The finance department at Leicester Tigers, consisting of five team members, was using Sage Line 50 and relied heavily on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. “As a rugby club we have a number of small business units such as shops, conferencing facilities, match-day ticketing and so on; and with all these we were using several different business systems.
We wanted to be able to import data from all these systems into the finance software without the amount of manual intervention necessary with the existing system,” declares Stephanie Cowley, Company Accountant.
That was a key objective for us. Another one was the data structure – we needed a nominal structure which suited our organisation better than Sage Line 50. We needed a system to help us report more dynamically, drill down and report by division but at the same time to be able to view spending across the organisation,” adds Stephanie.
The finance department then formed a project team and went to market to source candidates for a new finance solution. “Our priority was to find a system that integrates well with our other existing solutions and improves visibility of income and expenditure across the organisation,” says Stephanie.
“We considered a number of solutions, including the finance module of our ticketing system, but were very impressed with the
presentation from the Access team.
They understood our requirements and showed us areas of the software that were most applicable to us,” expands Stephanie. “The software has a very familiar look and feel to us and we could see ourselves using it straight away.– Access is quite user-friendly,” concludes Stephanie.
“We spoke to Access customers; the Welsh and Scottish Rugby Unions, who were very complimentary of Access and how they use it, and then visited Birmingham International Airport which frankly sealed the deal for us,” Stephanie highlights.
Access proposed a solution suite consisting of Access Financials, Access Financials Operations, Document Manager and Insight, along with relevant modules that Leicester Tigers would implement to improve reporting and visibility across the organisation. “We needed a lot of hand-holding as the move from Sage Line 50, an off-the-shelf solution, to Access Dimensions was a big step for us and we that Access were the best to help us do that,” Stephanie declares. “We felt comfortable working with Access and the personality of the people won us over”. Integration was also of great importance for Leicester Tigers and Access’ track record of successful integration with most products in the market made the choice easier for Stephanie and the team at Tigers.
“We bought in the autumn of 2011 and planned to go live with the solution from Access by the spring of 2012,” quotes Stephanie, adding, “Access were very flexible when negotiating with us. We were also very impressed by Access’ enthusiasm and support for our business by investing in corporate hospitality and our conferencing facilities.”
The Access consultants and project managers spent a lot of time with the finance team at Tigers to plan the whole process to the team’s exact requirements. “It was a long challenging process and we had a plethora of options to choose from when planning the project implementation with Access,” says Stephanie. “We went live with Access Financials on the 1st of May 2012, just over six months after the initial order, and our project manager went the extra mile to make sure everything ran smoothly for us – we were very pleased with his efforts, to say the least,”.
Leicester Tigers went live 100% with no disruption, utilising their Access solutions from day one.
Access has helped Leicester Tigers deliver key financial reporting and allows budget holders across the organisation to be able to see the state of the company’s financials in real-time.
“We’ve significantly reduced the amount of stored paperwork. Access Document Manager allows us to store documents online and attach them to transactions so our Access solutions are having an actual physical impact too,” says Stephanie.
“We could see the benefits straight away after implementing Access. We can now also see the long term benefits of using our solutions, such as informed decision-making based on real-time information,” Stephanie highlights.
Leicester Tigers are coming up with new innovative ideas on how they use Access. “We are still learning and currently using Access Financials Operations as a test platform for one specific part of our organisation, but we’re planning to roll this out across all departments soon,” Stephanie continues. “We work closely with our Account Manager and use Access’ cloud-based project management solution Access Collaborate to communicate and complete tasks.”
The Tigers are looking for more positive change in their future working practices with Access finance software. Stephanie concluded, “Our previous system was very simple and stood alone in the business. We are becoming more and more reliant using iPhones and iPads to communicate with each other and it is vital to do the same thing with our financial information. We have already recommended Access to another rugby club and would not hesitate to do so again.”