P&O adopts web accounts system to improve reports

Freight ferry operator P&O Ferrymasters has upgraded its accounting system and moved it on to Windows to lower the cost of ownership and offer business managers more up-to-date information.

Freight ferry operator P&O Ferrymasters has upgraded its accounting system and moved it on to Windows to lower the cost of ownership and offer business managers more up-to-date information.

The company, which operates in 22 countries, was using Coda Financials on an IBM AS/400, midrange server. It is moving on to a web-based system from Coda running on a Unisys ES7000 running Windows 2003 Datacentre, as part of a £400,000 project.

As well as reducing support costs, the move on to a new platform allows more frequent and flexible financial reports, including more up-to-date information, said Bas Belder, chief financial officer at P&O Ferrymasters.

The company could react more rapidly to changes in demand by adjusting pricing, discounts and capacity, Belder said.

While moving to the new platform, P&O Ferrymasters took the opportunity to standardise its accounting processes. “It was part of the workshops we introduced at the beginning of the projects. We wrote new processes after deciding on the best ones,” Belder said

Belder said the return on investment from the project would be difficult to measure because the benefits for improved reporting were intangible. However, he did expect the upgrade to bring about a significant reduction in support costs.

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