CSB (Contract & Service Billing Case Study


DCH (Devon & Cornwall Housing Association) CSB Case Study

CSB (Contract & Service Billing Case Study

Solution Snapshot


DCH, (formerly Devon & Cornwall Housing Association), was formed in the 1970s growing organically to be a leading local organisation.


To implement a solution covering non-tenant based billing - an area costing the association time and money through error from manual processing.



The solution needed to integrate to Infor SunSystems to reduce errors and the team's workload.



Contract & Service Billing (CSB) from Professional Advantage was implemented. CSB provided the integral link to Infor SunSystems at a low cost, covering all non-tenant contract & recurring invoices.


Key Wins

  • Implemented a system that can raise invoices and facilitate account/contract management
  • Savings of 42 days p.a through standardised systems and improved accuracy
  • Data integrity significantly improved and monthly corrections eliminated
  • Debtor management streamlined
  • Staff are less frustrated with invoicing activity
  • Customer satisfaction has improved
  • Scalability of solution supports future business expansion


DCH is an expanding housing group, incorporating a number of housing associations and providing a range of services to support independent living. The group also engages in property development and manages shared ownership and leasehold properties. DCH look after over 20,000 homes, employ over 750 staff and have an annual turnover of over £106m. DCH prides itself on supporting and investing in the local community, providing great places to live today and for the future.


System limitations cost time, effort and money

Group Business Finance Manager, Scott Murray, was involved in the process of implementing a new industry-specific housing management system across DCH. During planning, he identified that the new system did not provide functionality to process financial transactions other than those directly related to tenants. The organisation needed to be able to set up debtor accounts, raise invoices, create statements and facilitate account management. 

This system update gave Murray an opportunity to review and address a number of finance department processes that were slowing down the team, and ultimately costing the housing association time and money. Invoices were being manually generated and so weren't standardised.


As a result invoices were issued with incorrect or incomplete information and so these errors were also being posted to Infor SunSystems. Such errors added to team workload.

A significant monthly resource had to be allocated to administer recurring invoicing for annual support contracts.

Murray says all of these manual processes resulted in wasted time, effort and money. "Overall, this resulted in inadequate debtor control, above average debtor days, administrative inefficiencies, heightened accounting overhead and low customer satisfaction."


Integration to deliver accuracy and time savings

Murray wanted an up-to-date and flexible system that would eliminate the errors, double keying and time spent keying data. Essential to the organisation was for the solution to seamlessly integrate to SunSystems.

"This removes duplication of input and ensures accuracy from source documents or invoices to the financial ledgers."

Having investigated possible solutions with a consistent and reliable integration to the Infor SunSystems ledgers, DCH made the choice to implement Contract & Service Billing solution from Professional Advantage, implemented by partners, Pearce Ross Limited.


"We believed that Contract & Service Billing (CSB) would unify our disparate invoicing systems and significantly improve quality and control over invoicing information."

By implementing a better, smoother way of handling large volumes of financial data, Murray expected to see improved customer satisfaction and provide an easy to use solution for staff. Scalability would mean the solution could be used across the whole Group in the long term.


Smooth solution for management, staff and customers

The implementation by Pearce Ross was seamless and the Group Business Finance Manager was very pleased with all of the goals of the project being delivered. Recurring invoices were raised faster, more accurately and standardised. This made account and contract management much easier for the finance team.


The 'out of the box' integration to Infor SunSystems meant that the implementation went smoothly and time spent was focused on configuring the invoice functionality to meet the needs of the organisation rather than on building interfaces with the financial ledgers.

CSB has delivered increased efficiencies in the sales invoice management process also.  "Now there is a clear defined process for invoices, from raising them through to receiving payment and allocation of the receipts".

By reducing the amount of manual data entry required, the time taken to  process ad hoc invoices as well as generating recurring contract invoices has been reduced.


"Our staff no longer have to spend time looking up and entering account codes, analysis codes and standard descriptions before raising an invoice and posting it to SunSystems as these are all pre-defined within the invoice and item types in CSB."


And because the data in the invoices and the item types are maintained by the finance team the accuracy of entry posting is extremely high. "The finance teams do not spend time at the end of the month reviewing and recoding invoices posted into the SunSystems ledger. The volume of correction journals processing has been significantly reduced and there are fewer inconsistencies between source documents and financial ledgers."


Debtor management has also improved as a result of the standardisation of the details included on the invoice. "We now issue a detailed, clearer and consistently formatted invoice. That makes it easier for the customer to get the invoice approved and payment actioned. We have also configured the system so that the individual responsible for the debt is flagged. This has improved the accountability and information to recover debts."


The finance team members like using CSB and appreciate the significant time savings it has delivered. "CSB has been very straightforward to deploy and we are getting some really positive feedback from the users. They talk about how simple it is to use". Finance and frontline staff have also developed a more collaborative approach with the new solution in place.


Overall, since the implementation the finance team has reduced accounting overheads involved in investigating and correcting errors and omissions. Murray estimates the organisation has saved approximately 3½ working days per month, a saving of around 42 days over a year. As well as saving staff costs, CSB was also a more cost effective solution than others investigated at the time.


The future

Murray is planning to roll out CSB to other subsidiaries in the group which would eventually create a unified invoicing system. "CSB is capable of being implemented group-wide in the longer term. Scalability was a key requirement in the original specification."