The stakes were high at Atlantic Lottery to move from a manual financial reporting system to a fully automated system that could divvy up $400 million in annual profits to the four provincial owners and provide ‘think ahead’ budgeting and forecasting.
Using the IBM Cognos TM1 enterprise planning software, T4G worked with Atlantic Lottery and IBM Cognos to integrate the legacy systems and reporting data marts into one automated system. In some cases, Atlantic Lottery can now complete certain financial tasks within an hour, what would have taken weeks using the previous system. It was a large and complex undertaking that was completed under a tight deadline and within budget.
With four provincial owners and $400 million in annual profits to divvy up between various communities, the stakes are high at Atlantic Lottery to ensure timely and efficient financial reporting and forecasting.
“Our requirement to accurately return all profit to each of the four Atlantic provinces creates the need for extremely detailed financial tracking and reporting processes,” says Nicole Beaulieu, Atlantic Lottery’s manager of Financial Systems & Process Optimization. “As a result, our budgeting, forecasting, and profit allocation processes are very complex and inflexible.”
Before their new system was deployed Atlantic Lottery was budgeting and forecasting using numerous spreadsheets and allocating profits using a separate financial application where all GL data was entered. To ensure data integrity, several manual validation steps were conducted throughout the process. These steps – combined with the need to organize and consolidate numerous spreadsheets – created a great deal of work for Atlantic Lottery’s business and financial staff. Ideally, they would have liked to conduct progressive processes (such as financial forecasting) more frequently, but the manual nature of the systems made it so expensive and time-consuming that they were only able to complete them a couple of times a year.
Adding to the challenge of this project was an immovable deadline to switch over to the new system. This deadline was imposed by a contractual obligation between Atlantic Lottery’s four provinces to receive critical financial statements at definite intervals throughout the year. A portion of the new system included changes to the GL system that were not compatible with the old financial system. It was up to Atlantic Lottery, IBM Cognos, and T4G to ensure the new financial system was deployed in time, so that these statements would be ready when required.
Using the IBM Cognos TM1 enterprise planning software, T4G worked with Atlantic Lottery and IBM Cognos to integrate their legacy GL systems and reporting data marts into one automated system. The new system automatically applies a set of rules (established by the contributing government bodies) to complete critical financial tasks such as profit allocation, budgeting, forecasting and reporting. It was a large and complex undertaking, but it was completed within the time constraints imposed by Atlantic Lottery’s reporting requirements.
“The proximity, availability, skills and dedication of T4G allowed us to move forward at a much faster pace than we would have been able to achieve otherwise,” says Atlantic Lottery’s Ms. Beaulieu.
T4G began their involvement with the project by listening to Atlantic Lottery and learning the complexities of their financial operation. They were frequently on-site with Atlantic Lottery to complete this knowledge transfer efficiently and thoroughly. When it came time to integrate the TM1 system with Atlantic Lottery’s existing BI server architecture and financial reporting systems, T4G’s knowledge of the technology and of Atlantic Lottery allowed them to complete the task swiftly and accurately.
The initial development of the TM1 solution was completed by IBM Cognos Services. T4G then worked with Atlantic Lottery to complete the development of the TM1 budgeting and forecasting applications to align the solution with their new financial processes. T4G also assisted Atlantic Lottery in deploying the solution to their production environment by providing them with detailed installation instructions and timely support.
“The result of this project is incredible,” says Atlantic Lottery’s Ms. Beaulieu. “TM1 has allowed us to significantly reduce our cycle time on budgeting, forecasting, profit allocation, and reporting processes while exponentially increasing the accuracy, integrity, and reliability of our data.”
In some cases, Atlantic Lottery can now complete certain financial tasks within an hour, what would have taken weeks using the previous system. Business users can quickly and easily generate a large number of financial reports and make more informed business decisions in near real-time.
Says, Ms. Beaulieu, “T4G’s ability to quickly understand our business processes and our data was invaluable to the successful completion of our new system. Without T4G we would not have been able to achieve the scope and timeline of this very aggressive project.”
ABOUT ATLANTIC LOTTERY
Atlantic Lottery players have been having fun and “dreaming big” since 1976 when the organization began offering lottery games on behalf of the governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. The game options have grown and changed over the years and so has their workforce! Today’s Atlantic Lottery has more than 600 employees and offers everything from dare-to-dream draw games to charity bingo; breakopen tickets to sports wagering; and games in social settings and on the Internet
“T4G’s ability to quickly understand our business processes and our data was invaluable to the successful completion of our new system.”
Nicole Beaulieu, Atlantic Lottery