Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor focused not-for-profit, working to mobilise the largest capital market of all – the $100 trillion bond market – for climate change solutions.
The strategy is to develop a large and liquid green and climate bonds market that will help drive down the cost of capital for climate projects in developed and emerging markets.
Headquartered in the UK, the CBI undertakes advocacy and outreach to inform and stimulate the market,
provides policy models and government advice, and administers the Climate Bonds Certification Scheme.
The challenge facing CBI was a lack of financial insight.
With data locked away in separate, fragmented systems and processes, it was difficult to draw data together in a timely, accurate manner for decision-making. The organisation was relying on a basic, entry level finance systems when in fact this complex, multinational organisation needed a more complete, modern, and adaptive platform.
‘It was like driving a car without a dashboard,’ says Tim Morris, until recently the Financial Director at the CBI. ‘We were starved of financial information. It was difficult to decipher how fast we were going, how much fuel was left in the tank, and how well our financial engine was performing.’
Finance transformation was needed not only to drive more trusted decision-making and increased operational efficiency. It was also required for regulatory compliance purposes.
‘As a non-profit, we have a requirement for transparent financial management. We need to provide regular accurate reports to the UK Charities Commission and other stakeholders. Using the existing systems and processes, this reporting required significant manual intervention and data integration,’ says Tim.
Step forward Xledger and Embridge Consulting. Tim explains,’ Such was the urgency, we needed to fast-track the decision on a new financial platform. I had used Xledger in a previous role and appreciated how easy it is to create a single ‘golden record’ of financial information. It’s also extremely adaptive, feature-rich, and proven in countless real-world environments. We trust Xledger.’
It was a similarly easy decision to choose Embridge as the consulting and implementation partner. ‘I had worked with Embridge before and always admired their personal, intimate approach to consulting. As one of the UK’s leading boutique systems integration specialists, Embridge bring a huge amount of value to the table.
Their skills and professional services knowledge shine through. They also have significant experience in the nonprofit sector. While we focus on the target financial operating model – they take care of the technology, processes, and people.’
The CBI has deployed the Xledger cloud-based finance platform to connect critical financial data in one shared, unified system. Key processes such as core accounting, accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR), reporting, bank payments, and project costing are available in one integrated environment. ‘One of the great things I love about Xledger is the AP process. It’s transforming our business.
With Embridge’s experience, we have a rapid, transparent AP process: we can set up a supplier very quickly, and workflow takes care of registering and coding the invoices and the associated approval process. We can see whether the appropriate budget is available, track spend against it, and review the liabilities. Moreover, Xledger provides an end-to-end audit process.’
Xledger also equips CBI with real-time data to analyse its current cash position and forecast future cashflow. Tim and his team can view and process all bank transactions from within Xledger, including payment authorisation and approval, automated import of statement data, automated bank reconciliation, and automated posting.
Embridge was instrumental in achieving a rapid roll-out: the deployment was completed in just three months. ‘Embridge challenged us on our processes. The entire team shared our sense of mission and the need to achieve quick wins. Their technical competence, encouragement, and focus on our goals were second to none.’
This adaptive, forward-thinking finance transformation strategy, masterminded by Embridge, is upending the way CBI approaches financial management. According to Tim, ‘There’s a very big ROI in this.’
The benefits include:
Together, Xledger and Embridge make the perfect partners. They unite best in class ERP technology with a remarkably talented implementation team. Digital transformation is as much about people and processes as it is about technology. Embridge delivers on all three counts.Tim MorrisFormer Financial Director at Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI)
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