BetFred is one of the largest and most established independent bookmakers in the UK. The company began in 1967 with the opening of its first shop in Salford. Since then the company has grown from strength to strength, with over 1,600 Licensed Betting Offices across the UK as well as a thriving digital division. With the company continuing to grow, the finance department was facing increasing difficulty when managing their existing Reconciliation process. They were finding their system was unable to adapt to changing processes without incurring additional costs. The issues they were experiencing meant that the software they were using was proving to be an unworthwhile and unsustainable investment. That’s when Aurum Solutions stepped in.
Bookmaking is big business; high cash-flow and hefty competition makes this form of gaming a dynamic and profitable industry. But it is also one that is subject to extensive regulations and audit control. It’s therefore vital that organisations are able to account for their incoming transactions. A reliable and extensive Reconciliation process ensures that organisations are able to mitigate themselves from any accusations of fraud and prevent losses.
BetFred’s finance team were finding it difficult to manage their Reconciliation process with their existing supplier. The software they had in place required additional scripts to be written when changes were made – a task the team were finding increasingly difficult to achieve themselves. June Manock, Head of Control, explains “One of the issues we had with our previous provider was that there was an expectation that we would have to write our own scripts. Something which we didn’t have the experience or the expertise to do. We had quite a few bank accounts that we needed to reconcile, and it was taking quite a lot of time and effort out of our day.”
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.Explore solution
Without the scripting knowledge that was required to maintain the existing system, the finance team were having to pay additional support costs for technicians to implement additional scripts when changes needed to be made. Neil Smith, Cashbook Supervisor at BetFred comments on the financial implications of paying for additional support: “We got put into a position where it was going to cost a fortune every time a statement or our system was changed.”
With the increased cost and added workload of managing their existing system weighing on their minds, the BetFred team received an opportune communication from one of Aurum Solutions’ consultants offering a demonstration of their Groupit application. “We were contacted by Aurum Solutions with a view to have a demonstration of Groupit. We were interested because it was different to the way our previous system worked”, reflects June.
Experts in Reconciliation
Aurum Solutions was able to quickly establish a solution for BetFred, making the migration process as painless as possible. As part of the implementation, Aurum Solutions’ Technician and Operations Manager, Tim Andrews, examined BetFred’s overall process flow to establish where improvements could be made across the board. Tim also ensured that the team were comfortable with the application as Neil recalls, “Tim was brilliant. He showed us everything and any questions we had he could answer. His knowledge of the industry was good and the knowledge of the Groupit system was just spot on – he knew exactly what it could do.”
"Whereas before we were spending more time actually getting the data into our system and not having a chance to do the required investigations, Groupit has given us that time back. [...] We’ve probably saved 30 minutes to an hour a day. Which is a massive improvement compared with where we were before..."
With experience of migrating organisations from a wide range of existing systems, Aurum Solutions’ technicians are well-versed in all forms of financial Reconciliation. In this case, BetFred required software that could automatically match batches of transactions received from their shops to their backoffice system, Coda. As Neil explains, “When Aurum Solutions became involved with our reconciliation process we were just managing transactions from our 1,600 high-street shops, which came through to us as two transactions per shop per day.” Groupit was able to streamline the team’s process, giving them the time to focus on the more important tasks. Neil continues: “We wanted to spend more time investigating discrepancies. Whereas before we were spending more time actually getting the data into our system and not having a chance to do the required investigations, Groupit has given us that time back. If things do look a bit dodgy, we can quickly highlight each shop and make sure that each transaction is right and ensure that they’re banking correctly. We’ve probably saved 30 minutes to an hour a day. Which is a massive improvement compared with where we were before.”
From its inception Groupit was built to handle an exceptionally high number of transactions and extremely complex tasks. By implementing Groupit, the finance team at BetFred have also been able to integrate their shops’ Chip & Pin transactions into their reconciliation process, adding an additional 10,000 transactions a day. June explains; “One thing we didn’t have with our previous systems was our Shops’ Chip & Pin transactions. That’s been a growth area for us. That reconciliation was a manual reconciliation but it wasn’t accurate. It was so big that it was difficult to find out where the discrepancies were. We’ve now got that onto Groupit and we are now able to reconcile it properly.”
Groupit is built with flexibility and power at its core. It is able to adapt to a host of different systems and to manage transactions from any payment service provider or bank account. Dedicated consultants take the time to ensure your process is working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
A concern the BetFred Finance Team had with their previous system included the declining support that was being offered, as Neil notes: “The one massive thing that was totally different to our previous system was that the customer service side of it was pretty much non-existent.”
This is in stark contrast to Aurum Solutions, who prides themselves on the support that is available to all customers. With a wealth of experience working with automated reconciliation solutions and a variety of other data-matching processes, the knowledgeable support team provide friendly and responsive support to all queries.
The quality of Aurum Solutions support team is something the BetFred Finance Team have particularly noticed, as June reflects; “One of the key things for us has been the support and the availability and the response time that we get. The Aurum Solutions team are always aware that what we are doing is time-critical and they respond as soon as they possibly can and sort out issues.” Neil adds; “Knowing that if ever something were to go wrong, that you could just speak to anyone at Aurum Solutions and within 5 to 10 minutes they’d be in touch with you and sorting it out is just extremely helpful for us. And a massive positive compared to our previous supplier.”
"Knowing that if ever something were to go wrong, that you could just speak to anyone at Aurum Solutions and within 5 to 10 minutes they’d be in touch with you and sorting it out is just extremely helpful for us. And a massive positive compared to our previous supplier."Neil Smith, Cashbook Supervisor
Organisations can be assured that by using Groupit their accounts are protected by a robust and powerful system capable of quickly detecting any discrepancies. This added protection gives an extra level of security and confidence to users, as Neil observes; “Groupit aided the Reconciliation process as well as the security side of things, which has become a lot smoother. It was becoming a bit impossible to be able to manage with Spreadsheets – but now Groupit has made it so we can see any discrepancies fairly quickly, whereas before we were struggling to notice them.”
Groupit includes an array of features that make your financial processes as simple and secure as possible. One feature that has been particularly useful to the BetFred Finance Team is Groupit’s dedicated notification utility. June comments; “When we do the reconciliation each day it flags up where there may be cash discrepancies in the shops; such as where the money might not have been taken to the bank. This allows us to quickly get that information across to our security team who can investigate.”
"Because of the process we’ve put in place with Groupit, people now know that the checks are completed and followed up on quickly – which means it works as a deterrent for any fraud that may take place at every stage of the process."
Custom notifications grant users the ability to complete tasks and be alerted to anomalies in the accountancy processes as quickly as possible. In addition, Groupit also features a comprehensive audit trail which is stored within the software, giving users quick access to a log of all changes made during the reconciliation or sorting process. Protecting the company from fraud or mistakes that may be committed closer to home.
The benefit of these features is twofold; not only does it reduce users’ workload, but it also mitigates fraud by acting as a presumptive deterrent – as noted once again by June: “Because of the process we’ve put in place with Groupit, people now know that the checks are completed and followed up on quickly – which means it works as a deterrent for any fraud that may take place at every stage of the process.”
A Comprehensive Solution
Aurum Solutions gives your company access to a very powerful, efficient solution that will streamline the entire reconciliation process. With a dedicated support team that is always on-hand and a solution that is both incredibly powerful and fully tailorable to your organisation, Groupit will give you confidence and control in the form of an auditable, reliable and flexible system that can generate your company savings in both time and money.
June Manock from BetFred reflects on Aurum Solutions intervention: “We’re absolutely satisfied with the way Groupit handles our accounts. We’re satisfied with the way it manages exceptions and reports. It helps by posting into our finance system as well, which before Groupit was a completely separate process. Now it pretty much writes the journal for us!”