Global Intercompany invoicing

Success story from msg global solutions Deutschland GmbH

We use Projektron BCS centrally for over 23 of our own country organisations. The special thing about this is that we use consultants from many different countries in almost every one of our large projects, and all planning, resource allocation, time recording and invoicing is done in one BCS. We create all client invoices there in local currencies and manage our own international intercompany invoices. Having a central solution that covers all countries is an enormous advantage, in addition to the high level of process integration.

msg global - SAP development partner for over 20 years

msg global solutions Deutschland GmbH is a provider of consulting, implementation and managed services that helps companies improve their operational efficiency and decision-making capabilities using SAP technology. As a partner for the development of SAP solutions for over 20 years, msg global brings expert knowledge in the areas of accounting, finance, regulatory reporting, performance management, customer experience and IoT.

msg global was founded in 2008 in Ismaning near Munich as a development partner and international unit of the msg Group for SAP business.

Thanks in particular to SAP implementation projects for customers in the insurance and financial services sectors, msg global has grown strongly and now employs more than 1,400 people in 23 offices around the world.

We are part of msg, an independent, international group of companies with more than 10,000 employees worldwide and a turnover of 1.2 billion euros. The companies in the group offer a wide range of creative, strategic consulting and intelligent, sustainable services as well as value-added IT solutions.

msg global counts world market-leading insurers and reinsurers and banks among its customers, but also offers consulting services to other major customers from various sectors such as industry and services.

Due to the major customers, the SAP IT development and implementation projects are also of a corresponding size. One of our largest customers is SAP itself. As an SAP development partner, we have already won the SAP® Pinnacle Award several times. 2023 in the category Partner Application - Industry Cloud.

As Head of Global Project Management, I am responsible for guidelines, quality, methods and project management for the global project portfolio.

Cross-national project management

At msg global, we regard all activities in the company as projects, separated into customer projects and internal projects. Our company is organised as a matrix organisation. Employees are assigned to customer projects and have specific tasks internally, or work completely internally.

Every year we carry out up to two hundred external projects with annual budgets ranging from a few thousand to several million euros. Then there are the internal activities. More than eighty per cent of our global project portfolio is made up of SAP IT implementation and development projects of various sizes. In addition, there are consulting services and managed service projects for application management. Internet of Things (IoT) projects include, for example, the operation of primary insurance companies' systems for automatic accident emergency call dispatch by a transmitter in the event of a claim.

Our customer projects are assigned to a country according to the customer location, but are always handled by an international team from up to more than 10 countries. Project planning, booking and invoicing therefore always takes place across many countries. Projects typically last half a year, larger or operational projects even several years. Our project portfolios with individual clients go beyond ten years.

Our projects are regionally mixed, from project managers to development teams. Teams are often country units, e.g. a development team in India, an operations team in the Philippines and a local consulting team. Sophisticated and mapped in BCS: the responsibility for realisation lies with a global business unit, the contract responsibility and customer billing with the country organisation.

Projektron BCS maps our complete matrix organisation of business units and countries in its internal tree structure.

Mastering complexity

A multi-project management software was and is central for us to master the complexity of the international distribution of our projects. In an organisationally and regionally distributed project, we needed a central data source and a consistent system for all time recording, accounting and billing, both internally and vis-à-vis our customers.

The msg global requirement was originally driven by the need to be able to carry out international project time recording, accounting and internal billing in one system. Full project management support was added later.

A software for a fast-growing company

When we introduced BCS in 2013, msg global had only a few very large projects and fewer customers. For our fast-growing company, which established many country subsidiaries in a short period of time, the need for a central booking, billing and invoicing system that could support this growth path was identified early on.

With Projektron BCS, we were able to implement international billing and invoicing with limited implementation and administrative effort. Since Projektron BCS works via a web-based, central instance, we did not have to install the software separately in all 23 and future countries and then network them together.

For international billing, we needed a multi-currency-capable system with daily updated currency rates in conjunction with coherent invoice writing. BCS fulfils this without restriction and in an exceptional way. Especially since we have branches in countries with considerable currency fluctuations, BCS offers us considerable added value here and saves effort. We can always rely on the consistency of the currency data when invoicing from the posted expenses. Each of our countries can see the value of a project in the currency that applies to them at any given time, while there is also a global view in common currency.

The fine-grained rights management in BCS can map our complex matrix organisation via the role definition and allows the targeted allocation of access rights and views.

Worldwide BCS introduction with Big Bang

We didn't introduce the software step by step, but directly for the entire project portfolio (big bang). The worldwide use of BCS today also includes countries with very demanding local specifics, such as requirements for data access security, IT integration security and billing reporting obligations to government agencies.

We use numerous country-specific configurations, e.g. B. Time recording, vacation calendar and sickness regulations, because there are almost as many forms as there are countries. In BCS, for example, employee leave regulations can be structured according to user groups.

At msg global, all employees use Projektron BCS. Due to our high degree of configuration and numerous customized features, msg global now has a systematic, structured onboarding of new employees. Employees can independently call up online self-service training courses such as “BCS for all Employees” or “BCS for Project Managers” in the in-house training systems.

With BCS, we can map our complex organizational structure via an import from our SAP human resources management system, which means that the maintenance effort is low. The entire organization is then available in BCS for assignments and authorizations.

When we hire an employee in a national company, the BCS user group automatically assigns them the right tasks and user rights.
Use of Projektron BCS in project management

Our projects are structured differently. We have a classic project structure with sub-projects, tasks and expenses from which we manage resource requirements and resource allocation. BCS maps our complete plan and actual view for the projects. The typical application scenario for BCS at msg global is the entire team administration, effort and resource planning as well as postings and billing in a project across the various supplying countries. Projektron BCS has solved the multinational integration into a project excellently.

The biggest advantage of Projektron BCS is that you can plan and control projects completely independently of location and organization. From our point of view, this is excellent quality from BCS. Despite different time zones, people, languages and currencies, the invoices can be generated directly in BCS without a great deal of work.

In BCS it is possible to generate customer-specific views for evaluation and controlling and to make them accessible at the level of the individual postings. We have carried out extensive customizing. Examples are the storage of information for our controlling system or status reports, but also to be able to evaluate booking-related information such as incentive relevance for employees.

Intercompany invoicing with BCS

We create the bills and invoices with amounts in customer currencies completely via BCS. The automatic intercompany invoicing currently being developed together with Projektron into the product standard makes it possible to automatically create group-internal invoices using predefined templates and rules.

For tax reasons, our international companies have to send each other invoices for our international projects. In each customer project, monthly invoices are generated for one or more employees for each international country involved. This means the number of invoices we have to issue to each other internally is much higher than the number of invoices we send to customers.

We use templates to define what the invoices between the national companies look like. In BCS, we store the price for our customers independently of each other, including daily conversions based on exchange rates, the transfer price that the countries charge among themselves and the internal costs.

Since all information about expenses, employees, location and project is available in BCS, we can automatically issue internal invoices at the beginning of the month via intercompany invoicing. The countries that issue invoices and those who receive them have a complete overview of the invoices at the same time. The effort of our invoice generation is thus significantly reduced. This functionality alone, directly linked to the project bookings, would be a reason for msg global to choose BCS again today.

Lessons learned and conclusion

We are very satisfied with Projektron BCS and also with the experienced and committed employees of Projektron GmbH in the areas of training, customer care and support.

Projektron BCS offers internationality, multi-currency, automated intercompany invoicing, independent billing and cost rates. In terms of quality, we only see these functionalities with Projektron BCS.

Lessons learned from msg global are that without in-depth knowledge of the system too much was customized. We have therefore decided to gradually return many parts of our BCS to the original from Projektron.

We recommend that other companies, when introducing project management software with a high level of maturity, constantly check where there is actually a need for individual adjustments. Very often, standard functions are well suited due to limited changes in one's own processes or procedures. When introducing it, companies should analyze, exploit and apply the functionality of such software.

The introduction of a multi-project management system must begin with central governance. If a large number of companies are already working successfully with a software system such as Projektron BCS, then this obviously shows that the software is suitable for mapping a project. This can foreseeably limit the scope of your own requirements for customizing. In order to reduce the effort for documentation, training and specifics, we recommend companies to standardize their organizational and specific rules for project management before introducing software and to define them together.

We achieve the maximum effect of BCS because all employees work according to the same rules and use BCS uniformly with a monolingual user interface, with us uniformly English, the company language. Additional advantage: all employees talk about the same terms. This greatly facilitates communication on functionalities across countries.

In the future we want to further expand the use of the project control and reporting functions in project management with BCS.

msg global solutions Deutschland GmbH

Sector: IT consulting, software development
Customer since: 2013
User: >1.000

Most used functions:

Autor: Peter Schürmann, Head of Global Project Management
Status: 07/2023

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