To obtain better control of transactions between the Municipality of Oslo and NAV, the Oslo Health and Welfare Department invited tenders from three providers to find a reconciliation solution which met requirements. Adra was chosen.
The tender from Adra contained a reconciliation solution based on Adra ACCOUNTS. This software suite was initially developed for reconciliation between bank and accounts, but is also extremely flexible when it comes to reconciling transactions from different file formats. The municipality was convinced by the proposal Adra made, and the contract was signed in October 2010, a couple of months after the invitation to tender was sent out.
“The Adra proposal was well thought out, showed good understanding of our requirements and contained standard functionality which met our criteria. For example: good integration with Excel, and the ability to add comments. Another point in its favor was that it was well established on the market – which means updates and development moving forward,” explained Josefine van der Peet from the Audit and Accounts Office of the Health and Welfare Department.
The department is responsible for payment of housing benefits on behalf of the city areas, some of which are made via NAV. After the NAV reform in 2009, the municipality needed a reconciliation solution which gave better control over transactions. The problem was reconciling payment files against input returns from NAV, payment files against settlement returns from NAV, reconciliation of open items and reconciliation of monthly invoicing data from NAV.
“We reconciled NAV transactions since 2009 using Excel, but with 6500 monthly settlements, for which payment and invoicing can be made in different periods, it obviously became very complicated,” continues van der Peet. Shortly after the contract was signed, the implementation phase started, and the Health and Welfare Department felt well supported by Adra.
“We gained a better understanding of what the standard solution could do, and lots of suggestions as to how it could be customized best to meet our needs. The final solution was developed in close dialogue with the technical experts from Adra, which meant that the practical collaboration and physical proximity to Adra during the implementation phase was a big help,” says van der Peet. The reconciliation solution was up and running in February 2011, and shortly afterwards, a situation arose which could have meant major delays and new development costs.
“NAV changed some of the basic ways it reports discrepancies, which naturally made more work for us. But thanks to the efforts of our consultant from Adra, we got around the problem. He made some adjustments which meant that we could continue to use the reconciliation solution as it was set up,” she says.
“We were delighted with the way Adra tackled the situation, and this was good proof of how flexible their solution is,” adds van der Peet. The way of life of the personnel in the Audit and Accounts Office of the Health and Welfare Department has undoubtedly been changed.
“We now have more control over where in the process each settlement is, and can trace it through all the four stages we have defined. By applying rules which govern automatic reconciliation of secure transactions, we gain a simple overview of discrepancies, and can concentrate on events which need manual follow-up. The reconciliation solution from Adra enables us to analyze all transactions related to a given settlement, and we have gained a level of overview we never had before. I can safely say that Adra has fulfilled the need we had, and the reconciliation solution lives up to our expectations.
With 6500 monthly settlements, for which payment and invoicing can be made in different periods, it obviously became very complicated with Excel.
Josefine van der Peet and Torill Ruud, Health and Welfare Department, Municipality of Oslo.