Pleasure Jump Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayOn April 1st, Coventry Building Society went live on Workday Financial Management. The go-live was three years after the firm deployed Workday Human Capital Management. The project is just a part of the £44 million that the building society has invested in during the first half of 2023.

Founded in 1884, the Coventry Building Society is one of the largest building societies in the country. It maintains a mortgage balance of around £38.8 billion and savings of £45,5 billion (H1 2023 results). It has been growing steadily over the last twenty years. The firm leverages Oracle technology across several areas, and that included Oracle EBS. However, the financial solution had been upgraded several times and lacked both standard reporting and integration capabilities. It was time for a change.

Following the success of Workday HCM, the firm decided to move to the cloud-based Workday FM solution. The belief was that the new solution would remove many of the manual processes that exist. And reduce the reliance on spreadsheets for key reporting capabilities.

The finance team hoped for the same success as the HR function, which managed to remove 23 manual processes when the system went live. One of the biggest changes was the pay review process. Previously, it used hundreds of spreadsheets. The firm was unable to process payroll payments for two months during the process. The HR team gained it could be further improved with the deployment of the Workday Financial Management, seamlessly integrating a process that linked HR, Payroll and Finance.

Next stop – Finance

For the finance team, the main challenge was the month end, which was supported by about 120 spreadsheets. These were required because Oracle didn’t support much of the work required within the system. One of the objectives was to reduce the month-end process. Following deployment, the process was cut to five days, and it has since been reduced further to three days.

As a regulated business, the finance team had a limited number of dates when they could cut over to a new system. And April 1st 2023, allowed the team 18 months to complete the work required for the migration.

The project was successful. In part, this was due to the communication between the implementation team and staff. As well as extensive testing and dry runs that ensured people knew the new processes. What was also notable is that the finance team adopted many of the best practices embedded within the Workday solution rather than trying to replicate the sometimes convoluted processes enforced by the legacy application.

The results

The changeover was a success. The team uses the automated journals function within Workday to further streamline the month-end process. Reporting is also much easier, especially around fixed assets that were previously maintained on spreadsheets. In fact, 80% of the reports are now standardised within Workday, saving many work hours.

Andrea Harrison, Head of Finance Transformation at Coventry Building Society, said, “Implementing the Workday solution has led to a significant reduction in outer system processes and a close-to 70% reduction in the spreadsheets that used to surround the Society’s month-end processes. This has been a huge, huge achievement. Linked to that is an increase in the number of automated controls in our month-end processes, from less than around 5% to more than 70% of them being automated or semi-automated.”

No longer does the finance team have to rely on spreadsheets to build its reports. It is able to analyse costs within the Workday application. Coventry Building Society also deployed the Workday Accounting Centre to work alongside Workday Financials. In the future, they plan to implement  Workday spend management software and Adaptive Planning.

Daniel Pell, the UKI Country Manager of Workday
Daniel Pell, the UKI Country Manager of Workday

Dan Pell, Vice President and Country Manager, UKI, Workday, commented, “It was great to learn that Coventry Building Society was capable of a three-day month-end within a few weeks of implementation.”

“This successful deployment is a great example of the impact of our partner ecosystem, which enables customers to realise the full value of our solutions. We look forward to continuing to work with Coventry Building Society to help them manage two of their most important assets, their people and their money, in order to extract full value from the system and add more strategic value to the company as a whole.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Another successful implementation project was completed. Workday now has over 10,000 companies live on its products. With a team of over 20 people in its finance function, Coventry Building Society is not one of the largest organisations to deploy Workday, but it is significant. It is a sector that Oracle has previously dominated, and while the building society continues to use Oracle technology, it has moved its Finance and HCM applications to Workday.

Importantly for Workday, it is willing to talk about its experience. Also spoke at Workday Rising last week to both existing customers and prospects. Hearing about the benefits of deploying both solutions will not have been lost on the audience. This may persuade others to ditch legacy systems in favour of the Workday platform.


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