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~Registered drugs-treatment charity chooses Touchstone to tracks funds and deliver critical management information~

KCA(UK), one of the largest providers of community drug and alcohol services in Kent, has selected an accounting system from IT services group Touchstone, to increase management information and improve financial control. The solution will improve access to management information for budget-holders across the organisation and help keep track of different sources of fund income and expenditure on different projects. In addition, it will reduce the amount of manual effort required under KCA(UK)’s legacy system, leading to cost savings and increased efficiency in the overall financial reporting process.

One of the main drivers behind the project was the need to replace the existing accounting system with one that would integrate with other applications, such as Microsoft Excel. Critically, this will deliver productivity benefits by decreasing the amount of manual effort required to transfer and input data into the accounting system. The availability of up-to-the-minute financial data should improve, thus increasing overall financial control. "In order to compile management reports with our legacy system, our office manager would have to print off the financial information and manually input data into a spreadsheet,” says Howard Newman, Director of Finance at KCA(UK). “In addition to efficiency gains,” he continues, “the new system delivered by Touchstone will give our remote managers access to meaningful budgeting information to perform a less reactive and more strategic role in the management of their service centres.”

KCA(UK) started looking for a solutions provider at the end of 2002 and after a careful short listing process chose a Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains solution from Touchstone, based on a number of criteria including the IT service group’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the charity sector. Newman adds, “I was keen to employ a supplier who understood our specific requirements. Having reviewed all potential suppliers, I felt confident that Touchstone could deliver, largely because of its strong record working with other charities.”

The Microsoft Great Plains system will run on a Microsoft SQL Server and is due to go live in October this year. Through using the system, KCA(UK) expects to decrease manual effort and provide access to up-to-date and accurate financial information for management reporting purposes. Finally, it will meet increasingly stringent charitable accounting requirements and help track restricted funds. Says Newman, “The new system will enable an improvement in the reporting process, encompassing a reduction in production time and greater accountability to our commissioners. Moreover, from a financial control point of view the system will enable us to maximise the use of our revenue in meeting the needs of our service users.”

Note to the Editor:

About Touchstone Ltd

Incorporated in 1982, Touchstone Ltd is the principal trading division of Touchstone Group plc, a quoted company on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:TSE).

Touchstone is an IT Services Group that offers integrated business solutions to help its clients address a range of business issues, from financial control, sales force productivity, marketing effectiveness, customer service, management information to operational efficiency.

Touchstone offers high levels of consultancy, project management, support, training and account management combined with Financial Management, Procurement, CRM, Business Intelligence and Document Management business software solutions and has produced a unique IT service for companies in a range of vertical markets.

Touchstone has over 1,400 customers across many major strategic industry sectors, including financial services, hospitality and not-for-profit. Key customer names include: Company Barclaycard, JD Wetherspoons, Comic Relief, INVESCO, Rocco Forte Hotels, Terrence Higgins Trust and Welcome Break.

Touchstone has enjoyed year on year sales growth for the last 20 years. The combination of strong management, quality staff and a broad range of software solutions has allowed Touchstone to become one of the UK’s leading IT Services Groups solving real business issues for its clients.

About KCA(UK)

KCA's aim is to prevent or reduce the harms and costs arising from the use of alcohol, prescribed and non-prescribed drugs

KCA is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. KCA was established in 1975 and has grown steadily over the years to become one of the largest providers of community drug and alcohol services in Kent. It employs nearly 200 staff, 160 of whom are paid, with the remainder being volunteers at service bases across Kent, Greenwich and Lewisham.

Drug and Alcohol Services
KCA provides a range of services for individuals affected by drug misuse. These include advice and information, needle exchange facilities, counselling, structured day programmes and community prescribing.

Working with Young People
KCA's Young Persons' Service is the leading provider of comprehensive community treatment services for young people in East Kent and is developing service provision in Medway and West Kent.

Smoking Cessation
KCA's Stop Smoking Service was established in November 2000. From an initial three month pilot project the service has continued to grow and, via nearly 100 group programmes, has assisted over 1,000 people a year to stop smoking.

Primary Health Care Services
Based in GP Surgeries across Kent and Medway, the Primary Health Care Service allows GPs to refer patients for brief early intervention counselling sessions within the surgery.

Training, Consultancy and Workplace Services
KCA's Workplace Services provides advice, information and training to organisations seeking to tackle issues related to drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace

For further information/photography, please contact Amanda Burgess:

t. +44 (0)20 7121 4706 m. (0)7730 718 702

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