AccountsIQ gives New Statesman Media Group greater control over its finance function
The New Statesman Media Group (NS Media) has grown substantially since its launch in 1913 and as with all businesses in the publishing industry, they have had to adapt to survive in the digital era. NS Media has been on a mission to migrate all of its business systems to digital, including their accounting system, where Mark Moore, the group’s Finance Director, led the way to replace the outdated SunSystems accounting platform. Having compared several mid-market Cloud-based accounting software vendors, including Xero and iPlicit, Mark chose AccountsIQ for its full in-built feature set without the need for bespoking, as well as his confidence that the product would continually evolve and support this dynamic and constantly changing group.
We needed to move to a cloud-based accounting solution that could meet the needs of our group of publishing and media businesses. We were looking for a high level of core functionality instead of bespoke patching and a system readily capable of scaling-up. AccountsIQ is an established product and it became obvious to us the product would continue to evolve. Lastly, the pricing was very competitive, and the accreditation by the ICAEW was important to us.” – Mark Moore, Finance Director, NS Media Group.
Better reporting for a complex business structure
NS Media’s complexity comes from the wide range of income streams and diverse businesses across the group’s 17 entities. With consolidation and multi-dimensional analysis built into AccountsIQ, it’s easy for Mark to extract the reports with as much complexity as he needs, including reporting by sector, product, distribution channel, brand and department. AccountsIQ supports up to six customisable dimensions linked to a unique BI code, plus an unlimited number of codes that can be assigned to each dimension. Mark is able to report across all dimensions and codes, and can also create bespoke reports with AccountsIQ’s Excel Add-in.
We’ve always had a complex structure and the great thing with AccountsIQ is that it can accommodate as much complexity as you want. We use BI codes and all of the dimensions because we need that level of complexity to cut across the information,” said Mark.
Group VAT reporting in line with Making Tax Digital has also been a boon to Mark’s finance function, bringing greater assurance when it comes to compliance.
Sun was terrible for VAT and we needed bridging software to do our VAT returns. With AccountsIQ we have one system that does everything,” said Mark. “It’s already integrated with HMRC which made it easy to adapt to Making Tax Digital. For compliance, it’s much better and gives us confidence in protecting the business for the long term.”
Efficiency benefits from integrations with Salesforce and Chaser
Mark is benefiting from two AccountsIQ integrations that are helping him streamline his accounts receivable process:
- Salesforce CRM for sales invoices and receipts
- Chaser for debt management and automated invoice chasing
AccountsIQ’s existing partnership with these Cloud-based apps made integration easy, despite NS Media having a complex Salesforce setup with numerous customisations. Integration support from AccountsIQ and good project management from Marks’ team combined for a relatively smooth integration. The finance team now has greater control over the accounts receivable process from start to finish.
When we invoice from Salesforce, ten minutes later it’s in AccountsIQ and we can start the collection process,” said Mark. “All of the data in our accounts receivable link up to Chaser which has automatic routines sending proactive emails to our clients to help us collect the invoice. We’re getting our invoices paid more quickly and saving a lot of time on accounts receivable tasks.”
Streamlining and automation benefits
AccountsIQ’s cloud accounting features and integrations are designed to automate as much of the accounting process as possible. Built-in automations include accounts payable, bank feeds, invoicing, expense capture, consolidation, workflow approval, and BI. By using these automations, Mark is gaining greater efficiencies in the long term that make his finance team more cost effective.
Everything is much simpler now with an accounting process that is more process-led rather than ad hoc,” said Mark. “For example, expenses and fixed assets are all automated whereas before, it took me about a week to balance everything in a spreadsheet. Things are much more efficient and we have more time to do things that provide more added value to the business. A lot of tasks like VAT used to be laborious, manual processes. Now they can be done in 5-10 minutes. That’s helping us get the best use of our existing resources and allowing us to be a leaner finance team.”
Greater control with data stored in the Cloud
With all of the data stored on the Cloud, instantly accessible, and most importantly, accurate thanks to AccountsIQ’s automations and integrations, Mark has more control over his finance function than he’s ever had before. Mark highlights several areas where these controls are particularly beneficial to the business:
- Workflow approval brings greater accountability.
- User access across the business, e.g. their IT director can update the fixed asset register, giving the finance team better visibility on assets.
- Bank payments are integrated directly with the bank.
- Integration with Salesforce and Chaser bring more control to the accounts receivable process.
- Clear view of the audit trail, with the ability to drill down into the data and easily track changes.
As an enterprise it’s much better to have a finance system that integrates with the business,” said Mark. “Features like workflow approval give a lot of control back to the finance team, and effectively we’re able to evolve. Now as accountants we’re not just people who process transactions; we have the ability to do more, contribute to strategy objectives and the overall value of the business.”
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