SYBO Games

Founded

2010

Industry

Gaming

Employees

186

Entities

5

Dimensions

41

Finance team

5 people

Francis plan

Enterprise

Introduction

Founded in 2010, SYBO is a mobile games developer renowned for creating the immensely popular game Subway Surfers. The game was the most downloaded mobile game in the world in 2022 and has been downloaded more than 4 billion times since its launch. With operations in various locations worldwide and boasting several popular game titles, the finance team at SYBO partnered with Francis to enhance their FP&A capabilities.

Challenges

Before Francis, the finance team depended on Excel for budgeting and forecasting. During the budgeting process, they engaged with stakeholders from different departments to allocate funds on a detailed level, considering individual accounts and vendors. In contrast, rolling forecasts were handled solely by the finance team, focusing on broader categories without departmental breakdowns

For SYBO, budgeting and forecasting within Excel presented several challenges:

Guiding budgets with historical data: Establishing a new bottom-up budget with detailed account and vendor projections proved challenging for year-over-year comparison of costs and KPI variations.

Budget variance analysis: Once the budget model was established in Excel, it required significant manual effort to maintain. SYBO had to export departmental reports from their ERP system, transfer this data into the spreadsheet, and then combine it with their budget model using complex formulas.

”Our model required extensive manual work to follow up on”

Re-forecasting for departments: Without the ability to efficiently and accurately incorporate actual cost data at the departmental level into their forecasting models, the team was forced to forecast at a more general category level. This approach precluded them from conducting detailed analyses of actual results versus forecasts for departments.

Confidentiality and access control: Certain sensitive data needed to be kept confidential and not shared with all stakeholders. Establishing access limitations within Excel's workflows proved to be challenging.

Solution

A year and a half ago, to address these challenges, the finance team launched a project to implement an enterprise BI tool. The objective was to facilitate budget variance analysis (“BVA”) by integrating actuals data from their ERP system into the BI Tool. This initiative demanded considerable developer resources and was finalized a few months back. Despite the advancements from the new system, the finance team recognized a need for enhanced functionalities to effectively develop and analyze rolling forecasts.

Francis provided the necessary capabilities, enabling both BVA, year-on-year analysis, and department-level forecasting. Now, every department model is linked and synchronized to their ERP.

“With Francis, we’re now better equipped to aid management in making informed decisions and navigating challenges. Further down the hierarchy, this support also empowers finance business partners and controllers to assess costs and generate accurate forecasts.”

As SYBO continues to expand, the requirement for department-level forecasting becomes increasingly critical. Although their business model is not perceived as particularly complex, the introduction of new games and departments naturally leads to more complex planning. By leveraging Francis, SYBO future-proofs its operations to accommodate the launch of new games and the creation of new departments.

Flexibility in customizing their model as needed is another key driver of scalability. SYBO now has the ability to adapt separate internal and external reports within their model to meet emerging needs.

Onboarding

The finance team at SYBO found the platform straightforward to learn, requiring just an hour to grasp the fundamental concepts before confidently proceeding to set up their model independently.

“After one hour, I was ready. It wasn’t hard at all. I think we only needed one hour to walk through the concepts, and then I felt comfortable using the tool on my own. Subsequently, we set up our model ourselves. Of course it took a little time to get fully used to it. But it was super intuitive and with a modern user interface.”

Regarding the most challenging aspect, the team pointed to aligning internally on how to design the new model, given their new capabilities and direct links to the ERP. They noted this as a valuable chance to consider restructuring their P&L statement to take full advantage of the new features.

Results

The SYBO finance team has identified five key benefits gained from utilizing Francis:

Resource savings: Previously, two senior finance members would spend up to two days analyzing departmental costs, but with Francis, this task has been reduced to just one hour, equaling a 93% resource saving. This efficiency gain allows them to perform the analysis monthly.

Flexibility: The finance team keeps the flexibility that they’re used to from Excel. They can design their financial model to their specific needs, and forecast with custom formulas.

Independence: The finance team can independently create and adjust their financial models, analyses, and reports without additional developer support.

Better Insights: Actuals per department are now instantly accessible, and SYBO can now re-forecast on a departmental level. The native connection eliminates the risk of data entry errors, and accounting mistakes can be detected and corrected immediately, preventing the compounding of errors over time.

Scalability: As SYBO grows and integrates new games and departments, their FP&A setup is designed to be scalable and adaptable, ensuring long-term relevance and efficiency.