Graig Shipping is a privately-owned shipowner and maritime financial services company with a growth strategy which spans many country markets. Founded in 1919, the business has a recent record of growing 30-40% every two years and currently has nine subsidiaries.
Simon Berg, Group Accountant, had been using Pegasus Opera’s server-based accounting software but was finding it increasingly difficult to manage with the business’s rapidly growing subsidiaries. To deliver the level of business intelligence required, it was clear that Graig needed to switch to an accounting solution with more robust reporting features and better automation. Simon included Xero, Sage, and Opera’s online offering in the selection process before deciding that Aqilla was the best system to fulfill his requirements.
We’ve always been a company that understands where the market lies in shipping, and where to go next. That’s how we have thrived as a business. Aqilla provides us with the necessary financial information to make decisions about where to concentrate and what changes to make with the growing markets
One of Simon’s requirements was to move away from Opera’s server-based accounting platform and onto something Cloud-based.
“We needed something that was going to make life easier for us. Opera involved a lot of manual processes that made it difficult to use. We also knew we needed to get our accounting platform on the web. We needed to get away from storage in the office. It’s an expensive way of doing things. So having our accounting system online was one of the key things for us,” adds Simon.
Headquartered in Wales with operations as far-reaching as China, multi-currency was also a must for the 100 year old business which operates around the globe.
“We’re a dollar-based company based in the UK. Our base costs are in a mixture of currencies. Most of the people we deal with are invoicing in dollars, so multi-currency is an absolute essential,” says Simon.
Aqilla’s Cloud-based, multi-currency accounting solution solved Simon’s currency challenges, but it was Aqilla’s reporting features that made it stand out against other accounting packages.
Aqilla is the only Cloud accounting solution that Simon has found to fulfill the business’s extensive reporting requirements, and is essential in helping them make strategic decisions. Using the coding structure in Aqilla, Simon is able to set up processes that extract the necessary information for group management reports.
Within Aqilla it is possible to define workflow states for all journal documents. This includes Rough Posting – a means of marking entries as “Rough” enabling subsequent modification. Simon has found the Rough Post a key, time-saving feature for journal posting.
Simon says, “If you see a mistake you’re able to correct it so easily. In other systems you’d have to do a journal reversal. The Rough Post has made life so much easier. The speed of journal posting is a big benefit for me.”
Simon was happy with the implementation process, which went smoothly and efficiently. Post implementation, Aqilla’s team has remained in contact with Graig to provide personalised support. As the business continues to evolve, Aqilla is able to support and adapt.
“Aqilla are a nice group of friendly people who are willing to help out at any point. They’ve always been really helpful. Email conversations don’t always work, so I really appreciate that the Aqilla support team is always available by phone to talk through challenges and work with you to find solutions,” says Simon.
Hugh Scantlebury, CEO at Aqilla adds, “Graig is a business which stands the test of time by making good decisions for growth. We congratulate them on over 100 years of trading and are really pleased to continue to work in partnership with Simon and the team.”
Because we have business across the globe, we have a huge requirement for reporting: ships, ports, surveyors, costs, sale prices, and extras. All this information is necessary for management to make decisions. Without the functionality in Aqilla which allows us to structure our accounts in a flexible way, we wouldn’t have this information. Other Cloud packages have some reporting features but not to the same extent as Aqilla
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