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Bellevue Education chooses AccountsIQ and iSAMS solution

International schools group opts for affordable middle market Cloud accounting platform to meet its complex reporting requirements

Posted by Fiona Cowan | September 29, 2017 | International

When Bellevue Education, the international schools group, decided to use iSAMS management information system (MIS), they opted to renew their accounting system at the same time, hoping to find a Cloud-based solution which would integrate with iSAMS and found AccountsIQ. 

Bellevue investigated integrating with Sage but felt it didn’t cater for their needs at a group level.  Having evaluated many products, they chose AccountsIQ cloud accounting software; an affordable middle market Cloud accounting platform which could be tailored to meet the complex reporting requirements of the group.

“The other cloud-based systems we looked at, seemed to be created for small enterprises.  We wanted a system which could be truly adapted to and flexible for 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.” Finance and Operations Director Tim Carey-Yard.

“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 implemented AccountsIQ alongside iSAMS in a number of other schools in the UK and internationally”, explained AccountsIQ’s UK MD Darren Cran.

System integration with iSAMS MIS software

Both systems were seamlessly integrated and installed in September, within a few months of signing contracts.  The benefit of the integrated applications is that the iSAMS MIS system automatically updates all fee payer and student information in the AccountsIQ Sales Ledger, ensuring all data is completely aligned in the two systems, avoiding any duplication of data entry. The Fee Billing module of iSAMS generates all the invoices for students (with the 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 accounts system then takes control of the process and the balances are updated within AccountsIQ, as fees are paid, partially or in full.

“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” explains Rosie Bridgman, Group Management Accountant at Bellevue.

Group reporting

The Bellevue Education group has 12 independent schools throughout the UK and schools in Switzerland and Qatar, which means the finance team needs to account for income and payments in multiple currencies, and produce consolidated group accounts.  AccountsIQ can be customised to create bespoke reports and comes with a library of 250 pre-built 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.  Businesses like Bellevue can then 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” adds Tim Carey-Yard.

Day-to-day efficiencies

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.” 

She continues, “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. ”

Further plans

Now that the system is successfully installed, the next phase includes exploring AccountsIQ’s multi-company functionality further.  “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. We also want to implement AccountsIQ’s Purchase-to-Pay process which will give us better management of costs versus budget.” Tim Carey-Yard.

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 adds, “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.”

Contact us to find out more:

If you’d like to chat to us about our approach to accounting for schools and academies and what our software can do for you, just get in touch. Call us on +44 (0)203 598 7350 or email sales@accountsiq.com.

Or download our brochure to read more about our school-specific software functionality.

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