in a timely and consistent manner each month due to unstandardized processes and technology being used.

Each entity performed and delivered its financial reporting differently, and in accordance with their respective country’s regulations. Even the tools they used varied — some leveraged point-solutions, while many still utilized a highly manual approach with spreadsheets, email, etc. This made the Record to Report process extremely difficult to manage from a Corporate Controller and executive finance team point-of-view. James Agnew, SVP Corporate Controller at Ingram Micro, spoke about their previous processes, saying, “Although we had an overall process, it wasn’t really insightful to the folks at corporate or on a daily basis. We were limited to snapshots of the close process and reconciliation process on a monthly basis.”

There was no visibility into which accounts were reconciled, if they were even all reconciled, or if they had been approved properly. Ingram Micro also had little capability to store and manage supporting documentation. Additionally, the reporting was performed in each entity’s local language, further complicating the balance sheet reviews. It became very clear to Ingram Micro that a new approach was required to manage the close process in order to produce accurate reporting.

What Ingram Micro Needed to Achieve with Automation

  • Standardize their processes
  • Gain visibility to their data
  • Increase operational efficiencies
  • Give the organization the ability to scale

Requirements for a Solution

  • Search for a solution to automate their balance sheet reconciliation
  • Move away from storing information in emails and SharePoint
  • Grant visibility into both the content of a reconciliation as well as its status
  • Enable Ingram Micro to undergo a quick transformation

Solution in Action

Ingram Micro began its transformation journey with Trintech by implementing Cadency Reconciliation Certify first to automate its balance sheet reconciliations. They launched two pilot programs, one in a North American location and a Shared Services Center in Bulgaria, and the other in their remaining North American locations and a Shared Services Center in the Philippines. The ultimate goal was to bring all entities onto their three major ERPs — SAP®, IMPulse, and IFS. Both pilot programs were successful, so Ingram Micro implemented Cadency Reconciliation Certify across the globe in the remaining locations, as well as bringing their minor ERPs onto the solution.

A huge win that Cadency provided for Ingram Micro was the ability to move their processes into Shared Services Centers. “[Cadency] aided our process of moving many of our processes into Shared Services Centers,” Agnew said. “The process was already standardized with Cadency Reconciliation Certify, so as it moved into the Shared Service Centers, it was a very smooth transition process.”

The organization now has standard approaches in each entity for balance sheet reconciliation, as well as greater visibility on both a granular and holistic level. “We operate in 40 countries, have 225 entities, and buy 6-12 companies a year,” Agnew commented. “With Cadency, we now have visibility into the financial close process on a daily basis, as well as harmonization and standardization across all our countries and entities. So, a close process being done in Peru is the same process being done in Germany or the United States.”

After Ingram Micro experienced the benefits that Cadency Reconciliation Certify brought to their Office of Finance and overall organization, they decided to build upon those benefits by continuing their transformation journey with Trintech’s Cadency Platform.

Next, they implemented Cadency Close to expand their process management and visibility to the overall financial close. “Ultimately, we chose Cadency for close task management over [other solutions] to achieve greater harmonization,” said Melody Yue, Financial Systems Manager at Ingram Micro. “We saw value in having a single platform so that our users had one access point for their account reconciliation and close task management. Also, by having a single solution we avoided having to maintain another system… above all, we saw that Cadency as a platform was very user-friendly, which would help with training and also being able to just manage the system. So, we ultimately went with Cadency.” The organization uses Cadency Close in 77 entities to better manage their month-end, quarter-end and year-end financial close processes.

“Cadency has also helped us to improve collaboration and communication among our teams. This is especially true for our team members in our Shared Services Centers who are supporting people in their local countries. By having a single solution, it is easier for them to communicate and gives them insight and visibility to see what each other are working on.” — Melody Yue, Financial Systems Manager, Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro then decided to implement Cadency Journal Entry (JE), primarily in their European regions. “Some of our European countries were using a manual JE tool, which was non-compliant,” Yue said. “For example, some users were able to prepare and post a journal entry. Therefore, some journal entries were not truly approved by somebody different than the person who prepared that journal entry.” The manual JE tool also did not have the ability to attach supporting documentation to the JE, which complicated the process for their internal audit team, and resulted in more time and effort to complete the audit. “We chose to implement Cadency JE to address these compliance issues, since the segregation of duties is inherent within Cadency, and also provides the ability to add supporting documentation to each journal entry,” Yue added.

Cadency JE also fit in with their objective for greater standardization and harmony within their entire Record to Report. “Features such as the ability to group accounts and the ability to set accounts to be auto-reconciled helped us save time for our accounting teams. Additionally, we now have standardized approaches for balance sheet reconciliation and manual journal entries, which is important for our financial reporting because all accounting teams now follow the same process and have the same understanding of what is expected.” Today, Ingram Micro drives efficiency and effectiveness across their entire Record to Report process with Cadency Reconciliation Certify, Cadency Close, and Cadency Journal Entry. As a part of their culture of continuous technological improvement, a few of their future goals with Cadency include bringing back quarterly reviews of delinquent reconciliations and leveraging Cadency’s data profiles to further improve their JE process.

Since implementing Cadency, Ingram Micro has achieved the following benefits:

  • Reconciled more than 10,000 accounts across the organization and over 4,000 of those are auto-reconciled
  • Helped the organization improve communication and collaboration among teams in different locations
  • Enhanced the visibility into their balance sheet reconciliation and journal entry processes
  • Saved their internal and external audit teams money and time during audit reviews by allowing their auditors read-only access to Cadency Reconciliation Certify

About Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in California. A company in the Fortune 500, Ingram Micro helps businesses fully realize the promise of technology by delivering global technology and supply chain services. Ingram Micro has a worldwide customer base of over 200,000 and operates in 64 countries.

Industry: Information Technology

Annual Revenue: $50B

Trintech Solutions in Use: Cadency Reconciliation Certify, Cadency Close, and Cadency Journal Entry

ERP: Multiple ERPs in use (SAP, IMPulse, IFS, etc.)