UK Highways steered towards fast accounting

Traffic flows on 2 of the UK’s busiest arterial roadways was arguably more manageable than office workflows until Greentree got behind the wheel.

UK Highways Management Services provides management and administrative support to 2 D.B.F.O. (design, build, finance and operate) companies responsible for the UK’s M40 & A55 highways.

The company inherited what David Jones, Project Accountant, describes as an “early Sun accounting system”. Essentially, it was a double-entry bookkeeping system relying on a labyrinth of spreadsheets which consumed significant amounts of staff time. It was notoriously cumbersome and potentially unreliable when it came to producing reports for management. The ‘system’ required manual entry of data in multiple locations which created numerous information anomalies, not to mention the lack of a basic workflow process. Quite simply – it had to go.

“Essentially, Prerogative smoothed the way for a remarkably straightforward migration from Sun to Greentree. In fact, Greentree was fully live and operational within 3 months.”

Smart phased implementation

David explains that implementation needed to happen fairly quickly for 2 key reasons; to coincide with their new financial year and to avoid the payment of the annual license fee on the old system. With that in mind, the Prerogative consultant wasted no time in quickly translating business requirements into a brisk, phased implementation plan.

Smooth data migration

Another key reason for choosing Greentree was the fact that all historical business data could be easily migrated from the Sun to the Greentree system. This was achieved with little, if any, disruption to business continuity and the end-to-end implementation process was met within the planned deadline.

6 companies – 1 system

UK Highways is a group of 6 companies which was difficult to keep track of, let alone manage, in the old Sun system. Greentree provides the flexibility to manage and consolidate multiple companies within 1 fully integrated system. David says that even if you consider this factor alone, Greentree has saved UK Highways a lot of money by avoiding the need to purchase 3rd party systems. Other systems could provide this functionality but at additional cost.

David envisaged a fully integrated, flexible and reliable system which could be quickly deployed and required minimal training. Most importantly, it needed to produce reports containing information that management could rely on.

8 potential new systems were evaluated including the option to upgrade to the latest Sun system. David says that comparatively speaking, the Sun system couldn’t match Greentree’s functionality at that price level. The fact that the expertise required to implement Greentree could be provided by the local UK-based Greentree business partner, Prerogative, made it the compelling choice.

Quality reporting that informs the decision making process

Previously, an inordinate amount of time was wasted entering and re-entering data in multiple locations – data management was an urgent matter. The old adage, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ held true since the reports produced could not be relied upon to guide management decision making.

Without a doubt, the highlight for David has been the amount of progressive time now spent on analysis and interpretation of data, instead of data entry. Management now has the peace-of-mind of knowing that the information appearing in reports can be relied upon. Greentree delivers a standard and quality of reporting, UK Highways has never had before.

Scanned invoices saves time

Another time-saving factor is the ability to scan a purchase invoice into Greentree and send it as an attachment to the person responsible for authorising it. David says this is invaluable since the authorising person is usually a Project Manager who is often off-site. This has a flow-on effect by improving the speed of the invoicing and payment process, which ultimately improves cash management.

Work just flows

Implementing Greentree has enabled UK Highways to effectively benchmark its business processes against best practice. David is relieved that better efficiency has been introduced to office work flows and management finally has the right tools for the job.

He says, “Greentree has given us the confidence of operating in a best practice financial management and reporting environment. This has enabled us to raise the bar on workflow and office efficiency.”

UK Highways Management Services provides management and administrative support to two DBFO (build, design, finance and operate) companies responsible for the UK’s M40 & A55 highways.

Key benefits

  • 3-month system migration from Sun to Greentree – implementation was completed without any disruption to business continuity
  • Manage & consolidate financial accounts for 6 companies within a single system avoids the need to purchase 3rd party software
  • A single-source data entry point improves accuracy & removes the duplication of effort – liberating & freeing staff to work on more progressive tasks
  • Easy accessibility & analysis of data enables the production of reports that better informs the decision making processes
  • Improved cash management – scan & email purchasing invoices speeds-up the authorisation process
  • Greentree benchmarks financial processes against best practice
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