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Background

With the company continuing to grow, Betfred’s finance department was facing increasing difficulty when managing their existing Reconciliation process. They were finding their system was unable to adapt to changing processes without incurring additional costs. The issues they were experiencing meant that the software they were using was proving to be an unworthwhile and unsustainable investment. That’s when Aurum Solutions stepped in.

 

Bookmaking is big business; high cash-flow and hefty competition makes this form of gaming a dynamic and profitable industry. But it is also one that is subject to extensive regulations and audit control. It’s therefore vital that organisations are able to account for their incoming transactions. A reliable and extensive Reconciliation process ensures that organisations are able to protect themselves from any accusations of fraud and prevent losses.

 

Betfred’s finance team were finding it difficult to manage their Reconciliation process with their existing supplier. The software they had in place required additional scripts to be written when changes were made – a task the team were finding increasingly difficult to achieve themselves.

One of the issues we had with our previous provider was that there was an expectation that we would have to write our own scripts - something which we didn’t have the experience or the expertise to do. We had quite a few bank accounts that we needed to reconcile, and it was taking quite a lot of time and effort out of our day.
June Manock, Head of Control - Betfred

Why Aurum

Without the scripting knowledge that was required to maintain the existing system, the finance team were having to pay additional support costs for technicians to implement additional scripts when changes needed to be made. Neil Smith, Cashbook Supervisor at Betfred comments on the financial implications of paying for additional support: “We got put into a position where it was going to cost a fortune every time a statement or our system was changed.”

 

With the increased cost and added workload of managing their existing system weighing on their minds, the Betfred team received an opportune communication from one of Aurum Solutions’ consultants offering a demonstration of their application. “We were contacted by Aurum Solutions with a view to have a demonstration. We were interested because it was different to the way our previous system worked”, reflects June.

 

Aurum Solutions was able to quickly establish a solution for BetFred, making the migration process as painless as possible. As part of the implementation, Aurum Solutions’ Technician and Operations Manager, Tim Andrews, examined Betfred's overall process flow to establish where improvements could be made across the board. Tim also ensured that the team were comfortable with the application as Neil recalls,

“Tim was brilliant. He showed us everything and any questions we had he could answer. His knowledge of the industry was good and the knowledge of the system was just spot on – he knew exactly what it could do.”

Whereas before we were spending more time actually getting the data into our system and not having a chance to do the required investigations, Aurum’s solution has given us that time back.
Neil Smith, Cashbook Supervisor - Betfred

Aurum streamlines the entire reconciliation process

With experience of migrating organisations from a wide range of existing systems, Aurum Solutions’ technicians are well-versed in all forms of financial Reconciliation. In this case, Betfred required software that could automatically match batches of transactions received from their shops to their back-office system, Coda. As Neil explains, “When Aurum Solutions became involved with our reconciliation process we were just managing transactions from our 1,600 high-street shops, which came through to us as two transactions per shop per day.”

Aurum’s solution was able to streamline the team’s process, giving them the time to focus on the more important tasks.

 

From its inception, Aurum’s platform was built to handle an exceptionally high number of transactions and extremely complex tasks. Since implementation the finance team at BetFred has also been able to integrate their shops’ Chip & Pin transactions into their reconciliation process, adding additional tens of thousands of transactions a day. June explains; “One thing we didn’t have with our previous systems was our Shops’ Chip & Pin transactions. That’s been a growth area for us.

That reconciliation was a manual reconciliation but it wasn’t accurate. It was so big that it was difficult to find out where the discrepancies were. We’ve now got that onto the platform and we are now able to reconcile it properly.

 

Custom notifications grant users the ability to complete tasks and be alerted to anomalies in the accountancy processes as quickly as possible. In addition, Aurum Solutions' platform also features a comprehensive audit trail which is stored within the software, giving users quick access to a log of all changes made during the reconciliation or sorting process - protecting the company from fraud or mistakes that may be committed closer to home.

Because of the process we’ve put in place with Aurum’s platform, people now know that the checks are completed and followed up on quickly – which means it works as a deterrent for any fraud that may take place at every stage of the process.
June Manock, Head of Control - Betfred

Aurum Support Team

Aurum’s reconciliation platform is built with flexibility and power at its core. It is able to adapt to a host of different systems and to manage transactions from any payment service provider or bank account. Dedicated consultants take the time to ensure your process is working as efficiently and effectively as possible.

 

A concern the Betfred Finance Team had with their previous system included the declining support that was being offered, as Neil notes:

“The one massive thing that was totally different to our previous system was that the customer service side of it was pretty much non-existent.”

 

This is in stark contrast to Aurum Solutions, who prides themselves on the support that is available to all customers.

With a wealth of experience working with automated reconciliation solutions and a variety of other data-matching processes, the knowledgeable support team provides friendly and responsive support to all queries.

 

The quality of Aurum Solutions support team is something the Betfred Finance Team have particularly noticed, as June reflects;

“One of the key things for us has been the support and the availability and the response time that we get. 

The Aurum Solutions team are always aware that what we are doing is time-critical and they respond as soon as they possibly can and sort out issues.”

 

Organisations can be assured that their accounts are protected by a robust and powerful system capable of quickly detecting any discrepancies. This added protection gives an extra level of security and confidence to users, as Neil observes; “it aided the Reconciliation process as well as the security side of things, which has become a lot smoother. It was becoming a bit impossible to be able to manage with Spreadsheets – but now the platform has made it so we can see any discrepancies fairly quickly, whereas before we were struggling to notice them.”

 

Aurum solutions platform includes an array of features that make your financial processes as simple and secure as possible. One feature that has been particularly useful to the Betfred Finance Team is the dedicated notification utility. June comments; “When we do the reconciliation each day it flags up where there may be cash discrepancies in the shops; such as where the money might not have been taken to the bank. This allows us to quickly get that information across to our security team who can investigate.”

 

June Manock from BetFred reflects on Aurum Solutions intervention:

“We’re absolutely satisfied with the way Aurum handles our accounts. We’re satisfied with the way it manages exceptions and reports. It helps by posting into our finance system as well, before we used a completely separate process. Now it pretty much writes the journal for us!”

Knowing that if ever something were to go wrong, that you could just speak to anyone at Aurum Solutions and within 5 to 10 minutes they’d be in touch with you and sorting it out is just extremely helpful for us. And a massive positive compared to our previous supplier.
Neil Smith, Cashbook Supervisor - Betfred

About Betfred

Betfred is one of the largest and most established independent bookmakers in the UK. The company began in 1967 with the opening of its first shop in Salford. Since then the company has grown from strength to strength, with over 1,600 Licensed Betting Offices across the UK as well as a thriving digital division.

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