Midland Heart has replaced its previous finance system with OpenAccounts from Orchard, based on the software’s asset processing capabilities, ease of integration and overall simplicity.
Martin Temple, finance operations manager, Midland Heart, said, “We needed a straightforward, easy-to-maintain system that would be simple to administer and could control costs.
“During the procurement process, our team had a ‘blue sky’ vision of their functional objectives. Those objectives were then ranked in importance and mapped to solutions in the market, with OpenAccounts becoming the clear winner.
“And although some people initially saw the new finance system as a threat, what actually unfolded to the benefit of both staff and the organisation as a whole was that job roles changed from data processing to genuine analytical work.”
Midland Heart reported that automating business processes with OpenAccounts has enabled its users to spend more time doing analytical work rather than data processing. Staff now spend time working with suppliers to maximise value, and tenants to minimise debt, which are undoubtedly significant business benefits”.
Temple said, “In the first year alone, bad debt provision has fallen from £482,000 to around £50,000, with accrued debt halved; achieved via the clarity of business reporting through OpenAccounts.”
Commenting on what had been learned from the OpenAccounts implementation, Temple said, “Know your chart of accounts and set it in stone. Changes down the line can have a knock-on effect with other documents, such as purchase orders raised with one set of codes that are invalid by the time accruals are done or they are actualised.
“Give yourself time to think through processes and identify the benefits. Such as who is raising the orders for asset purchases, and do they understand how to get the order correct such that the component accounting team can correctly create the appropriate fixed assets? If they do, then the assets will be correctly created, full transparency will be available, and retrospective corrections will be eliminated.”