TeamMate+ Audit Helps Cyprus-based Travel and Leisure Company Stay Competitive.
Cyprus, an island located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, has a long and complicated past. Because of its strategic location between the three continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, many historical leaders have attempted to conquer Cyprus, including Richard the Lionheart on his way to the crusades. Cyprus also plays a significant role in Greek mythology, with some claiming that the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, was born there.
All this history makes Cyprus a fascinating travel destination. This is likely what Louis Loizou (nicknamed “the father of Cyprus tourism”) was thinking when he founded the Louis Group in 1935. What started as a small travel agency has grown to become one of the top European companies serving the cruising, hotel construction and management, and travel industries.
However, maintaining a leading position can be challenging in a region where tourism has such a tremendous impact on the economy. With so much competition, it’s critical for the Louis Group to continuously invest in cutting-edge technology solutions to keep their operations streamlined and efficient. For the company’s Internal Audit department, that meant automating their audit processes to help them achieve two objectives:
- Save time and gain efficiencies by no longer relying on Excel spreadsheets and other manual processes to share data and generate reports
- Align with the company-wide initiative to improve its cost-effectiveness by becoming paperless
“We used a tremendous amount of paper throughout the internal audit process. We would take hard copies of the audit programs with us into the field, note our recommendations on those papers, and then compile all of our findings into printable Word documents for further discussion with the auditees,” said Panayiotis Ellinas, Head of the Internal Audit Department at the Louis Group. “We not only needed to reduce our paper usage, but our manual processes were extremely time consuming and cumbersome. Improving the efficiency and quality of our audit processes was vital to staying competitive.” In 2002, the Louis Group selected Wolters Kluwer's TeamMate audit management software based on the recommendations of the company’s external auditor, PwC. In 2015, Ellinas and his team upgraded to TeamMate+ Audit, which was still in the development stages at the time and became the first company worldwide to use the new solution. Now, almost 17 years later, Ellinas says Wolters Kluwer TeamMate continues to evolve to meet their ever-changing needs.
“As a multi-national company, having an automated, cloud-based internal audit management system gives us the ability to remotely and securely access our audit information from anywhere in the world,” said Ellinas. “We also value having a hosted solution where updates can be done overnight without impacting our day-to-day audit work. It allows us to avoid the hassle and delay of having to wait for our Management Information Systems (MIS) department to make the updates for us.”
With an 84-year presence in the Cyprus tourism industry, Louis Loizou’s vision to offer the highest quality of services to his company’s clients and partners has endured. Ellinas says TeamMate operates with the same type of “aim high and deliver” attitude that the Louis Group is known for, which is part of what makes this partnership long-lasting.
“The service and support we’ve experienced since we first purchased TeamMate have been excellent,” said Ellinas. “Everyone we’ve encountered, from the account representative to the product development team to the help-desk members, are total professionals—and one of the main reasons we’ve continued to use this software for the past 17 years.”
About the Louis Group
The Louis Group is a leading tourism and leisure group involved in all aspects of tourism, namely cruising and hotel ownership and management, both in Cyprus and in Greece. Other group activities include the handling of incoming and outgoing tourism from/to Cyprus, IATA agencies in major cities in Cyprus, catering, port agency, cargo handling, and forwarding, as well as passenger, ramp and cargo ground handling services at both Larnaca and Paphos International Airports in Cyprus.