Burnley College is saving around four days a month in reduced man hours after implementing finance management and integrated electronic workflow software from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). The College, which has 7,000 students, has already started to see benefits since implementing OpenAccounts and eBIS at the start of the academic year.
Advanced was selected following a tendering process involving six other software providers.
The financial management system - OpenAccounts - is being used by the finance department to track the College’s income and expenditure. The system also automatically creates purchase orders and allows users to easily view their transactions with suppliers by postcode, which is particularly important as the College principles include working with local businesses as much as possible.
Susan Williams, Finance Manager at Burnley College, says: “We chose Advanced due to the enhanced reporting capability and intuitive interfaces their solutions offered. Our reports are created by the finance team, not the IT team, so it was crucial that the system was easy for them to use.
“We have been able to tailor the financial reports to suit our own requirements and include colour coding and a traffic light system to ensure managers in other departments find them easy to understand. Previously the reports were very rigid and contained a lot of unnecessary and confusing information for managers, now they can clearly see the status of their budget.
“The flexibility of reporting also enables us to cut and slice through our data much more easily. We need to provide financial information to various funding bodies, all of which require a different presentation which can now be accommodated due to the software’s reporting functionality.”
eBIS, Advanced’s workflow solution, integrates with OpenAccounts and is being used by around 100 people in various departments and roles. It is used to enter goods received notes, request payments, raise electronic requisitions and authorise invoices. Once invoices have been authorised, the information is automatically fed back into the finance system and a purchase order is created.
Williams adds, “The fact that we are able to automatically create purchase orders is already saving us a great deal of time. We are also saving time and improving accuracy as the system automatically batches electronic invoices and Excel spreadsheets can be easily uploaded and downloaded, which again saves the re-typing of information.
“It is part of the College’s culture to focus heavily on innovation and efficiency, enabling our people to do their jobs rather than worry about onerous administration. Investing in this technology fits in perfectly with our ethos and we are already looking at how we can roll out eBIS in the future to non-finance departments to further streamline workflow processes.”
Advanced Business Solutions is an Advanced Computer Software Group company. The Group recently won Tech Company of the Year in the prestigious UK Tech Awards 2014 and ranked in the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK.