Alabama Power improves compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and optimizes funds

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 25, 2005 — Alabama Power desired tighter accounting controls and improved audit and employee reporting capabilities to better meet Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements. Even with a department of six dedicated to month-end accounting, the department was 3 to 6 months behind with reconciliation and reporting.

Gathering data was time consuming and errors and exception items were difficult to identify. Bad checks, double-processed refund checks and internal inefficiencies were stumbling blocks to a streamlined process. Audits were difficult and valuable time was wasted researching inquiries and tracking down item histories.

Objectives

Alabama Power wanted to:

* Increase Sarbanes-Oxley compliance
* Improve internal controls
* Catch and reduce fraudulent activities
* Reduce time for period-end close
* Increase staff efficiencies

Capabilities provided

Alabama Power selected Trintech’s ReconNET System to automate its time-consuming and error-prone manual reconciliations and month-end processes. Alabama Power selected the DataFlow Transaction Network to reduce costs and simplify bank data collection. These systems provided:

* Validated and aggregated data from banks
* Automated transaction reconciliation
* Research and exception management
* Detailed system audit trail
* Standard and customized reporting

Proven results

Alabama Power has achieved tighter financial controls and realized the following results:

* Bank reconciliation completed in 4-7 days, down from 3-6 months
* Bank errors, “from pennies to hundreds of thousands of dollars,” are caught immediately, ensuring accuracy and eliminating wasted research time
* Reduction in fraudulent checks, prevented payment of 88 bad checks worth over $245,000 in one year
* Documented compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley through detailed system reports
* Seamless data integration with Quicken and Access and other systems from Walker and XRT

Alabama Power quickly realized significant improvements and time savings using ReconNET for depository accounts. Because of the product’s flexibility, the utility began using it for other company processes including credit card transactions, payroll, accounts payable, check drafts, stock dividends, unclaimed property and general ledger account reconciliation.

About Alabama Power [ www.southernco.com/alpower/home.asp ]

Alabama Power provides electricity to 1.4 million homes, businesses and industries in the southern two-thirds of Alabama. The utility is the second-largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity due to competitive prices, reliable electricity supply and unparalleled service.


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