Partnerships UK (PUK) has signed a six-figure deal with software and services company, Touchstone Group, to implement the Infor FMS SunSystems finance package and time@work project accounting software.

Traditionally, PUK – a Public Private Partnership company – conducted dozens of million-pound projects that spanned a number of years. When the organisation shifted its impetus towards working on hundreds of shorter projects, its existing accounting system was not equipped to cope with the change.

This prompted PUK to purchase Infor FMS SunSystems finance software. The organisation turned to Touchstone – the largest services company offering Infor software in the UK – for consultancy and support in order to benefit from its vast experience and expertise for the project’s implementation.

Infor FMS SunSystems eXFM delivered by Touchstone will afford PUK many business advantages, including: an improved accounting control environment; enhanced reporting capabilities; improved invoicing and credit control; sharper forecasting and budgeting; better control and allocation of resources (financial and non-financial).

After assessing PUK’s accounting needs, Touchstone advised the organisation that implementing time@work project accounting software would complement the Infor FMS SunSystems package and improve the company’s overall operational efficiency.

PUK heeded the advice and now enjoys a raft of project accounting benefits, including: time recording in real time and remotely from anywhere in the world; easy-to-run reports on budgets, resource allocation, contracts and project updates; and simple processing of timesheets and expenses.

Alex Cribb, Finance Manager, PUK, comments: “The support we’ve received from Touchstone has been second to none. The company’s consultants are always very responsive and are on hand to lend their help whenever it’s needed.”

“We anticipate many operational improvements following the implementation. For example, we expect to save the equivalent of half a full-time employee just on inputting expenses alone. We also expect an improvement in the organisation’s cash flow, as the new accounting system will dramatically increase the speed at which we can get invoices out of the door and how promptly we can begin chasing debts. In terms of ROI, we anticipate the new systems will pay for themselves within a couple of years.”

Adrian McNay, Group Board Executive, Touchstone, comments: “The real value of outsourcing large IT projects to expert consultants is the years of experience they have under their belts. Our consultants can invariably see and fix a problem before it impacts an organisation, saving it time and money in the long run.”

“As with PUK, we also make a point of understanding exactly how the organisation works in a wider context, not just from an IT perspective. This allows us to consider the organisation’s broader ambitions before proposing the most cost-effective solution to help it meet those goals.”

For information on Touchstone Group’s services, see .

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About Touchstone Group

Touchstone Group is a software and services company that provides integrated business software and consultancy services to companies primarily in the UK. It is quoted on the London Stock Exchange AIM market and has had year-on-year growth since it was created in 1982.

Touchstone provides a broad range of services and software applications including: ERP, CRM, Financial Management, Procurement/Spend Control, Document Management and Business Intelligence to clients in specialist sectors including: Commodity Trading, Construction, Energy, Financial Services, High Tech, Hospitality & Leisure, Not for Profit, Media & Publishing, Professional Services, Rental, Shipping & Ports and Wealth Management.

Clients include British Energy, Speedy Hire, Jarvis, Rolls Royce Group, RNIB, Associated Press, Virgin Active and PwC.

For more information, see

About Partnerships UK

Partnerships UK (PUK) is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that bridges the gap between public and private sectors, with a majority stake held by the private sector.

Its core purpose is to support and accelerate the delivery of infrastructure renewal, high-quality public services and the efficient use of public assets through better and stronger partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Formed in 2000 out of HM Treasury, PUK offers a blend of public and private sector commercial expertise combined with hands-on experience in the development and delivery of numerous Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and other PPP projects.

The success of these partnerships is fundamental to the Government's investment and modernisation programme.

Published on: 12:00AM on 19th June 2008