Scope Global Pty Ltd International Agency Consolidates Global Operations Scope Global is an international project management company with people at the focus of our program delivery. Programs and projects are implemented according to Project Management Institute Standards which means we are focused on quality service delivery and continuous improvement. Scope Global's extensive international network means we provide on-the-ground support to program and project participants and beneficiaries, while giving our clients access to in-country knowledge and contacts. Scope Global represents a unique form of public/private partnership. As a for-profit commercial organization wholly owned by the Government of South Australia, the organization must balance its social mission with its profit motive and meet the requirements imposed by Government statutes in addition to corporate regulatory requirements. “It’s a bit complicated,” says Scope Global CFO Darren Hastings. “The organization operates around our social development mission, but we still aim to generate a surplus. Priorities shift often, and this is apparent at a strategic level, an operational level, and at an individual level. We’re constantly reconciling these two aspects of our strategy.” The unique public/private business model combined with the diverse nature of its services creates some very complex financial management scenarios, including different costing models for different program activities, varied reporting requirements for both public and private regulators, and tracking the sources of funds for various programs. To further complicate matters, Scope Global maintains a presence in more than 20 countries, each with its own currency and culture, and manages expenses and personnel records for as many as 700 volunteers who are working abroad. Growing in Size and Complexity Since joining Scope Global as Financial Controller in 2008, Hastings has seen the organization double in size—and the complexity in reporting and financial tasks increase accordingly. At that time, the organization was using Microsoft Dynamics SL for project management and project accounting, exporting data to Microsoft FRx or Microsoft Excel as needed for analysis or custom reporting. Although Microsoft Dynamics SL had been sufficient for capturing financial and project information, the evolving business model demanded the additional capabilities of a full-featured enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. “We had secured several new clients and projects, which introduced more complex reporting requirements,” recalls Hastings. “What had been a simple cost structure and account structure rapidly became much more complicated. As a result, we found ourselves performing a lot of manual manipulation of data.” After an evaluation process, Scope Global selected Microsoft Dynamics AX based on its financial management capabilities, as well as its ability to consolidate the organization’s offshore operations and volunteer management systems onto a single application. In addition, the straightforward migration of data from Microsoft Dynamics SL to Microsoft Dynamics AX gave Scope Global the confidence that deployment could be performed seamlessly. In the first phase of the ERP initiative, Scope Global deployed Microsoft Dynamics AX to its 11-member finance team, who perform transactional processing, budgeting, forecasting, financial analysis, and costing for new project bids. With the ability to manage multiple, complex financial models, the finance team can now ensure that Scope Global remains in compliance with accounting standards and regulatory requirements, and meets the reporting needs of various clients and programs. Unified Across Geography Since deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX, Scope Global enjoys the advantages of a unified enterprise, with everyone operating from the same data. Remote managers can run reports and retrieve information from the centralized data store without requesting information from finance or IT staff. The new system has eliminated several manual, paper-based processes, for example, reconciliation of expense reports and credit-card statements. Microsoft Dynamics AX also allows bank statements and local transactions to be recorded in their native currency, so exchange rates no longer need to be calculated manually. Managing Volunteers In the second phase of the deployment, Scope Global plans to deploy modules to add ERP functionality, including using the Microsoft Dynamics AX Human Capital Management module to manage its 700 volunteers. Hastings expects that bringing the volunteer database and financials into a single system will allow Scope Global to perform detailed performance analysis of expenses related to volunteer operations. The additional insight will enable it to forecast costs for volunteer programs, enabling it to optimize in-country operations by being able to prepare flexible and responsive long-term financial forecasting of program costs.