Client Spotlight

CBL streamlines accounting for its £18 million asset base


CBL has confirmed the selection of MRI Software’s proven fixed asset solution to control and manage its 5,000 assets, ranging from high value items of plant to smaller and lower value building and equipment lines. The new system, which is due to go live at the end of August, will replace its current spreadsheet based process in order to enable greater efficiency and significant time savings over the current processes.

Established in 1986, CBL is a leading provider of compact plant and machinery across the South of Britain. With a turnover of £40 million and 7 depots which cover from Land’s End to Sheerness and from Beachy Head to the Welsh Valleys, it is a family run firm with 150 employees, 50 of which are skilled service engineers.

CBL’s desire to improve the agility and flexibility of its financial operations made the decision to upgrade from using spreadsheets essential. Christian Lawrence, Finance Director at CBL comments, “We were using multiple spreadsheets to manage each asset category including hire, land and buildings, vehicles and the depreciation of our hire fleet. With the growth of the business this had become too costly in terms of the resource required to manage such a complex process.”

Lawrence continues, “Being able to record and control our assets through one central database and having easier, more accurate and timely reporting and interrogation of asset information will be of great benefit to the company. I have no doubt this will translate into huge time and cost efficiencies for the organisation. What typically takes us 16 man hours currently throughout the month, I expect will reduce to no more than 4 man hours with the use of MRI’s software.”

In addition to such a strong anticipated ROI, the improved financial reporting in compliance with UK GAAP and, longer term, FRS 102 at the end of the next financial year, was also a major factor in CBL’s decision to invest in a specialist fixed asset system. Having the ability to analyse with greater speed and efficiency the asset data, and run detailed reports on an ad hoc basis as well as the normal things such as depreciation, additions and disposals will provide the company with added confidence in its reporting processes including year-end.

The new software, which will be used in conjunction with CBL’s finance system, MCS Global, may be integrated with MRI’s lease accounting module longer term. Lawrence comments, “I chose the MRI solution because I was impressed with the fixed asset system in its own right but also its complementary modules, particularly the lease one. With a large proportion of the asset base being the hire fleet which is in the main financed on lease agreements, having direct integration between the two MRI modules is very appealing.”

Lawrence concludes, “My liaisons so far with MRI have been extremely positive. Our Account Manager is always very responsive and has been most helpful and patient whilst we have evaluated a number of different options before making the final decision. I am excited about getting the new system up and running for use in September and look forward to the increased efficiencies that it will bring.”

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