Blog

EDGE IT Systems showcased in The Parliamentary Review

 

The September edition of The Parliamentary Review, a publication now in its fifth year of circulation, serves as a platform for educators, politicians and business leaders alike to share their knowledge and best practice. With an esteemed readership, including pertinent figures from both Houses, The Review maintains a non-partisan approach to sharing insight across a variety of policy sectors.

 

EDGE IT Systems was founded in 1989 and today they specialise in providing IT services and cloud-based software for local councils, cemeteries, and crematoria. In their Review article, they discuss the challenges and successes they have had over the years and look at some of the fundamentals that have continued to serve the business well.

 

Technology is surging forwards apace all across the world, and Britain is no exception. This year’s edition of The Parliamentary Review explains the progress that the industry has experienced on both a domestic and international level, while also highlighting pertinent issues for the future.

 

Co-chairman of The Review Lord Blunkett has already commented on the wide range and informative articles appearing in this year’s edition, stating that “The Parliamentary Review is a must for those who have the real story behind the scenes and a solid perspective for the future.”

 

Writing in The Review, the prime minister says that “British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review.”

EDGE IT Systems’s article can be viewed here: http://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/organisations/edge-it-systems

Happy Retirement

Thank you Gary for 13½ years of loyal service, and especially for being the “go to” hardware engineer for our data centre !

We wish you a happy retirement and a happy 65th birthday.

Finance End of Year Seminars & Webinars

Hello

It’s that time of year again and the end of the financial year is fast approaching. We have a number of Seminars and Webinars available in February and March 2018. These sessions are a great way of getting your Council prepared for the end of the financial year using AdvantEDGE Finance. We offer best practice, an 8-week plan and all the support you need to help you have a smooth and stress free end of year.

Please find below the booking form for the Seminars and Webinars, and an important information sheet for the Seminars. We look forward to seeing you.

Booking Form

Important Information

 

 

Andrea Rowley

Business Development Manager

Raising Standards

Chris Edge and Steve Parkinson signing the memorandum of understanding

 

EDGE IT Systems & Parkinson Partnership

 

We are pleased to announce that EDGE are working with the Parkinson Partnership who will offer accountancy advice to our Local Council clients.

As an accountant with 30 years’ experience in the public sector and 14 years’ service as a Town Clerk, Steve Parkinson is able to assist all sizes of Local Councils and he specialises in providing advice on VAT, capital receipts, PWLB loans, charities and trusts.

This agreement with the Parkinson Partnership complements EDGE’s agreement with DCK Accounting Solutions who provide a full range of accountancy solutions especially for larger Local Councils.

6th December 2017

 

EDGE are hiring

EDGE are looking for an IT and Product Support Engineer to provide technical assistance to our clients. You will help install, upgrade and troubleshoot hardware and software applications including our own software products for Local Councils, cemeteries and crematoria.
If you are computer savvy and enjoy supporting end users, we would like to meet you. To succeed in this role, you should have a problem-solving attitude along with the ability to give clear technical instructions. You should also be familiar with remote troubleshooting techniques.
Ultimately, you will ensure prompt and accurate customer service and increase client satisfaction.

Click here for the full job description. CV’s can be emailed to admin@edgeITsystems.com

 

Epitaph Checkup

 

Part of my brief here at EDGE is to ensure that all our users are using Epitaph correctly and to its full potential. In order to do this I have started looking at how Epitaph is used around the country. There seem to be a few general issues that are more common than they should be. Over the next year I will be calling all of you both to discuss both any issues you may have and to suggest more effective means of working.

I thought that before I did this, it may well be worth sharing the indicators that I look for when initially looking at your system; bear in mind that a database is only as good as the information entered into it, even a well used system will attract typos and needs checking on occasion.

The first screen I look at is ‘Booking Status’. The only services that should be listed in here are future bookings and recent ones that are awaiting the allocation of register numbers. There should not be any dating back any length of time. If there are you should make sure you have any other records you have to hand relating to the listed services and call me.  Together we can get rid of the backlog and I can show you how to progress a booking through the system so that no backlog occurs in future.

The next part refers to burials only, but if you have cremation records the same principal applies.

The next screen, and perhaps the most powerful, is the ‘Graves Quick View’.  When you first open this, it is arranged by Cemetery and then Grave Number. Even if you’ve only one cemetery, you should enter the Cemetery Name when creating the grave. Numbering the graves requires a little thought; if you number them 1,2,3 etc. they will not appear in the correct order – 2 would list after 199 and so on. The way around this is to enter leading zeros; so 1 becomes 001, 2 002 and so on. This will ensure that graves 1-999 will list in the correct order. Entering 01, 02 etc. will ensure that graves 1-99 will list in order and will work if you have no graves numbered higher than 99. If you have numbers in excess of 999, you should enter three leading zeros.

Assuming the graves have been numbered correctly you can start to look at the rest of the data. Remember to filter by cemetery first.  At the bottom left of the page there is the option to reorder the data by burial date, surname and register number. Surname is a great tool for quickly finding someone where other details are not available but not of great use in analysing the data. I would suggest first ordering the data by burial date. Scan down and look at the first and last recorded dates – any 1017 or 2107 years can be quickly amended. Scan down through the records. Are there any burial with no dates? Do the Register numbers closely follow the date sequence? It’s not unusual to find errors in the date of burial; a simple slip can move an interment by a year, a decade even a century, even if only one digit is wrong. Once you’ve amended this close the page, reopen the page, order by burial register number, again these should list in order and follow the burial date very closely. There should be no gaps or duplicates. Ideally, if all of your records are in the system, each                                                                                              cemetery should have a set of records numbered from 1 to your last register number.

If after all of this you’re happy with your records, well done. If not, give me a call.

Ian Quance

07584 904258

02476 667337

Working Together

EDGE IT Systems & DCK Accounting Solutions We are delighted to announce that EDGE and DCK Accounting Solutions are now working together to provide a comprehensive accountancy service primarily for larger Councils which incorporates the AdvantEDGE Finance software and the accountancy services of DCK.

Chris Edge, Managing Director of EDGE IT Systems Limited said;
“EDGE is an IT service company and our mission is to develop user friendly and innovative software for Local Councils, cemeteries and crematoria. However, when we were approached in 1992 by Castle Bromwich Parish Council to assume responsibility for Scribe 75 for larger councils we did not know that would be the beginning of a 25 year journey and in 2007 that we would be operating a data centre to host our software.

In 2017, after 25 years of working on our own, we welcomed the opportunity to work with DCK, because we have recognised for some time that our larger councils and a number of our medium size councils would benefit from professional accountancy services.”

Chris Edge, Andrea Rowley from EDGE with Melodie Beevers, Derek Kemp from DCK

Derek Kemp, Managing Director of DCK Accounting Solutions said;
“We are always ready, willing and able to work with any specialist software suppliers to bring our expertise to bear in order to improve the accounting protocols within their software products.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with EDGE, who are currently benefiting from our 20+ years’ experience in dealing with Local Council accounting problems and issues to develop and improve their AdvantEDGE accounting software. We look forward to this continued association to our mutual benefit.”

The AdvantEDGE online software offers 8 modules which are available on a monthly, 1, 3 or 5 year contract. Prices are charged according to the size of the Council so that even the smallest Council can afford to use the software on a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection. Upgrades and data backups are included in the service.

23rd August 2017

Download PDF

Click Here for the Memorandum of Understanding

Click Here for the press release from DCK Accounting Solutions

Upcoming Exhibitions

 

EDGE are excited to be exhibiting at the One Voice Wales Larger Council’s Conference on Wednesday 5th July. We are also attending the  SLCC & One Voice Wales Joint Conference on Wednesday 12th July. If you are attending, please feel free to come and have a chat with Andrea, who will be happy to show you how our products and services can work for you. We have a module for every Councils administration requirements and a friendly, professional service at all times.

 

Our partners from Brighter Bills will also in attendance at the Joint Conference on the 12th, they will be able to show you how they can save your Council money on your broadband and VOIP services.

 


Running a cemetery using Epitaph – Hints & Tips

 

Hello, let me introduce myself to those who do not know me. My name is Ian Quance and I joined Edge last year having been involved in cemetery management at all levels for twenty years. I used Epitaph myself for many years to manage three busy cemeteries, this has given me an appreciation greater than just the software which is now a resource for you to draw on. Whilst I was lucky enough to work for relatively large authorities that gave me the opportunity and time to train for the job I had to do, I have always understood that the vast majority of people in my position are not so lucky.

The average cemetery in England and Wales is small and only carries out a few interments a year. Those who have to manage them also have to carry out many other jobs at the same time and are often left worried that they are running the cemetery properly. In the information below, I hope to offer a few tips to make life easier and help you get the best out of your Epitaph.

For instance:

There is a certain amount of information that you are legally required to record for each burial: the burial register number; the date of burial; the name of the deceased in full; their age; their last address; the grave or vault number and the signature of person ‘directing or making entry’.

The signature is an interesting one as most records are now kept on a computer. On the ‘grave’ page of Epitaph there is a small box ‘Person making entry’ which many people ignore. This is the box that provides the signature when you print out your statutory record and must be filled in, otherwise your statutory record is incomplete. For many years, I just put my initials in there, not realising its importance. If you work alone you can fill in your own name. If you are a manager, I would recommend checking all entries before they are numbered and entered into the register; be the gateway between ‘accepted’ and ‘checked’ applications. Your staff will then know that it is safe to number and finalise each booking.

Whilst I’m on that subject, how you use the booking status is up to you but generally, best practice is to leave a booking as ‘provisional’ until you have all of the paperwork, ideally 72 hours before the interment, ‘accepted’ once you have the paperwork, ‘checked’ once the funeral is over and all possible details have been entered (see above), ‘numbered’ is automatic once you have entered the interment into the register. Return once more and ‘confirm’ the entry and it will disappear from your booking status list.

These days we normally gather far more information about the deceased than we are required to by law. It is well worth reviewing your application form to ensure that the information can easily be transferred from paper to Epitaph. I’ve put an example of a complete application form here that you are free to adapt to your own needs. It contains an essential data protection statement. Information such as occupation may seem unnecessary but it’s an extra detail that genealogists will be keen to see in centuries to come.

Use the ‘place of death’ drop down list to record places where death often occurs; hospitals, retirement homes, hospices and so on. If you include ‘home address’ as an option, you can fill in the details below without generating a huge list in the ‘place’ field.

We’ve included an ‘actual depth’ field alongside the grave depth field; you may order a double grave but when it comes to reopening a grave, your gravedigger will want to know the exact depth to which they can safely dig. Grave-digging doesn’t always go to plan. Before back-filling starts, it is an easy task to measure the distance from the top of the coffin to the surface and record it here.

In the next few months I’ll be looking at how all our clients are using the system; I’ll either email you directly if I see specific problems or report back here with more general issues. In the meantime, you can reach me via email – ian@edgeITsystems.com or  info@egdeITsystems.com and by calling the office on 024 7666 7337.

ICCM Learning Convention & Exhibition 2016

iccm

epitaph-logo-high-resWe will be exhibiting at the ICCM Learning Convention and Exhibition from Monday 31st October to Wednesday 2nd October. Please come and visit us on stand T14 to find out more about Epitaph, our Crematorium and Cemetery Management Software. Feel free to have a chat with either Chris or Ian to see how our software can work for you.

Please follow this link to get delegate passes http://www.iccm-uk.com/iccm/index.php?pagename=conference