Serbia: Power utility EPS financial restructuring, Alexandar Surla, Executive Director for Finance in EPS Group

5. August 2015. / News Serbia Energy

We still have a lot of work, because this is just the beginning of the new processes in the system. The task is to make the planning faster and more efficient, because it is the first step that enables the continuation of all other processes in the power utility EPS group.

The homogenization process within the financial function in the EPS group is our most important task in the coming period – said in an interview for corporate magazine Alexander Surla, executive director of finance.

– This includes tasks from planning to payment. It is necessary to establish culture of service finance. The aim is to make the process from planning to payments to be so efficient that the other parts of the system, primarily production, do not feel it as a kind of pressure. Achievement of objectives depends on our internal reorganization of finances, but also of the IT infrastructure, as well as cooperation with state institutions.

What needs to be changed?

It is very important to change the planning and make it more efficient, what enables the implemented status change from July 1. We still have a lot of work, because this is only the beginning of the new processes in the system of “Electric Power Industry of Serbia”. It is necessary to manage the planning process from one place and not as before from several places that leads to incompliance of the plans. Our task is to make the planning to be faster and more efficient, because it is the first step that allows continuation and compliance of all other processes in the EPS group. It is important to develop strategy, before planning, which will be adopted by the body of authorities of the company and the founder itself, Serbian government. The document will include all the guidelines for further development of EPS. So we’ll know where we’re going and not just for a period of six months or a year, but for a much longer time periods.

Will it be easier now to manage finances in EPS, when there are only three legal entities?

The aim of the reorganization and status change in the “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” is not only to make financial operations simpler and more efficient, but the whole system as well. With three legal entities we will definitely reach both more efficient system and savings. In the first stage, i.e. in the next six to 12 months, patience and a lot of work will be needed to make everything work as planned, until all the new procedures “run in” and develop fully.

In what way will now EPS group business, financial and development plans be created?

The starting point for planning will be a development strategy of “Electric Power Industry of Serbia”. Based on the adopted strategy, the long-term (ten-year), medium-term (five-year and three-year) and operational (annual) work plans shall be taken. Plans will be actualized every year or more times during the year, according to the new circumstances and obligations, but they must rely on the adopted strategy of development. Centralization of strategic planning function has created the conditions for a comprehensive understanding of the needs of all parts of the system, which will consequently lead to a sustainable and realistic operational planning, which is consistent with the financial possibilities of EPS and technical requirements of the system. The experience of EPS from prior periods suggests that the previous programs of business created by the lower levels, without considering the wider context were not fully in line with the financial possibilities of EPS.

Equalization in course

Is it possible and in what time to standardize the processes in finances and accounting in the EPS group?

It is possible, and many jobs are in progress. The accounting will keep in force the uniform chart of accounts, valid for all companies within the EPS. For all non-standard situations we will prescribe the binding instructions and guidance. Also it is very important and unique information system, which will allow further restructuring and centralization of common functions. The financial functions will be fully unified in that way.

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