Los Angeles, CA: December 2000. STA Travel, the world's largest travel company for students and young people, has selected and implemented Accurate Software's Bankrec to automate Deposit, Disbursement, Credit Card and Bank reconciliations, and improve straight through processing of 150,000 monthly cash transactions across 47 US locations.
With 200 locations around the globe and annual revenues of $150 million, STA Travel is a company with ambitious global business development plans. The decision to more than double its US operations by 2006 led STA Travel to re-evaluate the effectiveness and capacity of its existing financial transaction management processes. Ensuring the highest standards of business efficiency is key to achieving the company's objective.
Todd Supplee, VP Finance and Administration, explained: "We were operating an entirely manual reconciliation process. Although it was reliable, matching hundreds of thousands of transactions a month was proving to be very time-consuming and labor intensive. It was clear that to prepare for our planned growth we needed an automated and streamlined process."
Prior to the project, STA Travel's monthly settlement process involved two staff members manually matching individual transactions in three different ways - against the general sales ledger, the credit card system and the company's major bank accounts. This process could take up to a month to complete.
The company conducted a thorough evaluation of potential Financial and Bank offerings and Reconciliation Software Systems, which would automate these financial reconciliations and improve transaction processing rates. The product chosen was Bankrec from Accurate Software. Joe Exum, VP Operations, explained: "The flexibility and power of the Bankrec technology combined with Accurate Software's highly professional consultancy services made our decision very easy."
With Bankrec in place, STA Travel is able to carry out detailed daily reconciliation to identify transaction errors and mismatches much more efficiently. Supplee explained: "We monitor cash receipts daily and manage the reconciliation process on an exception basis. Everything is handled electronically so we don't have to wade through paper statements and thousands of transactions to find missing items. We can identify any exception items rapidly and the entire process is completed by just one person."
STA Travel carries out large volumes of reconciliations between its various global operations. Bankrec has proved to be so flexible and customizable that the company plans to use it to reconcile the sale of it's intercontinental 'Bed on a Budget' hostel accommodation voucher and its Federal Express charges in the near future Supplee concluded "Bankrec's ease of customization has proved that it can meet, and exceed, any enterprise reconciliation needs we have."
Gary L Gibbs, CEO of Accurate Software Inc., stated: "STA Travel's decision to partner with Accurate Software on a business critical financial systems project once again validates our unique approach incorporating best-of-breed technology and specialized services for Enterprise Reconciliation needs. We are focused on automating all of their financial reconciliation and exception management processes so they can focus on their core business growth initiatives. STA Travel has already benefited in increased productivity, tighter cash controls, and increased resolution times on exceptions."
Bankrec is a powerful and easy-to-use solution capable of reconciling a wide range of financial and other transactional data. Compatible with SWIFT, BAI version 1 or 2 formats, and most on-line banking and accounting systems, Bankrec is used by hundreds of corporate customers worldwide - including NewMarkets International, J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated (NYSE: JPM) and British Airways - to achieve straight through processing (STP) and reduce costs.