Together Housing

by | Jun 15, 2017

Key Points

• Together Housing needed to upgrade treasury from spreadsheets to an end-to-end treasury management system
• Visual Risk selected for ease of use, flexibility and cost effectiveness
• Improved data integrity, executive confidence and efficiency

Ticking all the right boxes: Treasury management system boosts data integrity and confidence at Together Housing Group

Background

Together Housing Group owns and manages over 37,000 homes for rent, shared ownership and sale across the North of England. The organisation is committed to making a social impact, affecting more than 50,000 people and employing 1,300 staff. Together Housing Group was formed in 2011 from the merger of five separate housing organisations – Twin Valley Homes, Chevin Housing Association, Housing Pendle, Green Vale Homes and Pennine Housing 2000. The group now also includes a charity (Newground Together), a Community Interest Company (Newground CIC) and Together Energy Services. The merger created significant opportunities to improve efficiency, streamline service delivery and better manage risk across a £750 million housing loan portfolio.

Challenge

Together Housing Group faced the daunting prospect of integrating complex financial records, accounting principles, reporting processes and risk management protocols of five separate organisations into a single, standardised approach. The challenge was compounded by highly manual processes. Information was stored, edited and analysed in Excel spreadsheets with little automation or system validation, increasing the risk of human and data error.

Together Housing Group needed to deploy a fit-for-purpose and end-to-end treasury management system to:

• Consolidate records
• Provide dynamic management
• Facilitate consistent risk reporting

“For the cost, Visual Risk seemed to do what others
could and more – even for the basic product. [Since our operations are focused in the UK], we could save
money by only paying for the components that we needed, and not worrying about features like cross currency”.

Dave Johnson, Group Head of Treasury, Together Housing

Solution

Together Housing Group investigated a range of treasury management systems, seeking a product that was easy to use, flexible and affordable to ensure value for money – with no need to pay for features that they were unlikely to use.

Visual Risk is an advanced treasury system with unique abilities to process, analyse and display data in a unique graphical manner. It offers a suite of easy-to-use treasury solutions for businesses like Together Housing Group, including treasury management, hedge accounting, and risk analytics. At its core, Visual Risk helps to better analyse, visualise, understand and report complex information to senior management, leading to smarter financial decisions.

Together Housing Group was impressed by the flexibility of Visual Risk’s treasury management solution – an out-of-the-box product that can be tailored to a client’s requirements simply by adding or removing modules.

Together Housing Group purchased the Treasury & Cash Management, Risk Analytics and Hedge Accounting modules to create full cash visibility, standardise and streamline treasury operations with secure workflows, implement consistent reporting, and ensure compliance with current hedge accounting standards.

Results

Visual Risk has transformed treasury operations at Together Housing Group.

  • Data integrity – With Visual Risk, treasury staff no longer need to worry about a formula or data entry error in an Excel spreadsheet. “You always had some worry in the back of your mind that something might be inaccurate in a spreadsheet or report, but now the system takes care of that.”
  • Executive confidence – Visual Risk is a robust, traceable and automated system that dramatically reduces the probability of error. Executives have access to accurate, current information to help them make complex investment and management decisions. “The biggest benefit is automation and control. You can concentrate on what the system is telling you, rather than making sure everything has been entered correctly. You do it once, and it’s set until things change.”
  • Efficiency gains – Visual Risk automates tasks and processes that were previously performed manually, freeing up time for staff to focus on high-value tasks. “Having data centrally managed in Visual Risk, rather than manually, takes a weight off your mind so you can concentrate on tasks that are more beneficial to the company.”
  • Automated workflow – Unlike other tools, Visual Risk makes it easy to gain forward visibility of due dates. It even sends automatic emails to team members to remind them about due dates. “The automation is much greater than our previous efforts. It’s hedge accounting solution easily produces the required information at the click of a button.”

“We’d explored several treasury systems but they didn’t quite fit what we wanted. They felt cumbersome and clunky. When we looked at Visual Risk, we found that the user interface was intuitive, it was easy to set up, and it could cope with all the quirks in our debt portfolio”.

Dave Johnson, Group Head of Treasury, Together Housing

Future plans

Together Housing Group is excited to further develop the functionality being utilised, particularly the introduction of dynamic risk analytics. With assets of around £1bn and a £750 million housing loan portfolio, it is interested in applying data analytics to drive improvements in both investment decisions and internal operations.

It’s no secret that volatile markets, regulatory pressures and a need for tighter risk management processes are forcing businesses to look beyond spreadsheets and seek more robust and fully-featured treasury solutions. Our experienced treasury and technology professionals deliver systems that are easy-to-use, cost-effective and provide the strategic advantage you need to manage treasury effectively.

 

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