Work of Art
Updated: May 11
I spent the last six months working at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht. The assignment was to get finances in order, to restructure what needs to be restructured; to migrate from an on-premise accounting package to an online one; also have a look at a project information system and to create a meaningful dashboard with all relevant information. That sounds like a lot, and it is.. a lot fun too!
At the start of the assignment, I created my own analysis tool, which provided me with a quick but thorough understanding of the P&L and Balance Sheet as well as the ability to quickly pinpoint where issues existed.
I reviewed the financial administration with Chantal Fokkema, cleared accounts that needed clearing, vetted all incoming cash flows (including grants, which is not to be taken lightly), went over all costs and checked all balance sheet accounts. The Museum was able to show a positive result for 2022 as a result of these efforts, as well as the careful/mindful spending of all museum employees. The latter has been quite essential and this shows the dedication, loyalty and love the entire staff has for the museum and its art.
Furthermore, I improved the financial accounting by switching to a different cost allocation methodology for exhibitions. Because exhibitions frequently span the fiscal year and/or change in duration, this new methodology (direct costs) makes the results more transparent, easier to follow, and simpler & faster to audit. There are still steps to be taken to further optimize the accounting, but the first major hurdles have been overcome, and the total accounting has been reset. During my assignment, we also migrated from Exact Globe to Exact Online.
I also got creative (that’s what a museum will do for you too!) and built a dashboard in PowerBI to track financial and non-financial information so that management and the Supervisory Board has a complete overview. This dashboard can be updated after each quarter close and will provide valuable information, not only about the P&L, but also about several BS ratios and even the resilience factor. This is my personal ‘creation’ for the museum. 😉
This assignment has been incredible! I got to do a lot of things, I felt very valued and appreciated, and now I'll "leave" everything neat and tidy.
Although this assignment is over, I will not be leaving the museum just yet. I will remain in part to coach the new controller, who started on January 1st and to provide guidance on forecasting for 2023 and budgeting for 2024 (and further). As the museum has also migrated from Exact Globe to Exact Online, I will recreate the dashboard in PowerBI and add new data to it.