Doncaster Borough Council is implementing an integrated procurement and financial management system (FMS) from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced), which will help with the authority’s strategic plan to save £109 million by 2016/17. The council will go live with the first phase of the project on September 30, with phase two going live in 2014.
The new system includes Advanced’s finance (e5), procurement (eProcurement), budgeting and forecasting (Collaborative Planning) and electronic document management technology (powered by V1) and will be used by 1,000 employees. In addition, Advanced Business Solutions partner division, Advanced 365 has secured the contract to host the new system in a deal worth more than £1 million.
Advanced’s financial management system was selected following a competitive tendering process and will replace a fragmented IT structure with one single system allowing staff to work more efficiently.
The suite will provide much easier access to financial information and will also give managers increased visibility and control over spend. It will also remove reliance on spreadsheets and will enable more sophisticated budgeting and forecasting.
Steve Mawson, Assistant Director for Finance and Performance, Doncaster Borough Council, says: “The council is embarking on a major programme of modernisation and efficiency, where we are looking to save millions of pounds over a three year period. We conducted a number of IT reviews and it was obvious we needed a better system to improve our overall performance. One of the biggest drivers we had was to exert more control over spend by being able to access key information in real time.”
“At the moment, we operate a number of smaller systems and we use manual and cumbersome way of purchase orders. We also need to streamline our accounts processes such as invoicing… the current processes are both time consuming and labour intensive.”
“Advanced’s solutions integrate into a single system which has the scope to fully meet the council’s requirements. As a council we often make large purchases but the new procurement solution will allow us to significantly speed up our invoice processing, track them through the system, capture the details, and give more insight into our spend commitments. At the moment we only know this kind of data once we’ve processed a payment, and it’s difficult to keep track of orders.”
The council will roll out Advanced’s Collaborative Planning solution to more than 300 budget holders this autumn, including eighty members of staff from the finance team. The sought after budgeting and forecasting solution will be play a key role in the council working more efficiently and contribute to large cost savings.
Mawson adds: “With Collaborative Planning, budget holders can review and update their own budgets and forecasts on a rolling basis, enabling a real-time view of the Council’s financial budgets.
“We’ve got a large budget holder base here, and all their forecasts need to feed in to a single report to illustrate council’s predicted financial position. Budget holders need to be responsible for managing their budgets and the Collaborative Planning solution empowers them to be able to do this. Users also benefit from the ability to drill down to see key data and be able to easily access information for those teams who need it.”
Advanced’s electronic document management software will integrate into the e5 system and will allow the council to process thousands of invoices. The software will also contribute to the council’s green agenda.
Mawson continues: “Staff will be using the document scanning technology for the majority of paper invoices. Most of the invoices we receive currently have to be manually scanned in and entered, so the new V1 system is going to save us lots of time.”
Advanced won the business after a competitive tender process, which was contracted through Mouchel. Advanced’s finance management system was selected for overall quality and cost-effectiveness.
About Advanced Business Solutions www.advancedcomputersoftware.com/abs
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, supply chain management, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments. Management information systems for school and academies are also provided through Advanced’s subsidiary, Advanced Learning. All solutions can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.
Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, NHSScotland, Norfolk Constabulary, Edge Hill University, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS and RSPB.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.
Angela Mycock and Robert Downes, Advanced Computer Software Group
+44(0)1625 856 513
Advanced Computer Software
Tel: 01625 856 505