Financial processes also need to be transformed and digitalized. The Digital Finance24 model offers tools to improve efficiency by providing automated, error-free access to information.
Current technology makes it possible to transform and digitalize processes more efficiently, freeing time for data analysis and decision making. The effort is worth it: Ferrovial will be more competitive, as profitability will be supported by technological adaptation and by sustainability. Digitalizing financial processes also provides employees with easier access to information in an agile, secure and reliable way. When information is shared and flows between teams, strategic decisions are much more data-driven, reducing uncertainty and risk. To achieve this, the company launched the new Digital Finance24 operating model, the result of tireless work by finance teams throughout the company in collaboration with colleagues in IT. This model reflects finance’s understanding of innovation as a continuous quest to do things better.
This new project integrates such important activities as reporting (internal and external), accounting and treasury. A much more efficient, optimized and agile methodology makes it possible to automate the most transactional part and reduces the likelihood of human error associated with repetitive tasks. Work is being done on two fronts: Accounting & Reporting (SHE Project: Simplification, Homogenization and Efficiency), and Treasury, with common initiatives in the Technology Transformation Plan in Construction. At all times, cost-benefit analysis serves to determine the impact on efficiency, based on a single source of truth.
Projects related to the digitalization of invoices and delivery notes (Horus) will automate processes that are currently manual and will contribute to sustainability by being ‘paper-free’ (the Fundación Juan XXIII, a not-for-profit that finds employment opportunities for people with disabilities and has been engaged to scan and process invoices received on paper in Spain). Other major steps being taken include digitalizing expense notes and updating the segregation of functions in the corporate systems, following the changes introduced with the new operating model.
In cases such as internal reporting, there is a single source of truth (the Global Portal is accessible to the entire organization) that can be expanded to handle other key non-financial indicators (ESG). The Global Portal provides a standardized, centralized location for Ferrovial’s consolidated financial statements and its companies’ separate financial statements. Using the Workiva solution, the 2020 consolidated financial statements were submitted electronically to the CNMV. In the future, information can be filed with regulators and third parties that require financial reporting in electronic formats, as well as reports for third parties such as investors, banks and other countries’ tax authorities. The Intercompany project will enhance management and automation of processes between Group companies.
Digitalization and automation of back-office accounting and treasury processes is another objective, with projects to automate inter-company transactions, and numerous parallel initiatives to optimize processes and then automate them (RPAs). A global bank communication platform is being implemented via SWIFT, which has made it possible to reduce risk through automatic daily linking of bank transactions. The Apolo project (in the design phase) is another initiative (with Accounting, to deal with bank reconciliation) that will be rolled out across the group for transactional treasury management and optimization of accounting reconciliation, with maximal automation.
In addition to simplifying and standardizing processes, all these projects allow for continuous performance monitoring and make it possible to identify new opportunities for improvement.