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"FileMaker can easily be adapted, so many of the important processes that make our company tick happen automatically. We're always thinking of new ways to use it and help the company run more efficiently. When it comes to compliance with Sarbanes Oxley, FileMaker is key to making sure we have all the controls in place and ensures these can be easily audited." says Rupert Denny, Media client services director, Banner.

From audits to plaudits for FileMaker at Banner

Database allows firm to incorporate procedures to help with Sarbanes Oxley legislation.

Overview

  • FileMaker supports company as the nature of the advertising business rapidly evolves.

Industry

  • Media: Leading technology-marketing agency that provides advertising and promotional services to a wide range of technology companies.

Solution

  • FileMaker allows Banner to ensure the right procedures are in place to comply with Sarbanes Oxley legislation.

Benefits

  • FileMaker can be easily adapted to carry out a wide range of functions and run a host of reports.

Based in Chelsea Harbour, London, Banner is a leading technology-marketing agency that provides advertising and promotional services to a wide range of technology companies, from some of the world’s best-known technology firms to fast-moving, cutting-edge start-ups. Founded by Rod Banner in 1984, the company now has over 40 employees and runs marketing campaigns for clients in over 30 countries worldwide including the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and the US. If Banner needs to call on additional resources or other specialists, it is part of world leading marketing communications giant WPP, which has over 2,400 offices in more than 100 countries across the planet.

Banner now has over 40 employees and runs campaigns in over 30 countries .
Banner now has over 40 employees and runs campaigns in over 30 countries .

The challenge:

When it comes to choosing business technology solutions, marketing communications specialist Banner is well placed. The company has run campaigns for some of the world’s leading technology firms, such as Sony, Hitachi and Avaya, and regularly works with leading tech analysts Forrester.

With so many clients to manage, the company needs a database that enables it to track a wealth of information about the status of each customer project and the costs involved, as well as a solution that will integrate with finance systems to generate purchase orders and invoices when necessary.

In Banner’s case, the database has also allowed the firm to incorporate procedures to help with the Sarbanes Oxley legislation, which was introduced in the United States after the Enron and Worldcom accounting scandals in late 2001. As a subsidiary of the WPP, which is listed on the NASDAQ, Banner is subject to US legislation and has to take measures to comply.

 


Now the world of marketing is about search marketing and online banner advertising, which we also use FileMaker to track.

—Rupert Denny, Media client services director, Banner
FileMaker has supported the company for a number of years as the nature of the advertising business has rapidly evolved.
FileMaker has supported the company for a number of years as the nature of the advertising business has rapidly evolved.

The FileMaker solution:

According to Banner’s media client services director, Rupert Denny, FileMaker has supported the company for a number of years as the nature of the advertising business has rapidly evolved.

“When we first started using FileMaker, we integrated it with print media booking systems and print specification ordering systems, which in turn would be linked to accounts payable,” he says. “Now the world of marketing is about search marketing and online banner advertising, which we also use FileMaker to track.”

With FileMaker playing a key role in administering the business, Rupert has also been impressed with the product’s flexibility in terms of how it can be adapted to carry out a wide range of tasks and to run a plethora of reports.

He says: “We have made a lot of modifications to FileMaker by adding in scripts to the data sets, which is relatively simple to do. We have set up a host of standard reports, such as the expenditure per client, so we are able to obtain up to date information quickly.”

And such is FileMaker’s adaptability, Rupert has found creating new functions that run off the database can be addictive. “I’m constantly tweaking FileMaker, for example requesting that new scripts be added or improving how information can be easily exported into Excel,” he adds.

Links with MS Outlook easily

Rupert is also impressed at how easily FileMaker integrates with Microsoft’s e-mail application Outlook – an option that Banner finds extremely useful to its business. “When we create an order in FileMaker we can set it up to e-mail the client on the fly. If there is an irregularity in the data, we can ensure an e-mail alert is sent out to the relevant people immediately,” he says.

FileMaker assists compliance with Sarbanes Oxley rules

This seamless linkage with Outlook is extremely helpful to Banner when it comes to compliance with Sarbanes Oxley legislation, as FileMaker is key to ensuring the right procedures are carried out and that an audit trail of that activity is recorded.

“When we start working with a new client and their details are inputted into FileMaker for the first time, an e-mail alert is sent to the finance department notifying them that certain forms have to be filled out as a priority,” says Rupert. Likewise, if Banner employees are setting up a new publisher on the system, an automated message is sent to finance requesting they carry out the appropriate background checks.

“These procedures may be fairly rudimentary but it is vital we do not miss them out and that we are able to follow an audit trail that proves the right checks have been made,” says Rupert.

“By including these rules on top of FileMaker, we make sure we have the right controls in place. While we’re not the biggest company within WPP, compliance is still a big focus for us. If we don’t comply then the whole company is seen as contravening the legislation.”

Notable benefits:

  • Compliance management – FileMaker allows Banner to ensure the right procedures are in place to comply with Sarbanes Oxley legislation, and that their controls can be easily audited.
  • Business flexibility – With new scripts easily added, FileMaker can be adapted to carry out a wide range of functions and run a host of reports.
  • Easy integration – The ability to link FileMaker with Outlook without hassle means Banner can automate a variety of processes and set up alerts to notify relevant employees action is required.

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