Due to the impressive growth of Erste Group, which currently includes about 700 companies in its scope of consolidation, the finance department had a difficult time integrating new corporate structures into its finance systems. Aside from its internal business development, the team also had to juggle various external requirements both as a public company and as a credit institution, which is subject to comply with the mounting, stringent regulations of the European Banking Authority (EBA). These factors set the scene for the implementation of a new consolidation system at Erste Group – even though a rather practical aspect stood in the spotlight. Maintenance services for the software it had previously used were going to be discontinued. In the winter of 2011, the department saw the need to take immediate action because, at the time, FinRep* was to come into force in 2013. Even before the new regulations were to take effect, the EBA had already started to require highly granular financial data – on a level that went above and beyond what conventional financial reporting standards require for annual consolidated financial statements – during the course of the year. To further complicate matters, the consolidation scopes required for this new regulatory reporting and its regular statutory reporting did not coincide, and finance needed a new structure to deliver the data. In short, FinRep compliance posed a major challenge for the bank’s internal financial systems and processes. In addition to addressing FinRep requirements, the department also wanted to deploy a common enterprise consolidation system that extended into its subgroups. This would replace its existing subgroup reporting with a direct connection between the individual companies and headquarters. Finance also wanted the subsidiaries to have online access for intercompany matching in order to seamlessly integrate intercompany reconciliations into the consolidation process. Process support, a clear assignment of responsibilities, and more transparency were other important criteria for Barbara Kainz, Director Group Consolidation and business- side project manager during the implementation of the new consolidation solution. After a multi-vendor selection process, Erste Group chose Tagetik over SAP. In addition to a good price-performance ratio, the pmOne/Tagetik team stood out for its expertise in financial services consulting. “We felt that pmOne/Tagetik understood us – not just as finance professionals but also as financial service professionals because the consultants knew exactly what FinRep and Basel III mean,” explained Kainz. “This gave us a solid foundation to quickly implement the project together.” For Kainz’s colleagues in financial controlling, harmonizing the processes of segment reporting and legal consolidation played an important role. They, too, were impressed with the unified application that offered specialized functionality for segment reporting. Even the IT department echoed the recommendation for Tagetik after the software passed a technical stress test for the integration into the group’s IT architecture. The project team was assigned and ready to start in May 2012. In addition to the finance and controlling departments and the consultants from pmOne/Tagetik, the IT department of Erste Group was also a key stakeholder in the project. Its job was to connect the companies and network banks to the system and ensure compliance with bank-specific security measures. The entire project – from designing and implementing the system to transferring legacy data, training users, going live and rolling out the new solution internally – took less than a year. During the project, Erste Group even used Tagetik for its 2012 year- end close. In January 2013, the consolidation was completely transferred to the new software.