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Our Customer

The Jim Pattison Group is a diversified holding company with a focus on customer satisfaction and maintaining a high standard of excellence. Comprised of over 20 operating divisions across 8 industry verticals, they have hundreds of locations worldwide. Despite their impressive global footprint, The Jim Pattison Group remains proud of their Canadian founding and maintains a homebase in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Challenge

With over 145 subsidiaries in their portfolio, the Jim Pattison Group has a large volume of financial data to manage. For years, the company had been using Dynamics GP as their financial management and accounting software. Despite having enterprise accounting and multi-entity management capabilities, the system remained an on-premises legacy platform and would eventually no longer be able to support the company’s future growth. What they needed was a modern, bespoke, cloud-based solution that would scale with their business over time, maintain the consolidation of their multi-company data, and allow them to manage everything in one easy-to-access location.

The Catapult Solution

After conducting analysis and design sessions to better understand the company’s business workflows and operations, we agreed that a data migration to a Business Central solution that utilized Binary Stream’s Multi-entity Management integration would satisfy their requirements and give the JPG team everything they needed. This combined solution would allow for a smooth migration to a new cloud-based platform while simplifying data consolidation and maintaining their financial data in one centralized space.

Data Migration

We worked closely with the JPG team to facilitate a smooth migration from Dynamics GP to Business Central, guiding them throughout the entire process. We provided training on how the data should be migrated into Business Central, where it should be stored, the type of mapping that was required, and the type of documentation they should have. In turn, their team extracted their data from Dynamics GP, mapped it out, and provided us with the mapping information. They populated the Business Central data templates alongside our consultants. Before the data was posted, it was reviewed and reconciled in unison to ensure it tied into the new mapping in Business Central.

"Catapult’s support during the implementation was excellent and the consultant we worked with was supportive throughout the entire process. We had a pretty tight timeline and they got it done in the time frame we needed."

Stephen Kai, Director of Finance

The Outcome

Using dimensions to better categorize financial transactions

Dimensions are a powerful capability in Business Central that can be used to categorize and filter financial data beyond the scope of a traditional ledger. Instead of setting up separate g/l accounts for every type of transaction, utilizing dimensions allowed our team to label and categorize JPG’s financial data. This reduces the need for a complex chart of accounts and simplifies data analysis, tracking, and in-depth reporting. Using this method, their accounting team would be able to access financial accounts quickly and easily across various entities without having to manually switch between companies. It also allowed for a faster and more streamlined reporting process.

Consolidating multiple entities

Using Binary Stream’s MEM integration with Business Central allowed for the consolidation of JPG’s 145 companies down to four groups. This was done by applying a dimension to each entity thereby labelling it as a company. The entities are still considered their own separate businesses, but having all their master data in one location in Business Central simplifies the overall accounting and operations process. When it comes to accessing data, processing statements, reporting, or conducting other daily accounting tasks, this setup prevents the JPG team from having to manually sift through 145 companies with separate ledgers, which saves them a lot of time. Instead, they can easily switch between entities to pull the data they need to create consolidated reports.

The combined Business Central and Binary Stream solution also facilitates a streamlined approach to intercompany transactions. Rather than posting journal entries in one company, manually switching to another to duplicate the post, and repeating this step multiple times for each transaction, the JPG accounting team can record transactions within a single entity.

"Multi-Entity Management and the use of dimensions in Business Central has proven highly useful in consolidated reporting and accessing company data, and we know it will continue to be useful in the future."

Stephen Kai, Director of Finance

Remote access with a cloud-based solution

Unlike Dynamics GP, Business Central is a highly scalable cloud-based solution. It is accessible from anywhere, on any device, at any time. Also, since Microsoft is continuously investing resources in ensuring their cloud offerings remain competitive, Business Central never stops improving. With two waves of updates released each year, the JPG’s team can take advantage of the newest capabilities and enhancements without relying on manually coded upgrades or extra add-ons to keep their solution current. On top of all that, this new Business Central solution makes it easier than ever for JPG to continue to scale their business. Adding new entities or adapting to new organizational processes is simple, allowing them to grow their portfolio and implement new workflows without disrupting their daily operations.

"Our switch over to Business Central has been a great benefit for us. It has definitely helped our reporting and made remote access much easier than with Great Plains."

Stephen Kai, Director of Finance

Next Steps

Since deployment, we’ve continued to work alongside the company to scale and optimize their solution to ensure they stay competitive. Through our Hypercare Support Services, the JPG team has ongoing access to upgrade management for new releases, system admin and monitoring, and on-demand helpdesk support from our team of experts. Additionally, we recently completed two optimization projects that will help further enhance their expense management and financial reporting management. As JPG continues to grow and evolve their solution, they can rest easy knowing that our team is there to guide them through upgrades, optimization processes, new implementations, and more.

"Even after deployment, the Catapult Support Team has been really helpful with system refinement projects and keeping our solution optimized."

Stephen Kai, Director of Finance

If you’re interested in learning more about Multi-Entity Management, or how Dynamics 365 can help you reach your business goals, get in touch with our consultants today. They’ll be more than happy to answer any and all your questions.

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