Belatrix Software is a very different company from the firm that Horacio Yenaropulos joined in 2016. At that time, Belatrix relied on many decision-making processes that are more closely associated with family-owned companies than fast-growing multinationals.
“It’s a whole new business today. Whereas we were already world-class when it came to delivering our offerings, we had a lot of room for improvement on the administrative and finance side of things,” explains Yenaropulos, who adds that upon his arrival he informed his finance team members that they would together be embarking on a journey.
Today, Belatrix’s finance team is located at multiple locations across five countries. It’s a far-flung operation that under Yenaropulos’s leadership has moved to a single financial reporting platform—one that has empowered his team to begin producing reports monthly rather than just quarterly.
By unlocking the numbers within, Yenaropulos says that key managers can now confidently respond and take action.
“This availability of the financial information has made a big difference for our decision-making stakeholders,” he explains. –Jack Sweeney jb
CFOTL: When we ask for a finance strategic moment, what comes to mind?
Yenaropulos: Maybe we can look at one of my experiences when I was living in Chile and I was the CFO of a company whose main business was to provide services to trade and eliminate industrial and hazardous waste. The revenue recognition process began with the reception of the waste in bulk form. The next step was to identify the type of waste, and then finally to define and apply the chemical process required in order to convert it into nonhazardous waste. All of these processes were very manual, which as a result had a huge impact on the finances and working capital. Imagine if a company was not able to invoice for services to the client until it had finished the identification of the waste and its subsequent treatment. Additionally, another problem was that the company was held responsible for any environmental damage that may have occurred from the hazardous waste that it had already received and that was waiting for its final treatment.
What we did was to create a team from the operations people, the commercial people, and the technology department of the company. We proposed and successfully implemented a plan that reduced the days of accounts receivable from over 200 days to just 90 days in only one year. This was achieved due to changes in the processes from the client’s side and from the operations side and by adding new software capabilities to the process. Of course, we don’t want to forget about the importance of training all of the employees involved in the process—that is very important to also highlight. So, finally, after a year of working with a new team, with a clear plan, and milestones well defined, we were able to consistently track our progress by changing commercial and production processes and achieve extremely positive financial impacts for the firm. By implementing a sizable reduction in days of accounts receivable, we’ve been able to generate an impressive positive cash flow for the company. jb