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- UK’s first training institution dedicated to retail fashion selects new finance system

Bristol, UK, 24th July 2007 - The Fashion Retail Academy based in London has chosen the bluQube accounting system to support continued growth, provide customised reporting and the capabilities to allow electronic-based accounting in the future. The high profile training facility set up to prepare students to work in the fast-paced fashion retail industry was opened in September 2005 with a joint fund of £20m donated by the Government, and BHS and Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green.

The Deputy Head of the Academy, Utkal Joshi, explains their selection decision, “The Fashion Retail Academy needed to move from an operation based on spreadsheets to a professional automated financial system that would fulfil the needs of a modern specialist training organisation such as ourselves. We drew up a shortlist of three vendors, all of which were competent in their basic financial processing, however we selected bluQube over the rest because overall it offered the best value for money, in terms of functionality and price. We liked the user-interface that was very intuitive and easy to use. It also demonstrated superior reporting capabilities, which would allow data to be downloaded directly from Excel and enable The Fashion Retail Academy to customise reports for each department.”

The new system will enable The Fashion Retail Academy to expand its financial operation from its existing 3 users, to 12 non-financial users as well as give it options for the future such as e-procurement and integration with the student records system.

He continued, “At the moment we operate a centralised accounts function, however it is our intention to devolve some of this activity directly to the our budget holders. With its self-service accounting features, bluQube will support this strategy.”

Joshi concludes, “The system has met my expectations and delivered on all its promises. The vendor, Symmetry, recognised that unlike many other training institutions, our users were new to a software-based financial system and took the time to ensure our staff were comfortable with using new technology.”

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Editor’s notes:

About The Fashion Retail Academy:

The Fashion Retail Academy was opened in September 2005 and provides places for 200 students aged between 16 and 19 to study for a Diploma in Fashion Retail (levels 2 and 3). The Fashion Retail Academy is jointly funded by a Government grant, and by Sir Philip Green, owner of BHS and Arcadia group. The Fashion Retail Academy is located on Gresse Street, near Oxford Street in Central London.

About Symmetry:

Established in 1996, Symmetry is a software company that specialises in the development and supply of business-to-business financial solutions within the UK. The company’s core product, bluQube, is a fully integrated financial and management accounting solution aimed at organisations ranging in size from £3M turnover to £250M turnover and with user populations from 2 to 800+ users. www.bluqube.co.uk

Press Contact: Jane Moores/Sally Minchin, TTA Communications,01225 731317. E-mail: jmoores@ttauk.com

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