Financial and Accounting Services
Insolvency, turnaround, advisory and forensic firm SV Partners learns about the financial health of the business at the touch of a button.
SV Partners is a national specialist accounting and advisory firm, with 13 offices in the metropolitan and regional areas of each state, across the eastern seaboard. With so many offices spread around the country, it is essential the management team is able to keep a watchful eye over the health of the group as a whole, without getting bogged down in individual P&L and working capital. Until recently, that wasn’t possible.
An end to end-of-month consolidation
For nearly a decade, the business had been using MYOB Premier as its accounting software. “We liked Premier,” says chartered accountant, Director of Forensics at SV Partners, Rohan Youngman.
A Guiding Hand
Integral to the success of the new system was QLD-based MYOB implementation partner ABC Business Solutions, who helped to ensure the structure of accounts in EXO was tailored precisely to SV Partners’ model. The benefit of working with a company like ABC Business Solutions – who are not just software specialists but trained accountants – is that as well as assisting with the technical implications of setting up a system like EXO, they understand the complex statutory and board reporting requirements.
“We didn’t want to develop a heap of individual EXO general ledgers and then have to worry about consolidation at year end,” says Mr Youngman. “We wanted the opposite – a single, general ledger that could give us the financial position of the group in an instant, but also shed light on geographical locations, disciplines or even directors as and when we needed more detailed visibility.” ABC Business Solutions were able to make that happen, and also support the integrity in the procedures and protocols to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
Understanding Performance Measures
The detailed information relating to SV Partners’ financial health is built from the bottom up: information on a particular business unit (insolvency in QLD, for example) is fed into a state report; the state reports consolidate into a national discipline (eg insolvency in Australia). The national disciplines ultimately consolidate into the overall group.
The snapshot view, however, is from the top down. Management can get an instant picture of the balance sheet at group level, without getting bogged down in P&L or working capital at a regional or local level.
A Significant Improvement
Subsequent to July 2013, SV Partners have a much better feel for the performance and management of the business as a whole. “In the past”, says Mr Youngman, “we had all the parts but we could only go about adding up the sum of the parts on a quarterly basis – usually when we had to comply with reporting deadlines to our external stakeholders. “Now, understanding our financial perspective is a button pressing exercise – which is a significant improvement as a whole in relation to the financial management of the business.” Rohan Youngman, Director of Forensics, SV Partners.
“It was easy to use, had good functionality and it was intuitive in relation to structuring of charts and reporting.” For SV Partners, the need to move to a new system was a consequence of the significant growth of the business that required more sophisticated and timely consolidated reporting. “We had individual entity ledgers in Premier,” explains Mr Youngman, “so if we wanted to report at group level, we’d have to go through a lengthy consolidation process.” In 2010, realising the only way to streamline their accounting was to implement an ERP system, SV Partners made the switch to MYOB EXO.
The Move to a Single General Ledger
Mr Youngman admits that for the first couple of years, they were little more than babes in the woods. “When we first switched to EXO,” he says, “we were hoping to use an overlay system called Alchemex to generate divisionalised and consolidated reporting. But that never really got off the ground.”
It was only at the start of the 2013 financial year – when all of the operational business units moved to a common group ownership – that SV Partners decided they could operate under a single general ledger system. “It was then we really started using EXO as an ERP system, structuring the accounts in such a way that we could slice and dice them pretty much.” The advantage of this approach is that it still allows SV Partners to benchmark its individual locations. “We’re always looking for efficiencies that we can adopt across the board. Using EXO, we’ve got that ability to understand what those performance measures are, with a view to isolating and focusing on areas where improvements need to be made,” says Mr Youngman.
Integrity of Data the Number One Priority
Asked how the business has acclimatised to EXO following nearly a decade with Premier, Mr Youngman is upbeat. From a processing and reporting perspective, he says staff are now reaching a standard of comprehension where they can be more definitive and independent in their use of the system. “We still need support when it comes to the report writing process.” Fortunately that’s something ABC Business Solutions – with their high level expertise in creating complex clarity financial reports for multi discipline, multi level GL structures – can provide.
“But we’re not creating new reports every day,” adds Mr Youngman. Knowing how to use EXO is only half the picture. In many respects, it’s more important that staff are disciplined and focused in the manner in which they input their information. “Given the effort that’s gone into restructuring our chart of accounts,” says Mr Youngman, “it’s essential that we can rely on the information that comes out. We can only do that if we’re entering information in the correct way to start with. The old adage rings true: garbage in, garbage out.”
AUTOMATED POSITIONING SYSTEMS
Archerfield, Queensland Australia
Automated Positioning Systems was established on the 1st July 2002. The company develops and supplies machine management systems for mining and earthmoving mobile equipment. They offer integrated solutions which merge GNSS spatial information and advance database technologies to help manage a wide range of equipment found on most mining sites. Their technologies help the productivity, utilisation and safe operation of the mining equipment.
Automated Positioning Systems depicts itself as a medium size company and is based in Acherfield in Queensland Australia.
At present, Automated Positioning Services have not developed into different markets and their managers continue to strive for the same objectives each year.
With these same objectives still in place, Automated Positioning Systems has evolved. They have expanded their customer base and have developed their business into North America. With such an expansion, they have required more personnel, equipment and tracking inventory.
The time came for them to realise they required an IT and Software review when their current QuickBooks system was not sufficient, and they needed an extra level of software.
The main change in the business that made them decide they needed a new software system was their Inventory Control including warehousing, serial number tracking, kit building and cost control.
Partnering with ABC Business Solutions and Ostendo
Kirby Grimes, the accountant for Automated Positioning Systems mentioned that “the knowledge of software” ABC Business Solutions has, was an advantage when choosing software partners. Kirby Grimes also noted that having a mid sized group with different staff was an advantage, as well as the support she receives from her ABC Consultant: “Our ABC Consultant is great. She is helpful and investigates any issues that we have.”
Automated Positioning Systems has changed their process and roles now with the implementation of Ostendo. “We have changed our process with our Inventory Control and follow the guidelines of the Ostendo program.” Kirby Grimes notes that the way ABC has set up the Ostendo system and how ABC have trained them also encouraged them to do processes differently. “ABC Business Solutions give us guidance on how do things differently and I have had previous discussions with ABC on how to get Ostendo to work with us.”
In regards of Automated Positioning Systems moving forward, there is a 5 year plan in place. However, their level of reporting is the main focus. “The original reporting in Ostendo was not sufficient, we needed full customised management reports and a higher level of reporting to move forward.” Ostendo has a full report writer facility. “Not a month goes past that I am not having training with ABC for help and guidance on different platforms.”
Automated Positioning Systems has plans to expand their warehouse and inventory holdings in Australia, as well as setting up the company over in North America to have the same structure. “ABC Business Solutions are continuing to assist with ongoing issues, which will support us in moving forward.”
“ABC Business Solutions staff listen and help me. They investigate and are aware of our outstanding tasks. Our consultant always touch’s base with me to give me updates on anything outstanding.” Kirby Grimes, Accounts, Automated Positioning Systems
AUS MEAT LIMITED
Murrarie, Queensland Australia
Aus Meat Limited commenced in 1992, and is incorporated with Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation. Aus Meat is responsible for setting standards for meat for export under Regulation 3 of the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry.
They offer a range of services to the Meat and Livestock Industries including Management, Auditing, Training and Consultancy. Their main charter is to provide services to the Meat and Livestock Industry. Aus Meat Limited is a large company located in Murrarie, Queensland Australia.
Partnering with ABC Business Solutions and Wage Easy
Aus Meat realised a change was required for the software review when their industry needs changed. They decided on implementing Wage Easy to handle all of their payroll needs. With a large number of employees in Australia and two employees in New Zealand, Wage Easy was the perfect fit for their business.
Elise LePage-King, HR Manager for Aus Meat Limited, noted that it was the skill ABC Business Solutions had with Wage Easy which was the advantage with choosing ABC as their software partner. “Working with ABC has made the process easier. I still have ABC do our End of Year.” Elise LePage-King said that their company uses the consultancy service well.”
Previously using MYOB Account Right for their payroll, Elise LePage-King comments “Wage Easy is better suited to the company and we definitely benefit from it.” Since using the new software, Elise LePage-King also mentioned that they do their business processes and roles “significantly differently” with the way ABC Business Solutions has set up their Wage Easy. “We get assistance from ABC when we need it and they always has quick responses for us.”
“ABC is assisting us in moving forward with keeping us up to date with our software. They ensure our payroll system works for what we need to do and the service that ABC provides works.”
Aus Meat have always kept the same goals to service their clients and have not found the need to develop into different markets. Over the past few years, Aus Meat have watched their company evolve extensively and as much as their industry needs have dictated. They have increased in staff members, programs and turn over. However, as large as they have evolved, they are still a not for profit business.
Aus Meat have a 5 year plan in place and are looking at growing and expanding their company over the future years. Every year they are planning to expand by a small percent each time, so they can stay in control with the ever evolving company.
To expand they plan to communicate with their clients to see where the growth is needed and hope to increase the ability to service the agricultural industry. Elise LePage-King said that ABC can assist in their future and be a part of a long term relationship. To develop this long term relationship, Elise LePage-King made the powerful statement: “ABC Business Solutions needs to just keep doing what they are doing.” Elise LePage-King, Human Resources Manager, Aus Meat Limited