Breeze & Wyles Solicitors
ClientBreeze & Wyles Solicitors
Breeze & Wyles Solicitors Ltd is a full service law firm that can trace its history back to 1914 in Bow, East London. It has used Groupit, from Aurum Solutions, since 2005 to automate once time-consuming and tedious bank reconciliations. Groupit has reduced the amount of time required for reconciliation by at least 75% which, in turn, has freed up time for staff. Other benefits include improved efficiency, accuracy and better control.
Breeze & Wyles Solicitors Ltd provides a full range of services to both corporate clients and private individuals. The firm, which originated in Bow, has expanded steadily and today employs over 130 people in four offices stretching from Enfield in North London deep into Hertfordshire.
The practice provides flexible solutions to meet the various demands of its clients, while maintaining the traditional values of an old high street law firm. It strives to improve the services offered to clients by using new technology to meet the ever-demanding requirements of the modern world.
Breeze & Wyles currently complete approximately 2,600 re-mortgage and 500 conveyancing transactions each month, making them one of the largest property law firms in the UK.
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Sue Pretty, Senior Cashier, has responsibility for the accounts team and explains: “Reconciliation is a vital financial activity for Breeze & Wyles as it enables us to manage our client accounts more efficiently. We have peaks of activity at the start and, more particularly, at the end of each month, when we have a large number of re-mortgage transactions completing. With multiple entries on our bank statements to reconcile, we needed a specialist system that could deliver a high rate of matching whilst being easy to use.”
Breeze & Wyles originally relied on the reconciliation functionality in Partner for Windows, their practice management system now supplied by Tikit TfB, to match payments and receipts to their daily bank statements. Sue looks back with a grimace, “Back then reconciliation was a very manual process which was time-consuming to complete. On a good day it might take 40 minutes to tick off entries from the bank statement in Partner for Windows, but it had been known to take much longer, and resolving exceptions was hard work.”
Breeze & Wyles Solicitors currently complete approximately 2,600 re-mortgage and 500 conveyancing transactions each month, making them one of the largest property law firms in the UK.
“We were impressed by Groupit’s speed, the advanced search functionality enabling exceptions to be resolved quickly, and the full audit trail with rollback allowing incorrect actions to be reversed. Aurum Solutions were also able to show us how the automatic matching functionality in Groupit could be easily customised to our own requirements so we wouldn’t just be using a restricted, off-the-shelf system.”
The firm has a very forward-thinking approach to technology, and set out to find a better way of managing this process. Sue and her team looked at a number of systems. However all were either too expensive or lacked the flexibility and functionality needed for a business of Breeze & Wyles’ size.
Finally, a recommendation from their bank led the team to look at Groupit, from Aurum Solutions. Sue picks up the story again: “We could see that Groupit had just the functionality that we were looking for, and it seemed very easy to use. We were impressed by Groupit’s speed, the advanced search functionality enabling exceptions to be resolved quickly, and the full audit trail with rollback allowing incorrect actions to be reversed. Aurum Solutions were also able to show us how the automatic matching functionality in Groupit could be easily customised to our own requirements so we wouldn’t just be using a restricted, off-the-shelf system.”
"We could see that Groupit had just the functionality that we were looking for, and it seemed very easy to use."Sue Pretty, Senior Cashier - Breeze & Wyles Solicitors
Sue and her team decided to implement the system and, just three days later, it was live.
Towards the end of each day, Sue uses Groupit to import transactions from Partner for Windows, and also loads in their downloaded bank statements. During the implementation process, Aurum Solutions set up three matching rules that Breeze & Wyles still use every day to help manage the wide variety of transactions that are processed by the firm – estate agent fees, broker commissions, client receipts and payments, and so on.
The first matching rule reconciles items using cheque reference numbers. Where there are no references, a “common occurrence” notes Sue, Groupit intelligently reconciles using a combination of the narrative and date. Finally Groupit combines the transaction’s amount and date to reconcile any remaining transactions.
Sue then uses functionality in Groupit to identify any exceptions, search for matching items and reconcile them. The reconciliation results are then seamlessly uploaded back into Partner for Windows.
Praising the impact of Groupit, Sue explains: “Implementing Groupit at Breeze & Wyles has been invaluable, particularly in terms of the time that we save. I complete the daily reconciliation in a quarter of the time needed previously. Catching up on three or four days’ reconciliations takes only marginally longer, and a whole month’s statements take just two hours. That’s time I can use to get other work done, or just get home a bit earlier.
"Implementing Groupit at Breeze & Wyles has been invaluable, particularly in terms of the time that we save. I complete the daily reconciliation in a quarter of the time needed previously."Sue Pretty, Senior Cashier - Breeze & Wyles Solicitors
“We have complete confidence that our bank statements agree with the accounting records held in Partner for Windows. Groupit allows us to stay on top of our client accounts, and we can easily answer client queries as we know that we have a fully reconciled position each day.”
On occasion Sue has had to call upon Aurum Solutions’ Support team and reports that the service received has been of a very high standard. Sue admits frankly, “The main reason we call upon Support is if we have done something wrong rather than there being an issue with how the software works. The Aurum Solutions team has always been responsive in resolving any problems and their ability to dial in remotely is helpful.
“Although the Solicitors Accounts Rules specify that we need to reconcile client accounts at least once every five weeks, in practice we have to do daily reconciliations due to the volume of transactions we manage.
“Groupit has proved a very good investment for Breeze & Wyles and I would recommend it highly to other companies searching for an automated reconciliation system, or those looking to improve how reconciliation is currently managed. It has worked very well for us and I am personally very pleased.”
Helen Belcher, Aurum Solutions’ Managing Director, adds “It’s great to know that Groupit is still working effectively for Breeze & Wyles, and the practice continues to receive superb value from the software. We look forward to meeting their requirements for many years to come.”