Parkwood, a leisure facilities company, is implementing a new financial management system (e5) from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) to enable the company to make timelier financial decisions during a turbulent economic climate. The system will also comprise integrated budgeting and forecasting functionality (collaborative planning), electronic procurement (e-procurement) and document management solutions (powered by Version One).
With the new Advanced system in place, Parkwood will have instant access to key financial information and be able to report on these figures in a timelier fashion, helping the company to make smarter business decisions and remain competitive. The systems will go live in a phased approach on 1 January 2013.
Parkwood previously used a range of financial software solutions from different suppliers, with teams operating in silos. Advanced’s e5 system was selected after a tendering process involving four software providers.
Mike Quayle, Parkwood’s group finance director, said: “After a competitive tendering process, we chose Advanced’s finance system because it was more functionally rich than any of the other systems we looked at and it came highly recommended. The Advanced team’s expertise and knowledge also impressed us and ultimately, the relationship with our software provider is as important to us as the suitability of the product.”
Advanced’s finance system will be used across the whole group, enabling a more standardised way of working while improving processing efficiencies, delivering more accurate and timely information and removing duplication of effort.
The integrated budgeting and forecasting solution will replace a myriad of Excel spreadsheets, which have become increasingly difficult to maintain. With the new solution in place, there will be instant financial insight and staff can be redeployed from basic commodity transaction processing to more value adding activities, in particular financial analysis. Managers will also be able to react faster to shifts in the industry. Rather than having to wait days for spreadsheets to be processed and then analysed, they will have the necessary information be able to react instantly, enabling the business to adapt to change more readily.
Quayle said: “By using a single, integrated finance system across the organisation with real-time and accurate budgeting, planning and forecasting functionality, this will provide us with the tools to make smarter financial decisions. We will be able to plan for ‘what if’ scenarios with greater confidence and by freeing-up staff time currently spent on financial administration, more time can be spent on analysing financial data so that we remain a step ahead of the competition. This is vital in the current economic climate.”
Parkwood will also benefit from integrated e-procurement and document management software, which will lay the foundations for smarter and more cost-effective procurement and more streamlined invoice processing.
The company uses a mixture of manual and electronic processes for its purchase invoices, which will be replaced with integrated electronic invoice (e-invoice) processing. Quayle explained: “We look forward to eliminating the paper-based processing of 150,000 purchase invoices every year by using integrated document management functionality. With automated invoice processing, accounts payable [A/P] will be far more streamlined and we anticipate greater control over paying suppliers, which is a key consideration at present.”
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