Bellevue Education Shapes Partnership Between AccountsIQ and iSAMS MIS for Schools.
When international schools group Bellevue Education chose iSAMS Management Information System (MIS), Finance and Operations Director Tim Carey-Yard took the opportunity to renew their accounting system too, hoping to find a Cloud-based accounting solution which would integrate with iSAMS.
Bellevue investigated integrating with Sage but felt it didn’t cater for their needs at a group level. Having evaluated many Cloud accounting products for schools, they chose AccountsIQ; an affordable middle market Cloud accounting solution which could be tailored to their needs and meet the complex reporting requirements of the group.
“The systems we evaluated which were genuinely web-based, seemed to be created for small enterprises. We wanted a system which could be adapted to our international group needs. AccountsIQ suited us better than Xero, QuickBooks Online and SAP and so we began the process of integrating AccountsIQ with iSAMS.” Tim Carey-Yard, Finance and Operations Director.
AccountsIQ’s UK Managing Director Darren Cran explained, “We were really pleased to work with Bellevue on such a pioneering project and are delighted they are using more and more features of the software. Since going live with Bellevue, we have successfully installed AccountsIQ alongside iSAMS in a number of other UK schools and internationally.”
Integrating with iSAMS
The systems were fully-integrated and installed in September, just a few months after contracts were signed. The advantage of the integrated application is that the iSAMS MIS system automatically updates all fee payer and student information in the AccountsIQ Sales Ledger, ensuring all data in the two systems is completely aligned, avoiding any duplication of data entry. Meanwhile, the Fee Billing module of iSAMS generates all the invoices for students (with an ability to have multiple fee payers for individual students or multiple students for multiple fee payers) and passes the invoices automatically via an API link to the accounting system. The AccountsIQ accounting platform then takes control of the process and updates the balances within AccountsIQ, as fees are paid, partially or in full.
Group Management Accountant Rosie Bridgman explains, “the integration with iSAMS gives us a much slicker process than we had for billing and the fee run is so much easier. It cuts down our processing time enormously.”
International Group Reporting
Headquartered in Hampton Court in England, the group has 12 independent schools across the UK as well as schools in Switzerland and Qatar, which means the finance team needs to account for income and payments in multiple currencies as well as produce consolidated group accounts. As well as a suite of 250 pre-built reports, AccountsIQ can be customised to create tailored reports. Bellevue created their own management reports in MS Excel which can be automatically updated from the AccountsIQ database via an “add-in” link.
Unlike other applications which encourage the exclusive use of in-built Business Intelligence tools, AccountsIQ also gives users the option to plug in existing reports modelled in Excel. This allows businesses like Bellevue to focus on becoming familiar with the software without the worry of recreating reporting packs in the early stages.
“AccountsIQ’s Excel Add-In gives us continuity in our management reporting while we are still learning how to get the most out of the system. It maps live and accurate data from AccountsIQ to my existing management reports.” Tim Carey-Yard.
Exploring some of the automated features within AccountsIQ, Group Management Accountant Rosie Bridgman describes how AccountsIQ has made her working processes easier,
Day-to-day reports for sending out invoices are done in the click of a button rather than us having to find the document, scan it, attach it and email it. The email features are great and we can send emails centrally from any school.
The ability to attach documents to processes saves so much time not just day-to-day but also when we prepare for audit. Other processes are also much smoother such as bank reconciliation. ”
Now that the system is successfully installed, the next phase of the project will include exploring AccountsIQ’s multi-company functionality further. Tim Carey-Yard adds, “There is a lot of functionality we have yet to explore such as customising dashboards and creating live dashboard reports which consolidate our accounts. The system’s Excel integration has allowed us to implement the system quickly and plug in our usual reports but AccountsIQ will allow us to do so much more.” Discussing other future projects Tim adds, “We also want to implement AccountsIQ’s Purchase-to-Pay process which will give us better management of costs versus budget.”
Rosie Bridgman adds, “The real benefit AccountsIQ brings is the time we save every day on tedious and time-consuming tasks. So much of it is automated in the system.”
Tim Carey-Yard continues: “The multi-company functionality allows us to work in any of our companies and we plan to implement the consolidation module to enable us to enter consolidation adjustment journals and produce consolidated management accounts and multi-company.”
Read more about AccountsIQ’s cloud accounting software for schools and academies.
For another example of AccountsIQ’s integrated accounting and iSAMS MIS solution, view our Kingsworth International School Case Study.