What prompted you to look for a new accounting solution?
We’ve had a compound annual growth rate of about 20% over the last five years, which took us to a loan book value of over £100 million in March .
Three years ago we realised that our existing accounting system wasn’t going to be fit for purpose in the very near future, so we began to look for an accounting system that was going to be able to handle the higher volume of transactions and the continued growth that we expected in the business. We needed something that could grow with us.
The change in accounting system went alongside a wider data migration and systems migration piece within the whole Liberty business. We were changing everything, including moving our on-premise server into the cloud and moving our lease management software onto a new platform. We really needed an accounting system that could be implemented quickly and efficiently alongside these other changes.
Was it easy to find something suitable?
At first it was difficult to find a good solution. There were a lot of solutions for smaller businesses; there were a lot of solutions for large and very large businesses – but the smallest solutions didn’t fit our requirement for being able to grow into the future and the bigger solutions were going to be overkill for what we needed today.
Also, a lot of the systems we looked at didn’t feel up to date, like the cloud solutions we were using in other parts of the business where you could access content via live links, click-throughs and well-presented graphics. Twinfield was different in that respect – it was just what we were looking for.
What made you choose Twinfield?
Twinfield Online Accounting stood out for us fairly early on in the tender process. The system dealt with all of the financial and accounting detail that you would expect as a minimum from any accounting package but it also had lots of additional functionality.
The Twinfield pricing model worked really well for us, too, because pricing is linked to the number of users so it meant we didn’t have to pay today for lots of users or a bigger system but, as the business grows, we can add users.
Liberty is an FCA-regulated business so we need to ensure compliance with the FCA regulations. It was really important that we implemented a system that was robust from a data protection, resilience and disaster recovery point of view. When I saw the independent audit reports that are prepared by BDO each year for Twinfield, that really was a big factor in the decision as well, because that gave us the confidence that Twinfield look at their systems and take security seriously and they go above and beyond in terms of what’s required from them. It gave me the confidence that we were meeting our FCA requirements and had done our proper due diligence on that.
How easy was it to implement Twinfield?
The implementation process was very well supported by Twinfield – we had direct support from a project implementation manager 24/7, whenever we needed them, and access to the support team via email and the support helpline.
As I mentioned before, we had a wider data migration project going on as well, so the Twinfield software had to communicate with our lease management system. It wasn’t just Twinfield working with us, they also had to work with third parties as well to successfully implement the products.
We had very few problems implementing Twinfield – it was much easier than I thought it was going to be.
Any favourite features?
One of the big advantages of Twinfield is the ability to move from really high level figures down into very, very small detail. We can drill straight down into the nominal ledger to see the individual transactions, with a full audit trail and a full back-up of the information. It’s right there on the screen at the click of a button, so we don’t even need to go to another part of our computer system to look at a PDF or a set of invoices – it’s all there, on the screen. We can quickly go from a high level P & L that we’re reviewing for a board report, down to the invoices and the expense claims or the sales invoices that go towards making up those larger figures.
My personal favourite features in Twinfield are on the data analysis side of things, including the ability to get data out of Twinfield and into Excel using TwinCube where we can analyse it and where we can turn it into some really useful information for the board. It means we can produce much better board reports with more detail which helps us when making decisions about the future of the business.
So what’s your overall assessment of Twinfield?
Bringing the Twinfield Online Accounting system into our business has been a really positive experience for us. It’s changed a lot of our processes, it’s made them more current, more up-to-date, and it’s made a lot of people’s lives easier in the finance team.
It was a great product to implement and we had lots of support from the Twinfield implementation team and they made sure it was working for us in the way that we needed it to.
What about your future plans?
We have big plans to grow the business in the future and we needed a solution that would help us do that. We believed that Twinfield was that solution and, looking back after 18 months from when we made that decision, I can say that I’m absolutely pleased we did choose Twinfield. It was the right decision, it helped us in our growth in that period and it’s become clear that it’s going to be able to help us to grow much further into the future.