Zoona automates financial forecasting with Decision Inc.

Decision Inc. has recently implemented an automated financial forecasting solution at Zoona to replace its manual-based financial forecasting and planning system.

About Zoona

Zoona is a fintech start-up committed to helping communities thrive by bringing together young, driven entrepreneurs armed with the power of cutting-edge technology to deliver safe and reliable financial services to underserved communities all over Africa.

Zoona has a footprint in South Africa with operations in Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique and since its inception in 2009, has processed more than $2 billion transactions. Zoona has been recognised by the Nike Foundation and the Unreasonable Group as one of the top ten start-ups best positioned to help previously disadvantaged girls become entrepreneurs.

The requirement

“Zoona has multiple operations throughout Africa. However, forecasting had become problematic as our model was spreadsheet-based and was a cumbersome process. The manual system had many errors and the process to open and read the data had become an onerous task,” says Lyndall Marwick, Financial Planner and Analyst at Zoona.

More recently, she says, the company introduced additional elements to the forecasting model that further complicated its quarterly updates.

“The reality was that we could not operate efficiently using this manual approach and had to examine the option of migrating to the cloud,” she says.

The solution

“We met with the Zoona team towards the middle of 2017 where they explained their challenges. Based on their requirements, Decision Inc. proposed implementing a financial forecasting solution utilising Adaptive Insights technology to maximise the visibility of Zoona’s revenue, expenses, financial forecasts, and planning,” says Andries van den Berg, Business Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) at Decision Inc.

“The Decision Inc. team did an exceptional job of implementing our solution. We went live with the system in March 2018 and have gone through a round of forecasting already,” says Marwick.

According to Marwick, the first quarter closed with Adaptive Insights gaining great traction from users across the organisation.

“We could not have done it without the knowledge and tools provided by Decision Inc. Now that our system is cloud-based, our teams can run their own reports without having to wait for the master document to be circulated. They now have financial information available to them at any time without delay,” says Marwick.

The result

“Implementing Adaptive Insights at our organisation was revolutionary for our business and a significant move forward. So much so, I recently received an internal award for the impact our solution has made at Zoona,” says Marwick.

According to Marwick, since going live with Adaptive Insights, she has saved three weeks per quarter on previously manual updates.

“This enables me to focus more on my core responsibilities and drive business value inside the organisation,” she says.

Adaptive Insights has enabled Zoona to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of its reporting and financial forecasting, resulting in significant time saving, and enabling employees to become more efficient.