Blogging giant Populis in finance software deal with Sage

26 Oct 2011

Frank Kelly, account manager, Sage Ireland , Derek Mernagh, group financial controller, Populis, and Sinead Hayes, sales manager, Advent Processing Solutions

Global blogging network Populis, which is headquartered in Dublin, has signed a deal with financial software player Sage to upgrade from Sage 50 to Sage 200 to run the financial end of the business.

Populis is one of Europe’s fastest-growing digital media companies and European leader in the production of multilingual content on demand. Created in 2004, the group crowdsources, distributes and monetises more than 35,000 items of content in eight languages per month for a network of 550 fully owned and operated websites. 

Populis’ team of more than 150 employees work across offices in Ireland and Italy, active in Spain, France, Sweden, Russia, Brazil, the UK, the US, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.

“We had experienced phenomenal growth since our establishment as a start-up company in 2004,” explains Derek Mernagh, group financial controller, Populis.  

“Part of the transition from start-up model to a corporation model was to upgrade the financial information system to grow with the business and for better analysis and reporting.” 

Populis’ cost/benefit study indicated that Sage 200 was offering the best features for an acceptable budget. Advent Processing Solutions, Populis’ solution provider and a Sage Business Partner, provided consultation, project management, installation, implementation, training and on-going support services for the project. 

“Advent prepared an impressive road map and developed relevant reports required for our monthly, quarterly and annual reporting,” Mernagh said.

“We see Sage 200 as a financial database so it was important to analyse our business prior to the implementation in order to map our accounts, departments and cost centres in a way that would be useful in the course of the business.” added Mernagh. “It is also important to take financial standards, internal control procedures and external audit requirements into consideration.”

Advent implemented the Sage 200 Commercials Suite, which is used across the business from finance, sales and purchasing through to the management team. 

The Sage 200 Suite combines multiple modules, including Sage 200 Financials and Commercials, together with business intelligence (BI) and Sage CRM, which gives one complete system, and one view of all key customer and business information.

“Access to the business intelligence module is certainly one of the most useful features as it allows profit and loss by products or business unit,” Mernagh explained. 

“Also, access to the data using the BI module allows us to cross analyse data and produce relevant reports to monitor our sales, gross margin, selling general and administrative expense, days sales outstanding and days payable outstanding. 

“Our month-end closing process and timeframe has substantially improved, as well as our billing process. We have more advanced foreign currency management and we have the facility to consolidate companies at different levels,” said Mernagh.

The next phase for Populis is to integrate Sage 200 with in-house applications and group consolidation tools and also integrate it with its in-house applications, such as Populis Create.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years