Cambridge college integrates its financial and student record systems to reduce costs

College needed better accounting system following rapid expansion

College needed better accounting system following rapid expansion

Cambridge Regional College (CRC) is integrating its financial system with its student applications to save staff time and reduce costs.

With an annual turnover of £28m, the further education college has almost doubled in size over the past five years and needed to upgrade its financial system to cope with the expansion. It is using financial software from business software supplier Symmetry to replace its existing Sage core finance system.

Symmetry Financials is an integrated financial and management accounting program aimed at organisations with a turnover of up to £30m and between two and 800 users.

It includes general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, commitment accounting with purchasing and funds control, assets and information management, real-time reporting, secure e-procurement, and comprehensive systems integration.

Chris Lang, finance director at CRC, said, "We were looking for a solution that would enable us to streamline the finance function, integrate with our other student applications and help devolve accounting tasks to our 80 departmental users.

"We knew that selecting the right partner would be difficult, and we felt that the most important part of the process would be to collect and analyse as much user feedback as possible.

"Symmetry provided consistently positive user endorsements from other further education colleges."

Symmetry Financials was able to provide integration with the college's student and payroll systems, real-time reporting via a web browser interface, electronic purchasing and purchase approval, and self-service accounting for non-finance users.

The procurement phase of the project started in November 2004 and finished in March 2005. The implementation project started in April and is due to go live in August.

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