Customer: RCS Group
Country or Region: South Africa
Industry: Financial Services Industry
The RCS Group is an independent,
financial services company that operates
in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
Since its inception in 1999, RCS has
provided credit and financial services to
more than one million customers.
From its humble beginnings, as a specialist personal loans provider, it has expanded the available product range offered to customers to include private label cards, retail cards, personal loans, home loans and insurance.
Moving to a consolidated and efficient accounting systems
The current RCS Group evolved from two independent businesses. The merger resulted in duplication and inefficiencies and led to extensive manual intervention.
RCS Group was operating on multiple
financial accounting software systems,
while the Foschini Group used SAP R/3
Financials. The amalgamation of these two
companies resulted in the following
1) Inefficiencies due to duplication of processes and procedures, software licensing costs and considerable reconciliations.
2) Extensive manual intervention and senior management involvement were required in order to meet reporting deadlines, timeously.
3) Additional head count was required with new acquisitions as the current platforms were not robust and flexible.
4) Significant manual and Excel intervention required to produce the necessary reports to facilitate business decisions and needs analysis.
5) The many customisations of the platforms created a cumbersome and inefficient general ledger infrastructure, with unnecessary risks and people-dependant processes.
6) System enhancements, such as online procurement, were complicated and difficult to integrate and implement.
It was decided to provide a single business
management solution by replacing SAP
R/3 and Pastel with one ERP system to
ensure valid, accurate and complete
financial records, as well as a fully
integrated procurement system. Dynamics
GP and the Information Worker suite of
products were selected for this purpose
This meant re-engineering all of the accounting processes and procedures. Data conversion and migration were also required for the historic financial information.
At the same time, various aspects were taken into consideration and ownership of financial results and commitments were
transferred to the various cost centres, verbal communication and misunderstanding of the processes were ironed out and the amount of manual work, which led to duplication, was reduced. Another reduction was in the printing and paper costs which had previously been considerable.
The new system allowed creditor statement import for reconciliation, master record management, with respect to group creditors, including the management of the trading name, multiple addresses, contact details, VAT number, BBBEE score, public benefit organisations’ number, payment terms and settlement discount rates. The approval process of vendor reconciliation was also streamlined.
The maintenance of creditor bank details can now be better managed through segregating the capture and approval of changes to banking details and specific rights are required to perform these changes.
The procurement budget has been decentralised and, when a supplier has been used more than three times and the business owners have not completed a new vendor application, no funds will be disbursed until an executive has authorized such an invoice.
An exception report is required for immediate rejections of payments to creditors. These include an incorrect bank account number of the beneficiary, closed bank accounts, etc. The matching rejections must be authorized by a supervisor.
There is now improved reporting and reconciliation of creditors, bank accounts and general ledger accounts. Treasury reporting, a VAT leakage report and foreign exchange gains and losses (including foreign currency translation reserve) are automatically calculated in terms of IFRS.
The system is able to store and report against budget capital expenditure, by cost centre and asset category, and a consistent hierarchy of General Ledger accounts is available across all the companies, enabling financial reporting on the different company groups. Maintaining this integrity across group companies is critical. Centralised and controlled maintenance is required, preventing the creation of new GL accounts and vendors in the entity hierarchy, unless they exist in the master plan. Various other approval processes have been introduced.
The new system is secure and offers RCS Group IT compliance. The robust security and applied segregation of duties is important in managing the budget, expense authorisation, beneficiary banking details and creditor payments.
An established internal process, assigning responsibility to specific staff members, is now in place which means that access to information is through system controls and is easily managed.
With procurement, for instance, the automated processes ensure that the approximately 3 000 creditors’ invoices are processed across the group, monthly. The same applies to the company’s 300 trade creditors.
With the transfer of ownership for financial results and commitments to individual business units, the company is able to deliver accurate, complete and relevant financial information in a timely manner. This makes for better decision-making and enhances the RCS Group franchise value. Added to which administrative tasks have been simplified by keeping all financial records and reporting consolidated in one central system and location. Financial reporting, a checklist of the month-end finance calendar and bank statement processing are also simplified.