Summerland has relied on using the FCS combined banking and general ledger system, and multiple spreadsheets to manage its financials for many years. However this system did not provide the flexibility that Summerland required, with a limited chart of accounts and a lack of functionality to analyse both product and branch requirements.
Reporting was also not to the standard Summerland needed. The previous system required manual intervention and manipulation of spreadsheets, increasing the risk of user error.
"We needed a system that could provide more comprehensive end of month reporting in a shorter time frame. We also wanted to free up our staff to focus on the financial management of the credit union, rather than manual intervention and manipulating reports," said Sally-Anne Cumine, Chief Financial Officer, Summerland Credit Union.
Since implementing Infor FMS SunSystems, Summerland has reduced its month-end processing from 12 days down to five. It has also automated cost centre, branch and product reporting, eliminating the manual processes that were previously required. This has increased the productivity of staff and allowed them to increase their focus on improving service and providing more value add to the financial management of Summerland.
Summerland has also automated the bank reconciliation matching process by implementing the bank reconciliation module and uploading the bank statements from NAB.
In addition, Summerland has been able to reduce its finance team headcount by one and increased the functions performed by the team. Those finance team members have now been redeployed to other areas of the business.
Solution and implementation
Summerland conducted an extensive six-month review to select its new financial system. During this time, Summerland evaluated the available systems and the functionality they provided, as well as the various providers and implementation partners in the market. Summerland also conducted reference checks among other credit unions to ensure the system they selected would be right for their business needs.
Summerland selected Infor FMS SunSystems as its new financial system and chose to work with Professional Advantage as its implementation partner. Summerland was impressed by the functionality of Infor FMS SunSystems and was also given confidence by both Infor FMS SunSystems and Professional Advantage having proven experience in the credit union market, through its work with clients including DEFCREDIT and Members Education Credit Union.
Ms. Cumine had a long-standing relationship with Professional Advantage, spanning a number of years. Summerland had attended a presentation by Professional Advantage in Brisbane several years prior and Professional Advantage continued to keep in contact over the years, providing general advice and guidance to Summerland.
"The combination of our conversations with Professional Advantage in the past, and their extensive credit union experience, meant that we were comfortable that Professional Advantage understood our business processes and needs, and could deliver a solution to satisfy these needs," said Ms Cumine.
Summerland started the Infor FMS SunSystems project in September 2005 and went live on 1 December 2005. During this period, a requirements review, design, build, training and user assurance testing were undertaken. Given the short time frame, Professional Advantage's credit union experience proved vital in ensuring a smooth implementation. Professional Advantage understood the business requirements and processes necessary for a credit union business, enabling them to assist Summerland in the initial set up and design of Infor FMS SunSystems. Following the go-live date, Summerland also conducted a post-implementation review.
Summerland is using a comprehensive selection of Infor FMS SunSystems modules, including General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Desk, Sundry Invoicing and Vision Reporting Suite. The Budgeting and Forecasting module is to be implemented as a second stage.
"We've been very happy with the decision to move to Infor FMS SunSystems. The system has performed very well, with no reported problems since the implementation. We are now looking to the next phase of the project, implementing the Infor FMS SunSystems Budgeting and Forecasting module," said Ms Cumine.
Summerland is intending to implement Budgeting and Forecasting with Professional Advantage in 2007 after implementing the new Phoenix Banking System.
"Working with Professional Advantage has been a delight. During the implementation they demonstrated excellent knowledge, both of the product and of our industry. Since the implementation, Professional Advantage have provided great support and their help desk consultants have been very responsive. We're looking forward to continuing the relationship," concluded Ms Cumine.