What used to take a number of individuals a whole day to complete, now takes one person hours at the end of the month.

Alex Chistofis
Director of Shared Services and Finance Transformation
British Land
> 800
Hour saved per year
Quicker bank reconciliation of P&L accounts
Custom reports generated in minutes

As property businesses go, few have as great a level of prestige as FTSE 250, British Land. Whilst building and managing properties across the UK might be their main objective, ensuring that their back-office operations function smoothly is equally important for such a business.

British Land therefore employs a highly experienced finance team that they wish to get the most out of every single day. As a result, rote yet time-consuming activities like reconciliation - whilst crucial - are not what they endeavour for personnel to primarily focus their time on.

The solution

With a team of 30 finance professionals under his management, Alex Christofis, Director of Shared Services and Finance Transformation, wanted them to spend more time engaging with value-adding initiatives. To accomplish this, he needed to find a way to save them time and improve the data they had access to.

Alex therefore pinpointed reconciliation - and all of the additional by-products of this fundamental control activity - as an area which, through optimisation, could deliver what he was aiming for.

With this in mind, he explored the potential of Aurum with the assistance of Aurum Solutions' dedicated support team and consultants, resulting in them collectively developing a setup which has worked wonders for the British Land finance team.

The results

By tailoring and furthering their application of Aurum, Alex and his team have achieved exactly what they set out to. Across a year, their efficiency has skyrocketed, with Aurum's automation saving them more than 800 hours.

By automating the reconciliation and reporting for our Client Monies bank accounts, we have significantly decreased the time required to complete the process.

Alex Christofis, Director of Shared Services and Finance Transformation
British Land

Where this timesaving has been achieved is not limited to the singular action of matching transactions. As is always the case with Aurum, automation is also present prior to reconciliation and subsequently. For instance, Aurum extracts, transforms, and loads (ETLs) data sets for British Land so that no preparation must take place for reconciliation. In addition, after transactions have been automatically reconciled, reporting upon the cross-comparison of data is generated instantly. Aurum therefore provides a quick and seamless, end-to-end automated solution, providing limited opportunity for any errors to arise.

As a standalone process, this is extremely effective; however, its value becomes even greater when it is applied across multiple individuals and teams. This is why Alex was keen to expand the application of Aurum and centralise their reconciliation efforts.

Previously, individual finance professionals were left to conduct bank reconciliations for the P&L accounts of separate properties, but now, through Aurum, one individual does the reconciliation for all of British Land's properties. As a result, British Land's reconciliation process has become both more efficient and cohesive thanks to their use of Aurum.

What does Aurum deliver? Data visibility, standardisation and centralisation of processes. Ultimately, what used to take a number of individuals a whole day to complete, now takes one person half a day at the end of the month.

Alex Christofis, Director of Shared Services and Finance Transformation
British Land

Whilst centralisation is a benefit by itself, it has also contributed to even more time being saved. Day to day this is experienced when resolving exceptions thanks to the fact that it is now facilitated by consistently formatted reports and dashboards. Plus, the generation of such reports is initiated with a single click, instead of individual reports having to be selected for downloading.

Reporting has been streamlined and standardised, and 150 reports are generated in minutes.

Alex Christofis, Director of Shared Services and Finance Transformation
British Land

Moreover, centralisation makes adapting to unexpected changes a lot more agile. For example, should an alteration to a report need to be implemented, no longer does this have to be executed across multiple processes, but can be swiftly achieved just once. As a result, "speed of change has improved" at British Land. Paired with the fact that accessing intel to signal that change should be made is also faster - thanks to an automatic feed of the output of 600 monthly bank reconciliations into British Land's business intelligence tool - this is especially powerful.

Aurum has increased capacity, enabling us to address more critical issues.

Alex Christofis, Director of Shared Services and Finance Transformation
British Land

The future

Evidently, since adopting Aurum, Alex has maximised its potential to save British Land time through further automation and the delivery of data visibility. However, whilst he has spearheaded the transformation, he is very aware that none of it would have been possible without the work of the Aurum Support Team.

Ultimately, Alex places a a high emphasis on Aurum' Support Team in ensuring that his goals have been achieved through the creation of bespoke reports, implementing new matching criteria, and more:

We have benefitted from the high level of support from Aurum: from a technical perspective, their understanding of the product, their appreciation of the goals and challenges we face, and their speed to respond.

Alex Christofis, Director of Shared Services and Finance Transformation
British Land

This experience has cemented in Alex that the Aurum software and the people of Aurum will continue to be the perfect partners for helping his team continually optimise their time and data.

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