ACC adopts Oracle collections software

First Asia Pacific organisation to implement Advanced Collection Strategy

The Accident Compensation Corporation has become the first organisation in Asia–Pacific to implement Oracle’s Advanced Collection Strategy, which chief financial officer Phil Burt says will save it many millions of dollars.

Advanced Collections went live at the end of April and the experience indicates the payback time will be less than the originally-estimated 2.2 years, Burt says.

The move across the board to Oracle financials and components of Oracle’s E-business Suite has been a long time in the gestation.

Privatisation of the ACC in 1999 required the organisation to begin gathering premiums from businesses and the self-employed, increasing the number of parties to invoice from 30 to more than 200,000. It turned the ACC into one of the largest invoicing and collection agencies in New Zealand.

The previous year, the ACC had implemented SmartStream, from Geac.

Burt says Geac was a very good system but its strength wasn’t in invoicing. Consequently, a lot of modification was done, which led to increasing downtime and a lot of trouble with disaster recovery.

“We needed to find a solution that best suited our invoicing process and picked up the intricacies of the legislation,” Burt says.

A decision was made in 2003 to run with Oracle Accounts Receivable, based as much as anything on the upcoming Advanced Collections software. “However, we had to decouple Advanced Collections because it hadn’t got to release at that stage,” Burt says.

Quite substantial savings were estimated at the time, in the vicinity of $25 million. The payback time of 2.2 years was estimated across both product sets, and no further return on investment was done on Advanced Collections separately, simply because of the absolute need to meet the legislative requirements.

Burt says the all-up cost of Advanced Collections, which was implemented by CGNZ, “is between $3 million and $5 million”.

In the lead-up to implementation, many millions of records had to be converted.

On the go-live date of April 26, there was a straight cut-over, and SmartStream was decommissioned.

Earlier, in December, the ACC went live with a new general ledger from Oracle, which Burt says went faultlessly. Asparona was the implementer.

The tax system interfaces directly into ACC’s invoicing modules. Burt says Advanced Collections gives a strategy for every kind of debt, including the ability to issue reminders.

The ACC processes more than 1.5 million claims a year and invoices more than $800 million in premiums.

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