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Dean Dickinson, managing director of Advanced Business Solutions, public sector and enterprise division, tells us about the company’s new finance system, and what it can offer the education sector


What sets e5 apart from other finance systems?

e5 is a leading financial management

system which delivers web-based, enterprise scale financial management functionality, and is used across the education sector. The system allows organisations

to track projects, create, monitor and forecast budgets, manage procurement and credit control processes. e5 is now deployable on mobile devices including tablets and smartphones and is available in the cloud, driving lower

configured more to their needs, particularly with procurement and specific reporting requirements. e5 can be hosted in the cloud and is available as a managed service. This gives academies greater value for money largely because it saves on hardware costs. There’s also scope for real flexibility

in the system. As academies grow and become part of wider academy groups, the system is capable of growing with them to meet more complex requirements. This makes e5 ideal for shared services usability.


How do you differ from your competitors in terms of

your software systems? Advanced has domain expertise within the education sector and we currently have 200+ employees to support our customers in the sector. We don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to software, we recognise there are differing requirements for schools, academies, universities and colleges. We are also experts in finance and understand the importance of fast and easy access to both financial and non-financial data.

"We don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to software, we recognise there are differing requirements for schools" Q.5

total cost of ownership. It also incorporates critical analytics

processes such as Spend Analytics that extends the use of the system specifically to deliver beter value by allowing procurement spend to be managed more effectively. Users can also flip from application to application for greater fluency and user interaction, which is key for customer adoption.


You have just launched the latest version of e5. What

are the key additions? We think customers will be inspired by the new version, which includes more than 100 enhancements, designed entirely following their feedback. The latest release is both intuitive and user-friendly. Perhaps the most significant addition

is the optional HTML user interface, which gives staff the flexibility to access the system and manage finances from any handheld mobile device. The fast-track implementation option also means customers can be up and running quicker.


You are launching e5 for academies – can you give some

more details about this? Academies will find the system is

What are the biggest challenges facing

Dean Dickinson

the education sector? The importance of interoperability is going to be key for the sector. We are seeing more institutions successfully integrating their various systems and back office functions such as finance, primarily to deliver huge cost savings. In the current climate this has never been more important and with the increasing number of academies and free schools, moving to a shared service model makes perfect sense. External regulatory demands are also becoming increasingly tough, which puts pressure on staff and our software can help organisations with compliance.


Does Advanced provide software systems for the

entire education spectrum? We offer finance, analytics, CRM, timetabling and management information systems for the sector. Schools and universities can benefit from innovative management information systems, including a room booking system, which can help deliver efficient management of rooms and resources, and even a parents’ evening booking system to help make organising parent-teacher meetings as quick and efficient as possible. ET

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