Senior Forensic Accountant solves challenging GL Reconciliation issue for SAP GO LIVE

The Client

Regional Utilities Company

Our client delivers energy to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region.

The Technology

Forensic Accounting

  • SAP Financial
  • GL Reconciliation
  • Supplier Sub-Ledger
  • Forensic Accounting

The Challenge

During the process of implementing a new SAP financial system, our client needed the expertise of a Senior Forensic Accountant to solve a challenging General Ledger (GL) account reconciliation. Before the final cutover to the new SAP application could occur, it was critical for them to identify and correct the issues with the current GL reconciliation efforts. Moreover, this SAP project was the largest IT initiative in the company’s history and represented a massive effort to convert two of their legacy CIS systems into SAP. Any disruption in the cutover process would have major impacts to business operations. In addition to the GL reconciliation effort that the Forensic Account would lead, a sub-ledger needed to be created for the Retail Competitor Supplier Billing to verify supplier payments. What made this need unique is that specific regulations in the State of Maryland require utilities to assume the liability by purchasing the supplier commodity receivables. This unique regulation would make the reconciliation effort even more challenging.

The Solution

Since The Squires Group, Inc. (TSGi) was deeply involved in supporting this critical SAP implementation, our client trusted our team’s ability to deliver a highly skilled Forensic Accounting expert. Our deep understanding of the SAP projects scope and complexity, as well as the importance of utility industry accounting experience guided our search. Since this was an especially challenging requirement that required Forensic Accounting skills and specific utility industry experience (relating to supplier billing and payments), our team broadened the search to a national level. Ultimately, the candidate we recruited was located in the Midwest and would bring over 25 years of experience in the Energy and Utility Industry in both the regulated and deregulated markets. In addition, they offered our client critical experience with reconciling revenue recognition and had in-depth knowledge of the typical accounting mismatches that often occur in the utilities industry. After multiple rounds of interviews with the key stakeholders, our candidate was selected to support the project on a contract basis.

The Success

Over time, our consultant played a key role in completing the financial accounting reconciliations by conducting a business process and gap analysis, facilitating multiple workshops and leveraging a unified methods framework. They were also involved in the review of the SAP project cutover schedule and during that time they recommended extending the Legacy CIS system cutover. This extension allowed the data migration team the critical time they needed to validate data quality. Without this schedule change, the interface between the two legacy systems would have been incomplete and could have possibly delayed the cutover schedule even further.

Our consultant also developed a Supplier Balance sub-ledger and documented GL variances for the month-end financial close. The GL balances needed to be validated to determine the applicable write-offs effective at the end of the year. In addition, the year-end Supplier Balances needed to be confirmed so the payments could be made prior to the cutover to the new SAP system.

These deliverables, in addition to a successful GL reconciliation effort, ultimately helped our client meet their deadline of going live with new SAP system at the end of 2016.


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