Merchants implements Accpac-based budget solution idu-Concept

Johannesburg, 17 Nov 2010

Merchants, a Dimension Data company and leading provider of bespoke outsource contact centre solutions, has implemented a financial budgeting and reporting solution idu-Concept, for its Sage ERP Accpac system.

Merchants previous systems were simplistic, which resulted in its budgeting process being both time-consuming and having an increased margin for error.

Kevin Phillips, Managing Director, idu Software says there were also ongoing aggregation challenges. “Merchants received budget input in the form of spreadsheets from a variety of managers. It was a challenge to obtain a collective view without spending significant time consolidating all feedback into one spreadsheet. Ownership of numbers also became an issue as the budget cycle progressed.”

Phillips said idu-Concept provided Merchants with a customised solution designed to streamline and reduce the time-consuming and repetitive process of budgeting, forecasting and management reporting. “We established a platform of ownership and empowerment that inevitably led to radical improvement and effective management control of every aspect of the business.”

According to Shane Budd, Financial Director, Merchants: “Merchants has been able to achieve a paradigm shift in relation to our approach to budgeting. We have been able to leverage our base Accpac solution and provide internal customers with the information they require thanks to a dedicated and dependable on-demand reporting solution.”

Budd says the system is flexible enough for Merchants to configure its revenue and cost budget rules internally, while recording its budget related intellectual property in one secure location. “The system has provided Merchants with a powerful, flexible and agile budget platform that allows us to make adjustments as our business changes.”

Keith Fenner, Vice-President of Sales, Softline Accpac, says solutions are often developed with the intention of providing customers with a level of self-service. “By empowering the business unit managers within Merchants to take ownership of the budget and their actual spend, you delegate responsibility. This has proven to be extremely valuable to the finance department. Instead of having a single finance team monitoring and managing spend, Merchants now has every business unit manager involved in the process and running their business areas as if it were their own business.” Fenner says this increased sense of ownership will enable Merchants to leverage the embedded skills and abilities of the entire business and assist in positioning it for future growth.


Softline Accpac

Softline Accpac is a provider of business management solutions including financial, distribution, service management, retail, warehouse management, manufacturing and CRM to the mid-range market. Accpac solutions are delivered to 130 countries exclusively through a global network of solution providers, including over 150 throughout Africa. Softline Accpac's product line includes: Accpac ERP, Accpac CRM, Accpac RMS, Service Manager and Accpac Insight. Softline Accpac also distributes Sage ERP X3, a full-service enterprise management software system for mid-to-large businesses. With a choice of languages, currencies, enterprises, locations and legislations, Sage ERP X3 offers an efficient, multi-company solution.


Softline is a leading provider of accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions to small, medium and large sized companies. Founded in 1988 by Ivan Epstein, Alan Osrin and Steven Cohen, Softline was established during the formative years of the software industry and listed on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa in February 1997. Softline expanded to establish a strong position within its area of focus in South Africa and Australia. Focused on the development of accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions, Softline has a 20 year track record as a market leader. The group has a broad range of products offering users a variety of software solutions to run their businesses efficiently. Softline's leading brands include Softline Accpac, Softline Enterprise, Softline Pastel (Accounting and Payroll) and Softline VIP. The combination of the group's product offerings provide Softline customers with comprehensive, well-branded accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions. In November 2003, Softline was acquired by the Sage Group plc, a FTSE 100 company. The software group includes market-leading businesses throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia, supplying business software to the small, medium and large sized business community. Softline has a solid track record of profitability and cash generation. The group delivers quality accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions that improve the efficiencies of businesses around the world.

The Sage Group

The Sage Group is a leading global supplier of business management software solutions and related products and services, principally for small to medium-sized enterprises. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989. Sage has 5.8 million customers and more than 14 500 employees worldwide. We operate in over 26 countries covering the UK, Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, India and China. For further information please visit

idu Software

idu Software simplifies financial management for non-financial managers. Its flagship product, idu-Concept, provides easy, effective budgeting and financial reporting for medium-sized to large businesses, including many of South Africa's top firms. idu-Concept integrates easily with ERP software, but unlike more cumbersome offerings, idu-Concept can be implemented quickly, requires little or no ongoing consulting fees and reduces budgeting cycles from months to weeks. For more information visit


Merchants, a Dimension Data company, is a leading provider of bespoke outsource contact centre solutions with a more than 25-year track record of successfully delivering customers contact centre solutions for a variety of blue chip organisations, globally.

Editorial contacts

Samantha Watt
Watt Communications
(011) 425 6290