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Client

Scotmid Co-operative

Industry

Retail

Solution

Reconciliation

Scotmid Co-operative is a co-operative society owned by its members, with a strong balance sheet of £90m in net assets. It has been using Groupit from Aurum Solutions since 2008 to manage the reconciliation of its bank statements against branch deposits and cheques cashed. It has benefited from a robust and reliable reconciliation solution whilst improvements in match rates have saved time, enhanced accuracy and ultimately improved efficiency.

Scotmid is Scotland’s largest independent co-operative and has been at the heart of Scottish communities since 1859. The divisions within its business include Scotmid Food, Lakes and Dales Co-operative, Semichem, Funeral Directors, Post Offices and Property divisions. It employs around 5,000 people in nearly 350 retail outlets across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England.

Replacing a legacy system

Previously, Scotmid was a long term user of the Accurate NXG reconciliation system. However a steep rise in ongoing maintenance costs meant that the company was open to the idea of using a different system.

Paul Etherington, Systems Accountant at Scotmid, tells us: “We wanted the same level of functionality that we were receiving but at a lower total cost of ownership. This is exactly what we got with Groupit. The migration was completed in just four weeks and Aurum Solutions’ consultants worked with us to understand our business challenges and increase the automatic matching rates.”

Reconciliation

When it comes to matching transactions and balances as part of any account reconciliation process; automation is best. Groupit can manage any form of reconciliation, including Bank Reconciliation and Payment Service Provider Reconciliation - saving valuable time and preventing errors.

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Completing the reconciliations in less than 2 hours

Groupit is a proven reconciliation system that helps organisations to mitigate risks in bank reconciliation. It also significantly streamlines the reconciliation process, allowing finance department staff to focus on more productive areas of work.

Scotmid downloads its bank statements from the Royal Bank of Scotland online service and financial transactions produced from its VME Store system. Scotmid uses Groupit on a weekly basis to reconcile around 2,800 branch deposits and approximately 100 cheques that are cashed, against the organisation’s bank statements.

Groupit ensures there is a high automatic match rate, which means Scotmid’s Finance staff can focus their time on managing the exceptions.


Scotmid uses Groupit on a weekly basis to reconcile around 2,800 branch deposits and approximately 100 cheques that are cashed, against the organisation’s bank statements.

“This is a good example of Aurum Solutions tweaking the software to meet our specific needs to help us identify any potential errors as early as possible” explained Jill Bremner, Financial Accountant at Scotmid. She added, “Running the autorec takes just a few minutes and the whole reconciliation process from start to finish takes between one and two hours per week on average.”

Unmatched items are followed up with the relevant store. If items remain unmatched following investigation, then corresponding balancing items are exported to Agresso for charging back to stores. Reports are produced for management showing the outstanding items at financial half-year and year end.

One of the enhancements that Aurum Solutions’ consultants developed was a facility to report when a branch had banked the same amount twice in two weeks as this is likely to be an error.

"[T]he whole reconciliation process from start to finish takes between one and two hours per week on average."

Jill Bremner, Financial Accountant - Scotmid Co-operative
“Groupit works very well for our business. It is quick to operate and easy to use. It has proven to be easily capable of meeting our bank reconciliation requirements. The improvements in match rates over our previous system have saved time, enhanced accuracy and ultimately improved our efficiency. We have found the software is very reliable, and we only require technical support on average once a year.”
Jill Bremner, Financial Accountant & Paul Etherington, Systems Accountant - Scotmid Co-operative

 

Saving time and improving efficiency

Jill and Paul sum up the benefits of using Groupit: “Groupit works very well for our business. It is quick to operate and easy to use. It has proven to be easily capable of meeting our bank reconciliation requirements. The improvements in match rates over our previous system have saved time, enhanced accuracy and ultimately improved our efficiency. We have found the software is very reliable, and we only require technical support on average once a year. Additionally, Aurum Solutions has provided a good level of service. Their consultants are very customer focused and their periodic reviews have ensured the software continues to match our business objectives. We would recommend Groupit as it has strong bank statement reconciliation functionality, with the flexibility to be easily tailored to our specific requirements. It is robust, reliable and has been proven to consistently meet our organisation’s needs. Aurum Solutions also provided an excellent service in meeting our project requirements during the implementation.”

Bank reconciliation is, at best, a laborious task. It is often costly and includes inherent risks, as errors are relatively easy to introduce through human error. The process is frequently reliant on an understanding of a business that is difficult to encapsulate in a software system, and is often largely dependent on people holding intangible information in their heads. Both of these pose potentially substantial risks.

"We would recommend Groupit as it has strong bank statement reconciliation functionality, with the flexibility to be easily tailored to our specific requirements."

Jill Bremner, Financial Accountant & Paul Etherington, Systems Accountant - Scotmid Co-operative

Aurum Solutions has proven credentials in helping organisations that need to update their reconciliation processes, including migrating from other systems.

Aurum Solutions’ consultants are very experienced in fast-tracking users to the new solution including development of any scripts and matching rules required, as well as comprehensive training prior to a successful go-live.