BHP is a world-leading resources company that extracts and processes minerals, oil and gas, with more than 80,000 employees and contractors, primarily in Australia and the Americas. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, their products are sold worldwide, with sales and marketing led through Singapore and Houston, United States.

Why Recwise?

When BHP was looking for a solution in 2002 for the newly introduced legislation around financial results there were no solutions available. RecWise was engaged with their experience to develop their solution.

Requiring a robust compliant framework which allowed better reporting and above all a quicker month end close was a few of the required outcomes.

The Solution

RecWise, formally known as RecMan, was rolled out to four global locations. This brought together the compliance needs for the entire business in 2004. The outcome was for over 2,000 users at this time performing between 50,000 – 60,000 reconciliations per month in total globally.

Being a cloud based solution since inception provided the ability to consolidate the reconciliations into a visible tool for management and internal compliance with the ability also for external auditors to access the application to confirm results and qualify the audit.

By providing a familiar interface that all accountants know means that the uptake and success of a new tool is accepted.

The Outcomes

BHP over the years improved their process by implementing auto-complete rules that take care of reconciliations. These auto-complete reconciliations can have multiple accounts included in a single reconciliation. BHP currently have some reconciliations with more than 500 associated accounts within the single reconciliation.

Whilst every reconciliation has an auto-complete rule applied approximately 95% of the reconciliations meet these rules that has allowed over time the business to reduce FTE costs bringing down the number of users from 2,000 to 300 today. Instead of completing reconciliations individually they are now managed by exception.

In 2008 BHP decided to consolidate the four instances of RecWise into a single instance. This project was to pull the decentralised instances into a centralised team in Kuala Lumpur to manage the reconciliation process.

In 2018 BHP went to market to see if there were any other products that offered the same value for money that RecWise does. The outcome was that BHP was happy with the latest offering from RecWise that then led to the first upgrade of the software since inception in 2004.  The reconciliation landscape changed at that time as BHP wished to align the chart of accounts to a new structure and standardize the reconciliations for all their companies 275+ with 145+ reconciliations. This now means that BHP can add in new companies simply by replicating the reconciliations. The process that we created simplifies the setting up of reconciliations means that standardization is achieved.

The upgrade from v1.12 to v5.2 meant that the reconciliations from all the prior instances were upgraded to be used in current browsers such as Microsoft’s Edge and Google Chrome. At this time the business moved from on premise to the Microsoft Azure Cloud for their storage and application hosting. This allows the business to gain economies of scale from the ability to host not only our application but other applications in a self-controlled environment. BHP have also chosen to keep all their records since 2004 so they have access to 20 years of data quickly and simply should there ever be an audit query.

The Results

RecWise continues to be classified as Business Critical Software for SOX compliance.

The application currently managed approximately 30,000 reconciliations per month with many reconciliations having over 100 individual accounts associated with them. Each of these reconciliations have an assigned auto-complete rule that effectively manages 95% of the reconciliation process leading to a much faster close.

BHP have mentioned that they have also not failed an audit in the 20 years of using RecWise which has an uptime of 99.95%.

With around four support calls annually the application works to the need of the business. Support is provided quickly and simply to get any issues resolved.

Although these are measurable due to the application metrics and reporting there are also ancillary savings to be made such as printing, storage of paper, easier audits and quick and easy access.

Take the time to assess your business and see whether the savings add up. A 30 minute introductory demonstration of RecWise can improve the financial close process whilst unlocking the FTE to use there skills in a more meaningful and value add way.

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