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Ensuring payments keep pace with industry changes
Lancashire Renewables is a long-time user of Bottomline’s payment solutions for supplier and payroll payments. Consistently paying your people on time is fundamental to fostering long term employee loyalty. With suppliers providing critical services such as supply chain and transport, any delays in meeting supplier payments could have a direct impact on waste collections.
Industry and technology changes meant that Lancashire Renewables understood the growing importance of investing in the finance and accounting infrastructure to ensure that its systems were efficient and met industry standards. It chose to partner with Bottomline on its payments transformation journey.
A smooth implementation
Ben Tromans works in the Accounts team at Lancashire Renewables and maintains the systems that support his colleagues. He says, “We needed a secure, robust and above all, simple way of making our Bacs payments. We looked at three different systems and carefully weighed up the pros and cons. Bottomline’s advanced payments technology combined with its digital payments expertise meant that choosing their PTX solution offered the best value for money and fit to our requirements.”
The established relationship with Bottomline gave Lancashire Renewables trust and confidence in the payments transformation project. It removed a lot of the worry and concerns typically associated with financial IT projects, and led to a painless and trouble-free implementation.
Making regular payments
Lancashire Renewables uses the payroll system Flexipay, which calculates salary and overtime payments. This data is verified and signed off by members of the accounts team. Flexipay then creates a file with the details of each of the payments that need to be made. This is saved onto a secure file location on Lancashire Renewables’ server, is automatically encrypted, and securely uploaded to PTX.
Automated workflows in PTX route each payment file to the Finance Manager for authorisation. In the final step, Ben logs into PTX with a digital payment card to submit the monthly payroll.
Supplier payments follow a similar process. Lancashire Renewables’ accounting system, UNIT4 Coda Financials, creates a weekly supplier payment file. Payment files are automatically validated using PTX’s secure payments functionality. This screens payment details against a blacklist of past and present staff which ensures that supplier payments won’t be diverted into the wrong account.
The system also warns if there is a first-time payment to an existing supplier allowing Lancashire Renewables to verify that bank details are correct before releasing the payment.
“Because of the high value involved with supplier payments, we rely on PTX to make our payments on time which avoids putting the supply chain at risk,” explained Ben.
Robust financial controls
Security is something that Lancashire Renewables takes very seriously. In a small team, everyone has to be flexible and perform a number of different roles. PTX enables customized user restrictions so that the right controls are in place to prevent an individual from both creating and authorising a payment, minimising the risk of fraud.
“We have robust diligence for all of our financial processes which includes periodically checking all supplier details. What we get with PTX is an added layer of protection against fraud or error which also minimises the risk of potential payment rejections. A full and complete audit trail also helps us answer any queries that a supplier, employee or auditor might raise”, states Ben.
Concentrating on business
PTX aligns directly with Lancashire Renewables’ cloud-first strategy. Ben explains, “PTX eliminates the need for us to maintain servers which saves us money in the long run too. Since PTX is maintained in the cloud, it’s always up to date which is one less thing for the accounting or IT team to worry about. It is a future-proof and scalable payments solution that also helped us meet our GDPR commitments.
One of the biggest benefits is that we don’t need to be experts in payments. This is what we get from Bottomline. They have guided us on our payments transformation journey and PTX frees up time for our team to concentrate on managing core business processes.”
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) via the PTX mobile app enhances security and this has proved its value many times over. As Ben says, “Because of COVID-19 we had to react so quickly. We all began working remotely but MFA ensured we could securely log in to manage our payments from any computer. This has been vital during the lockdowns. If staff had to go into the office to log in and authorise payments then it would have put them at risk. PTX has helped us to stay safe during these challenging times without compromising our ability to meet supplier and payroll commitments.”
Confidence in PTX
Ben is very happy now that Lancashire Renewables is able to manage its payroll and supplier payments in the cloud, he adds, “We rely on and trust Bottomline. Not only have they worked closely with us to support our payments transformation, whenever I have a query, the support team is quick off the mark in helping me resolve any issue. PTX is very reliable and the service that we get is first class. That’s why I would recommend Bottomline and PTX to any company looking for a proven and secure payments solution.”
Lancashire Renewables also appreciates PTX’s user-friendly interface. “You can see it’s a polished solution for payments. PTX has taken complexity out and simplified our Bacs payment process. As an added benefit to the simplified process, there is less that can go wrong compared with the manual process we used to make payments before,” concludes Ben.
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