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"GreyRidge has restored my faith in software."
Anthony Pilkington, Franchise Owner

About the Company

Bookcheck are a leading UK provider of outsourced Sage-based accounting and bookkeeping services. The company serves a wide-range of business types and sizes.

Bookcheck is managed from their headquarters based near Stroud in Gloucester, where owner Anthony Pilkington is the Managing Director.

Anthony’s team includes a central administrative group that supports over 50 independent associates providing the actual bookkeeping services. They use this approach so that they can offer a personal service nationally and as a consequence have clients in all parts of the UK.

The Challenge

Efficient bookkeeping services rely on providing good accounting information for every client on a regular and long-term basis. There is a lot of competition for each client from independent bookkeepers and so a national group like Bookcheck has to have strong brand values and maintain strict quality standards across it’s whole operation.

Naturally, accurate bookkeeping is a absolute requirement for all clients; this means that mistakes must be kept to a minimum while, as with every business service, costs must be kept as low as possible. At the same time, bookkeeping necessarily produces a lot of paperwork and involves the careful management of a clients most precious data.

As a result, Anthony realised that any management system he introduced had to reinforce his teams commitment to accurate and efficient service for his clients. Such as system would need to help make his client management more efficient at the same time as being absolutely accurate, reliable and secure.

The Journey

Anthony was convinced that a software system would help his business but due to Bookcheck’s special requirements a packaged system was unlikely to be found.

“As a business that relies on associates, we needed something that could not only efficiently manage our central work, we also needed a system that could allow us to see what was going on with each associate.”

After careful consideration of what sort of software they required and how it should work, Bookcheck opened an initial dialogue with GreyRidge about a potential web-based bespoke system.

Anthony says “It took us some time to make our decision initially; I was nervous about investing in software given that I heard so many horror stories about failed system developments. However, I have been pleasantly surprised and GreyRidge has restored my faith in software. I have been most impressed by the no-nonsense approach taken by GreyRidge and their efficiency in delivering exactly what we need.”

GreyRidge provided Anthony with a detailed quote and specification and work commenced on a new system in early 2008.

The Implementation

The GreyRidge bespoke software team are committed to maximum delivering business benefit within a given budget. The use a combination of the best Oracle database technology and proprietary rapid application development tools to deliver no-nonsense, reliable and secure tailor-made systems that solve specific business problems.

Before the implementation of their new system, Bookcheck were obliged to collate associate timesheets, expenses and payroll information in a series of spreadsheets. This basic work naturally took a lot of time for central administrative staff.

The new Bookcheck system design therefore targeted this largely manual process.

Charging rules were added to the system so that as timesheets are entered by bookkeepers, individual client invoices could be automatically produced within the system. Charges for expenses and payroll runs performed for clients by Bookcheck are dealt with in the same way.

The system was also designed to allow consolidated invoices; these are required when Bookcheck provide third party services to another service provider; for example in the case where they perform multiple payroll runs on behalf of another company’s clients.

Immediately, the system eliminated much of the time-consuming paperwork that had been a major headache for the central administrative team; as a result, it freed up the Bookcheck staff so that they could concentrate on ensuring that their service is as accurate and efficient as it can be.

The software was delivered on time during the spring of 2008 and has been in use by Bookcheck since then.

Anthony says “I am delighted to say that our decision to invest in software with GreyRidge has been well justified. We have had the system for a number of years now and our business is more efficient as a result. We have an excellent product but we need to continue to deliver it at the best possible price for our clients; using GreyRidge gives us the efficiencies we need to enable us to do that.”

The Future

Bookcheck are enthusiastic about the results of their software acquisition and about their partnership with GreyRidge. The company has also used the post-live development services offered by GreyRidge and are delighted with the support and hosting services they have received.

As with every GreyRidge system, all hosting and support services are included so that Bookcheck don’t have to worry about maintaining hardware or installing or upgrading software. This means that they can concentrate on their core business.

Anthony says “One of the most positive aspects of GreyRidge is that they took the time to understand our business. Additionally, they take care of the system so that we don’t have to; for us it is simple and it just works. All our staff need is a browser.”

The partnership of Bookcheck and GreyRidge extends to sharing information about other business opportunities. Anthony continues: “additionally, since we are happy with their service and they are now well acquainted with the excellent services we provide, we now routinely share opportunities between our businesses and are discussing this with GreyRidge.