UNIT-e Financials is used in over 30 colleges and universities
It is a highly effective management information tool with built in workflow and e-commerce functionality, a first class leading product with a loyal, enthusiastic following.
The LSE has a key position in the UK’s higher education environment and holds a leading international position in terms of teaching and research. It has around 10,500 students with many coming from overseas. Keith Adams, Systems Accountant at the LSE discusses the role UNIT-e Financials plays at his institution.
“The LSE adopted UNIT-e Financials (then known as Aptos) in 1998 on the strength of its reporting capabilities and because it could integrate with other systems used by the LSE such as our student records. The nature of the LSE means that we need to operate systems that use multiple currencies. Our total tuition fee income is around £55 million annually, mostly receipted in instalments thereby generating over 20,000 transactions annually. Much of this is taken via the web. The requirements of our users are very diverse, as additionally the LSE has eight halls of residence as well as income from business and research.”
“It provides efficient information, distribution and reporting, and is capable of integrating information from a variety of other systems such as a highly complex payroll structure and scholarship records.”
“It is a robust system that produces reliable information for reporting purposes. It is also straightforward and this makes hunting for information much easier. We have confidence that we can answer our queries.”
“We can produce effective management reports on a daily basis if necessary showing, for example, current debt levels and the daily rates of fees coming in as well as comparing with previous years. The system can swiftly accommodate changing business conditions and circumstances.”
“We have had excellent support from Capita FHE ever since we started working with them in 1998.”
“UNIT-e Financials allows us to devolve responsibility to as low a level as possible within the organisation – around 300 people are involved. This helps reduce time lags because data entered once is immediately available wherever it is needed. However, we are also confident about the system’s security.”
“By using a web-portal we can provide each student with individual details of their fee position and financial position and notify them when payments are due.”
King’s College London is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of London: a major multi-faculty university institution with some 19,200 students. It has a leading position in UK higher education and a world-wide reputation for research and teaching.
Andy Perrin, Assistant Director of Applications and Projects, King’s College, talks about UNIT-e Financials.
“King’s analysed the market from proprietary decks to client server in 1996 and decided that UNIT-e Financials’ functionality was the best way forward. Despite other providers now offering similar functionality I believe that UNIT-e Financials is still way ahead.”
The scalability allows for a wide range of system sizes, numbers of users and IT infrastructure. It easily accommodates technology innovations and user community changes.
“It is immensely important that we can increase the number of users without needing to move platforms.”
“The reporting functionality is excellent. We can put reports into Excel and then e-mail them out to hundreds of academics.”
“UNIT-e Financials offered the ability to export data into Excel before anyone else and this was a major factor in our going with it – it still is the market leader in our view.”
UNIT-e Financials is also excellent for complex, fast-changing organisations with its multiple business views feature. It can establish summary business views over different business relationships. Enquiries can be run from any level without knowledge of full business structure.
“Aptos is very useful for our structure. We have a business arm and just recently wanted to set up 10 companies. We could easily move accounts across these companies because of the coding structure on UNIT-e Financials.”
“There is more functionality on the system than we are currently using and we have yet to exploit that. The functionality is all there and gives us the business processes we require.”
City College Coventry (CCC)is a large general Further Education College with some 14,000 students (2750 full-time), 600 permanent staff with another 200 part-time teachers at any one time. The annual turnover is £23 million.
Gary Aitken, Director of Strategy and Operations, City College Coventry talks about UNIT-e Financials.
“Originally we went out to market and looked at the big players but some of the systems were just too big for what we wanted and too inflexible. The advantage of UNIT-e Financials is in its flexibility and it can be used by small or large organisations – universities are using it for example.”
“The most important aspect of UNIT-e Financials for us is in terms of meeting the needs of LSC reporting and this is the main reason we chose it. Obviously the coding structure is important and we have one that works very well. UNIT-e Financials is very user friendly – each budget holder, for example, can call up their budget spend at any time and see exactly where they are. It’s very simple and straightforward to use and this is key.”
UNIT-e Financials gives more choice for institutions in terms of what and how to implement. It recognises differing customer capabilities and requirements.
“Some of the large packages are too generic and some of the custom built packages too specific. UNIT-e Financials is somewhere in the middle, simple but powerful enough to perform the more complex tasks we ask of it such as the LSC reporting requirements. It gets the accounts out in the right format.”
Personal menus can be configured for ease of navigating around the system which makes UNIT-e Financials easier to use in the way the institution wants.
“Ultimately it does what it says on the tin!”
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"UNIT-e Financials gives more choice for institutions in terms of what and how to implement. It recognises difering customer capabilities and requirements."