FMIS Lease Accounting case study image of yellow car and AA logo

The AA uses FMIS Leasing software

Leasing software | AA Case study | FMIS Leasing software

Leasing software case study

Why the AA uses FMIS Leasing

The AA was recently confirmed as the UK’s most trusted brand*, so it’s great that they trust FMIS Leasing software to forecast, calculate and track the monthly leases for their operational fleet. FMIS was commissioned to reduce the total time it took to prepare the month end accounts for all of the fleet adjustments, additions and periodic forecasts. FMIS was able to reduce the time required for the whole process from several days to a matter of hours.

“The AA is a diverse business with several different types of operational vehicles and a complex VAT structure. We chose FMIS as our partner as they demonstrated how their system was flexible enough to meet our requirements. The FMIS support team are working closely with us to continually improve and develop the Finance Lease Software that meets our on-going requirements.”

Brian Burkett
Head of Finance
Flexible

The AA has a wide variety of lease types that the selected system had to be flexible enough to handle such as:

  • Periodic tax changes impacting irrecoverable VAT and the fixed assets values
  • Changing maintenance and service provisions
  • Multiple invoices within a period
  • Extensions of the lease term
  • Finance charges based on fixed rates
Reporting

Tailored dashboards allow all the key stakeholders from Operations through Finance to view the information they need, when they need it and in a format that is useful to them.

Support

As the AA’s requirements have developed, FMIS Leasing software has been flexible enough to grow with them. FMIS provides ongoing support for all their clients including regular product enhancements to ensure FMIS Leasing remains ahead of the game and compliant with all accounting standards, such as IAS17.

For more information on FMIS Leasing and other products, please see our product pages or contact one of the team directly at sales@fmis.co.uk or on +44 (0) 1227 773003.

* Source: Survey of more than 3,000 people in the UK aged 18-74 between 4 January and 7 February 2014 by Rainey Kelley Campbell Roalfe / Y&R’s BrandAsset Valuator (BAV).

5 reasons to beware of the fixed asset spreadsheet

5 reasons to beware of the fixed asset spreadsheet

Beware of the fixed asset spreadsheet

It is the age old question in fixed assets. Why pay for fixed asset software when you can keep track of it on the trusty office spreadsheet?
We recently came across an article by Liz Fisher in Accounting & Business which dates back to 2003 (view it here) and most of the issues she raised are as true now as they were then. In an age of increasing pressure on budgets, it can be hard to justify the expenditure of rolling out a new fixed asset or asset management system. Here are 5 reasons why it may just be false economy to go cheap.

1. No audit trail

Spreadsheets have no audit trail. Sure you can do some pretty fancy things with macros and Visual Basic in the background, but in the end someone will always find a way round it (I know, I have tried often enough). Any decent fixed assets software will have a comprehensive and secure audit trail, so when the auditors start asking awkward questions about your assets, you don’t get that sinking feeling in your stomach.

2. It doesn’t really save you time

Researching, purchasing and learning a new fixed assets solution can be time consuming, so surely it makes sense to stick with what you know? The truth is, once you add in the amount of time it takes you to start unpicking the gaps in your data every month and manually creating postings back to the general ledger, it soon looks a bit less sensible.
Frustrated with the fixed asset spreadsheet

3. Single point of failure

An accounting friend at a large financial services firm in the UK repeatedly warned me of the risks of using any system that only one person fully understands. Good advice, especially if he had listened to it himself. When one of his team left suddenly, it soon became very clear that no-one else understood the spreadsheets he had been using for the last few years. They had just pressed the ‘report’ button and he looked after the rest. Fixed asset spreadsheets don’t usually come with a very good support plan!

4. Size does matter

It made sense at the time, after all who needs an expensive system to track a few desktops, a photocopier and the microwave? 5 years down the line, business has been good and you now have to try and migrate several thousand assets from your spreadsheet to your new fixed asset register. Most fixed asset software will allow you to do a bulk import, but it is still going to get more complicated the longer you leave it.

5. One size doesn’t fit all

Every area of the business needs to report on fixed assets in a different way. Whilst a commercial solution will do this (to varying degrees), your old fixed asset spreadsheet probably doesn’t. Most often the spreadsheet was started by and designed for one specific department and each area of the business had it’s own one. When you start multiplying that across different offices, divisions and even countries the chances of getting a coherent picture of your fixed asset register rapidly shrink.

For more information on choosing asset management software or FMIS’ range of products, please see our product pages or contact one of the team directly at sales@fmis.co.uk or on +44 (0) 1227 773003.

Sales Order Processing case study

Sales Order Processing case study

Sales Order Processing Case Study

Engineering Sales Order Processing case study

The customer, a comprehensive professional services firm providing design solutions to private and public sector clients, required an efficient sales order processing system integrating with Deltek Vision. Key requirements included: billing interface with Vision, accounts payable interface via invoice matching, strong control over product item master records, including complex bill of material assembly.

Sales Order Processing

Sales Order Processing case study flow chart

Sales Order Processing flow chart

The sales order can be made up of many combinations of assemblies, items and services. As a user constructs the sales order the system provides real time control over margins and build specifications. The system allowed an easy set up of all required parts and a straight forward authorisation trail.

Fulfilment: purchase or stock

The purchase order will be automatically routed to the preferred vendor for the associated items within the bill of assembly. Vendor selection can be overridden on the sales order if required. The user can also select the item to come from stock, selecting a specific batch quantity or serial number to be added to the packing list. Any final purchase orders will be emailed to the vendor once any authorisation has been completed.

Purchasing

Vendors receive the purchase order by mail or by email. A system alert manager monitors the progress of the purchase against the required delivery dates. Purchase order amendments can be raised at any time. Utility bills and other contracted costs can also be entered as purchase contracts.

Goods receipt

Each category of product has its own set of attributes to be used when recording the eventual receipt of the goods or service. Any serialised item can have make, model, year of manufacture, serial number or any other items captured by electronic entry, manual entry or through the punch-out service.

Equipment and inventory

Any IT equipment is logged into the physical asset register passing on all of the prior information collated to date. The Equipment system allows for asset tracking and automatic reconciliation with the Fixed Asset register.

Invoice matching

Vendor invoices can now be easily matched (two, three or four-way) against the system. The batch of vendor invoices are automatically generated into the Vision Accounts Payable system. Any variances, subject to route and category limits, will automate the production of a new purchase order change request.

Shipping/billing

All part/full shipments will generate a billing entry in Vision with the correct sales order references, quantity and values. Shipping documents can be formatted and templated by the system.

FMIS fixed asset software case study: Express Newspaper Group

Fixed assets audit at the Express

Fixed asset audit at the Express

Fixed assets audit at the Express

The Daily Express Newspaper Group needed to reconcile their fixed asset register entries in PeopleSoft through regular barcode audits. FMIS provided a mechanism where data was extracted using core PeopleSoft routines to identify asset groupings, scope and boundaries. These extracts were loaded into the FMIS Barcoding module and then used to produce a set of automated matching criteria. A set of keywords, codes and classifications were downloaded onto barcode readers which were then used for the final audit at different sites. The key requirement was to audit high-value asset categories.

Express flow diagram

Express flow diagram

Planning and preparation

A number of key boundaries, scopes and objectives are set for sections of the fixed asset register. The key words are analysed from the field asset categories and description fields and used to build up a set of key markers on the barcode scanners.

Extract from PeopleSoft

PeopleSoft has in-built facilities to provide downloads for the fixed assets barcode audit exercise. Some particular audit runs are taken from the test system to prove the concept. Some developer time is required to ensure the pre-built routines are optimised.

Load FMIS matching routines

Using customer and location knowledge, a set of algorithms are loaded into their fixed assets register, allowing the system to automate the matching of items loaded into the barcode scanner with the details uploaded from the fixed asset register.

Conduct audit

Barcode scanners are used to load approximately 250 assets per day. Each asset is barcoded, and certain information entered from operator prompts on the barcode scanner. All data is uploaded through synchronisation.

Find matches and produce mismatch reports

Once the audit is complete matches are run and fine tuned until at least 90% of all equipment items are matched back to the fixed asset register using the intelligence built into the matching algorithm.

Produce bulk adjustments for PeopleSoft

Fixed Assets produces the results file in the correct format for PeopleSoft. This file is uploaded into PeopleSoft and a mass changes batch is run.

Produce final financial account in Fixed Assets

The fixed asset register within PeopleSoft has updated barcode, serial numbers and location information. Any disposals required are also processed. A match has been achieved between the physical barcode register and the fixed asset register.