Institutes – Sun shines for Scots’ upgrade

The Scots ICA will instal a new Sun Systems accounts package as part of a major IT overhaul to cope with the year 2000.

The institute expects to complete the installation by July, just five months before the computer bug bites. Finance staff are currently preoccupied with preparing the annual accounts, but will go ‘full steam ahead’ on the Sun Systems installation in March, when the year-end work is complete, said finance director Andrew Patience.

But the Millennium Bug was not the only reason for the upgrade, he pointed out. ‘It would have happened anyway, as our current Tetra Chameleon system was creaking.’

Because accountancy bodies have a variety of revenue sources and other special needs, the Scots ICA sought the advice of the other institutes.

In choosing Systems Union’s financial management software, the Scots followed the example of the Irish ICA. Last year, the English ICA installed an OpenAccounts package. OpenAccounts made it on to the Scots’ shortlist, but lost out at the final hurdle to Sun Systems.

The accounting system upgrade parallels similar work to instal a new administration and membership database in the institute’s headquarters.

The systems will be configured so that revenue information recorded by admin staff will feed through automatically to the accounts system, said Patience.

‘We’ll probably get version 5 in next year, but Systems Union said it was better for us to go in two steps.’

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