Advanced Business Solutions

Advanced Business Solutions
Advanced Business Solutions
Industry Enterprise Software
Founded Advanced Business Solutions was launched September 2010; COA Solutions was formed in 1996 (1996) but the company has been around as other brand identities since 1983[1]
Headquarters Cobham, UK
Key people Vin Murria (Group CEO), Dean Dickinson (Managing Director), Kevin Gordon (Managing Director), Paul Gibson (Finance Director)[2]
Products Accounting software, Business Intelligence, Electronic Document Management, Procurement Software, Human Resources Software, Payroll Software[3]
Parent Advanced Computer Software group plc (AIM:ASW)

Advanced Business Solutions, known as COA Solutions until September 2010, is a supplier of integrated business management and information systems to public, private and not-for-profit organisations in the service sector.



Advanced Business Solutions has more than 500 staff supporting and servicing over 4,000 clients across the UK service sector. The organisation operates from 10 UK locations in Cobham, Aberdeen, Aylesbury, Bridgwater, Gateshead, Harpenden, Huntingdon, Northampton, Manchester and also maintain offices in Boston, MA


The original company was founded in 1983. Most business was transacted through this company in the first half of the 1990s. Its subsidiary, COA Solutions Limited, increasingly took over as the prime trading company.

The Company was fully quoted on the London Stock Exchange (CED.L). It had grown both organically and by acquisition. From its roots in the financial software market it acquired companies in the call centre software; data warehousing and data migration; document management and workflow; and content management arenas to deliver knowledge-based enterprise business solutions.

The company developed practical solutions around e-Business, customer relationship management (CRM) and knowledge management initiatives. Examples include content value management, eProcurement, enterprise portals and financial management.

These solutions were available through traditional installations, fully outsourced or delivered via the Internet using the Application Service Provision (ASP) model.

The customer base spanned the public sector (central government, local government and the National Health Service), telecommunications, major financial services organisations and significant commercial companies.


In January 2002, The Company and its subsidiaries were acquired by Redac Limited through funding from Alchemy Partners.[4]


COA Solutions purchased Goldenhill Ltd in order to offer human capital management (HCM) solutions to its clients.

In 2002, a management buy out by the UK management team of Elevon created Arelon Limited with rights in the Enterprise Software Suite formerly owned by Walker International. This buy out was funded by Alchemy Partners. In January 2003 Arelon and Cedar Enterprise Solutions merged and rebranded as CedAr.


The newly branded CedAr purchased OpenAccounts Ltd to broaden its offering to commercial and business services clients. The customer number rises to 1,200 and headcount to 350. In a report published that year, CedAR ranked third in the UK Financial Management Systems vendor list compiled by Gartner Dataquest. The company won the Accountancy Age Award for Best Enterprise Software Package for the second time. The company rebranded itself as CedarOpenAccounts in June 2004.


CedarOpenAccounts purchased Grampian Software Ltd and its OpenPeople HR and payroll solutions, bringing 300 customers. Driven by a customer requirement for additional reporting and analytic capabilities, CedarOpenAccounts went on to purchase Strata Systems, a business intelligence and HR analytics software vendor based in Ipswich. The acquisition saw Strata’s BI software products integrated into CedarOpenAccounts’ Smart Business Suite of products.

Version One was purchased by COA Solutions but continues to operate as a separate entity

CedarOpenAccounts acquired BI Inform,[5] a specialist reseller of Cognos BI software based in Harrogate. The deal expanded the company’s presence in the Business Intelligence market as one of the top three resellers of Cognos-based solutions in the UK. This was followed by the purchase of long-term business partner Version One. CedarOpenAccounts and Version One have been partners since 1997 and have more than 250 shared accounts. The staff number exceeded 450 and customers 3000. Version One retains its brand identity. The rest of the business was united under the CedarOpenAccounts brand.


The acquisitions of eProcurement company Belmin[6] in February 2008 and HR specialist ASR Computers in April 2008[7] were completed. This added additional capabilities in the Health sector and added further HR and Payroll capabilities to their Smart Business Suite. The staff number reached 500 and customers 4000. COA rebranded as COA Solutions and adopted a new 'closer to your business' brand identity. Belmin immediately adopted the COA Solutions brand, whilst ASR adopted a transitional strategy.


ASR rebranded as COA Solutions, coming fully under the COA Solutions brand identity.

COA Solutions' logo 2008—2010

In February 2010, COA Solutions' parent company Redac Holdings Limited, including COA Solutions and Version One, was acquired by Advanced Computer Software PLC (AIM:ASW) from Alchemy Partners for £100 million.[8]

September 2010

As of September 2010, COA Solutions rebranded to Advanced Business Solutions as part of the Advanced Computer Software Group [9]

Awards, accreditations and memberships

  • Best Accounting Software Provider in Charity Finance magazine’s Accounting Software Survey 2010. [10]
  • Accountancy Age Awards for Software Excellence - COA Solutions OpenAccounts has been short-listed for this award in the Enterprise Software category every year for the last eight years. OpenAccounts won this category in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009.[11]
  • Green Hero Award Winner 2009[12]
  • Green Apple Award Winner 2008
  • Real FD/CBI Excellence Awards 2008 finalist
  • Business Software Satisfaction Awards - Sift Media [13]
  • HM Revenue & Customs Pensioner Payroll Standard [14]
  • HM Revenue & Customs Payroll Standard [14]
  • HMRC CIS Electronic Gateway - Granted by HMRC for the successful testing of COA Solutions' CIS Electronic Gateway through Vendor Single Integrated Proving Service (VSIPS)
  • COA Solutions is registered to the international quality standard, ISO9001:2000.[15]
  • ICAEW Accredited Products Scheme [16]
  • COA Solutions North America is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
  • BASDA - COA Solutions is a signatory to the BASDA Code of Practice. COA Solutions has been an active supporter of BASDA since its inception.
  • BASDA Green Charter Member
  • CFDG - COA Solutions is a corporate subscribers to CFDG, the Charity Finance Directors Group
  • HFMA - COA Solutions is a corporate partners with HFMA

See also


External links

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