Accelerated finance transformation with complex reporting requirements

Company overview

Anglo Base Metals, a division of Anglo American plc (AAL.L), has interests in 13 operations in six countries producing copper, nickel, zinc, niobium and phosphate fertilisers, together with associated by-products including lead, molybdenum and silver.

Prior to a group wide reorganisation in late 2009, Anglo Base Metals reported EBITDA of US$2,845 million and provided 25% of Anglo Group’s operating profit for the year ending December 2008.


The programme manager of the transformation project, described the situation when assuming control of the project:

At Anglo Base Metals we had been trying to create a Standard Chart of Accounts (SCoA) that would support our financial reporting needs across the divisions numerous and diverse mining operations. Our principal aims were to create a single standard to enable our senior management to compare operations, simplify our financial systems, and standardise financial processes for budgeting and actual reporting. When I assumed control, the project had been running for 24 months, at significant cost, yet the SCoA was not fit for purpose. We engaged Seismi to create a process to model both a new SCoA and associated reports.

Seismi conducted a review of the modelling process and highlighted three principal causes underlying the issues being experienced:

Spreadsheet Modelling- the project team was using Microsoft Excel to support the SCoA and reports modelling process. This technology does not support concurrent usage, versioning or intuitive reporting and it was very difficult to ensure the reports definitions and SCoA remained aligned.

Poor Change Management– when the new code structure was communicated, the impact of the changes on their core financial and KPI reports was not made clear to the multiple finance teams.

Code Logic - the code was designed to meet multiple data entry, month end close and general reporting requirements and was therefore overly complex.

Our Objectives

Eliminate spreadsheets

Identify an alternative to Excel that could deliver a revised SCoA

Concurrent usage

Allow multiple users on the application to improve productivity

Version control

Enable the business units to work on consistent versions of the revised SCoA

Change management

Control the impact of the revised SCoA on existing reporting

Real Data

Present the revised SCoA with real data to enable impact analysis & most importantly improve the engagement of the finance teams


Implement an easily understood system✓ Automate – deliver


Consultants from Seismi used the following Oracle applications to design the revised SCoA:

  • Oracle DRM delivered a scalable and flexible modelling tool specifically designed to allow the users to load their old charts, model the new chart, map to the group consolidation tool (Hyperion Financial Management) and define their key financial and operational reports.
  • Oracle Essbasewas used as a multi-dimensional analysis tool that combined metadata extracts from Oracle DRM with the data from the 6 disparate instances of Anglo Base Metal’s general ledger (Ventyx Ellipse), thereby allowing the business to review and report accurate numbers based on the new SCoA.

Oracle DRM and Essbase empowered Anglo Base Metal’s multiple finance teams to:

  • Control mappings to the newly defined SCoA.
  • Understand the impact of the proposed changes to accounting policies on their existing financial reports.
  • Separate the creation of a new code block from the reporting requirements thereby simplifying the code structure.
  • Consolidate and map the new standard successfully to Hyperion Financial Management, Anglo Group’s consolidation tool.

Why Chose Seismi?

“In less than 3 months Seismi had not only delivered the tools and methodology necessary to allow us to implement a new standard chart, but also provided us with the capability to define reports based on this new standard. They subsequently trained and guided our project team to create the necessary mappings from the old SCoA to the new SCoA. Seismi also provided a parallel reporting environment that allowed our project team to immediately understand the impact of any mapping changes on our core financial reports. This gave divisional and local management the information and comfort needed to sign up to the new standard. Through the dedicated effort of our project team, the completed SCoA was delivered 7 months after engaging with Seismi, which was a great achievement.

The work carried out by Seismi was conducted in a professional and thorough manner. The tools and methodology used to create the new SCoA gave our users comfort that the new standards supported their core reporting needs. Their detailed understanding of financial reporting and planning processes undoubtedly helped steer Anglo’s project team to accelerate the implementation of the new SCoA and avoid further delays and unnecessary costs."

Programme Manager

“Their detailed understanding of financial reporting and planning processes helped accelerate the implementation and avoid further delays and unnecessary costs”

Programme Manager
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