Centralized updating and maintaining of the accounting and ERP systems in Ahlstrom as well as such systems’ implementation at new units are performed by the Group’s own personnel in cooperation with a global IT service provider. The knowledge in the units is supported by internal training and user manuals which are updated regularly.
The consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with Ahlstrom core principles and instructions regarding financial reporting (Ahlstrom Accounting Principles) which is applied in all Group companies. These are are based on Ahlstrom’s interpretation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adopted in the EU. The Group Controlling function (“Group Controlling”) is responsible for the follow-up of the accounting standards, for maintaining the financial reporting principles and for communicating them to the units.
The Board and the CEO have the overall responsibility for setting up the internal control and risk management systems related to financial reporting. The Board has authorized the Audit Committee to ensure the effectiveness of the internal control systems. In addition to the Board and the Audit Committee, the CEO and EMT are responsible for the efficient implementation of the internal control of the financial reporting.
The CFO and Group Controlling lead, coordinate and monitor the Group-wide financial management and control of operations. On the basis of corporate policies and manuals, the Group companies’ and business areas’ controlling functions communicate and monitor the internal control procedures and practices.
The internal control is based on the Group’s overall organizational structure. All levels, business areas, plants, Group companies and corporate functions, are responsible for the correctness of the figures reported by them. All Group companies report their figures by reporting entity to Group Controlling. In the monthly reporting process Group Controlling and the CFO consolidate the reports and analyze the figures and other financial data, and the financial performance in relation to targets is reviewed by the management at each organizational level, as well as by the EMT and the Board.
To ensure the correctness of the financial reports, the monitoring process includes the follow-up of quarterly reports as well as monthly management reports in relation to targets. Group Controlling prepares reports to the Board and the Group’s financial performance is reviewed at each Board meeting. The Audit Committee reviews interim reports and annual financial statements in detail and the Board reviews such interim reports’ summaries and any statements regarding the outlook and near term risks before the reports are released. The EMT members also receive the management reports for their monthly meetings.
The efficiency and profitability of Ahlstrom is monitored monthly by Group Controlling at the reporting entity level. The actual figures are compared to the Annual Plan and to previous year figures. Business performance control reviews are held at all levels of the Group, including Group companies, plants, business areas, Group Controlling, EMT and the Board. Year-end estimates are updated quarterly. Long-term targets are set up in the Business Plan process for the next three years and the Annual Plan is prepared through a budgeting process for the following year. The Annual Plan and the Business Plan are approved by the Board.