Durham rolls out eBIS

New College Durham undergoes back office restructure supported by Advanced Business Solutions’ software

New College Durham has just completed a reorganisation of its back office departments following the implementation of a finance system with integrated electronic workflow and document management from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced).

The College, which has around 15,000 full and part-time students, implemented Advanced’s financial management system, OpenAccounts, with integrated workflow module, eBIS and document management software, in August 2012. The software has unlocked significant efficiencies in the college’s support departments and has led to the creation of a new department dedicated to developing workflows across the campus.

eBIS automates processes such as invoice and expense claim approvals and ensures information is automatically routed to the correct people. The document management software allows images of documents to be viewed directly from OpenAccounts and automatically captures information from scanned invoices.

Nicola Whiting, New College Durham’s Systems Accountant, said: “Advanced’s software has been so successful at cutting administration and improving the support team’s processes that we have been able to move individuals’ skill sets to more added value tasks to better cope with new demands from across the college.”

“We’ve also rolled-out eBIS to other areas of the college, leading to the creation of a new department for the management and development of workflows. We’re now using eBis as a college-wide system in areas such as human resources, learning and training and to support our CIS help desk. We may also be able to use eBIS for the benefit of future students. It’s so flexible that it has changed the way we operate across the college and will continue to do so moving forward.”

New College selected Advanced’s OpenAccounts with eBIS and document management after evaluating a number of alternative systems in a competitive tendering process. OpenAccounts was chosen because of its superior functionality and the flexibility of eBIS.

In the finance team, eBIS is being used to manage invoice approvals, petty cash, credit note approvals and expense claims. By automating expense claims, claimants are required to take full responsibility of their own claims including scanning in their receipts for line manager approval. Prior to eBIS, managing expenses was a full time job for a member of the finance team.

The integrated document management software has helped to considerably streamline the college’s accounts payable function and has significantly reduced the amount of time the finance team spends logging and processing invoices.

Whiting adds: “The time we have saved processing invoices is significant. In addition, the college is required to pay 95% of its invoices within 30 days and thanks to Advanced’s software, we never miss this target.”