Skandia UK Group today announced a reduction in cash and securities reconciliation processing time of 40% as a result of operational risk management software supplied by Accurate Software.
The company, listed amongst the UK’s top ten financial services providers*, also reports the ability to reconcile an additional 10,000 cash items since the software installation taking the total up 40,000 a month.
Confirming the benefits, John Keedy, Project Manager, Skandia UK Group, commented: “While we were happy with our existing reconciliation solution there were restrictions preventing more than one person going into the same account at any one time. This was just not practical for the volume of transactions – up to 30,000 – we were processing every month. The functionality we now have enables us to create custom match rules which has been really helpful in providing us with so much extra capacity within the system. We now reconcile 10,000 more cash items than before.”
The different processes for reconciling cash and securities made Skandia’s key requirements particularly important when choosing a software provider. These included the ability to reconcile stock handling and stock transactions between a number of external and internal data sources, to produce quality and timely management information and the need to reconcile at a summary holding level.
Explaining Skandia’s decision to work with Accurate, Keedy said: “We needed to ensure that our reconciliation process was not delayed for any length of time and Accurate Software was able to offer us a fast response to any technical support queries we might have. This was invaluable.”
He continued: “We thought it was important that users were also involved in the choice of solution. The general reaction to Accurate Software’s solution was very positive and we were impressed with the flexibility and ease in which matching rules could be created specific to our requirements.”
The increased reconciliation volume comes from the company’s low-level cash transactions and commission accounts. Previously reconciled manually, these are now included as sub-accounts within the Accurate system and included in the main reconciliation.
Philip Hall, Joint Managing Director, Accurate Software, commenting on the Skandia implementation said: “In the past Skandia UK were only reconciling at holdings level. With Accurate’s solution in place Skandia is automatically feeding in all of the transactions related to the holdings movements that have taken place in the last month and all the external Bank of New York data. If they have a discrepancy at the holdings level now they can drill down and easily find the transactions that aren’t’t matching. They no longer have to search for a specific amount or the number of trades that total that amount, which is a huge time saving.”
The new system is also playing an important role in future-proofing Skandia’s securities reconciliation requirements. Currently, Skandia’s Unit Trust House reconciliation process is not fully automated due to the data feeds not being available electronically. It is hoped that with the arrival of the new electronic system for dealing in collectives – EMX – will help automate this process. Accurate Software will work with Skandia to implement this functionality and deliver EMX compliant messages.
Keedy concluded: ” We needed a flexible reconciliation solution to securely automate our matching processes, reduce the time taken to flag unreconciled items, decrease our exposure to risk and increase the time available for staff to pursue the resolution of exception items. Accurate Software’s solution has met all these needs.”
*Based on Equivalent premium income, industry standard measure. Source: trade press, competitor websites, the LAMRA exchange.