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STIRLING COUNCIL GOES LIVE ON LATEST VERSION OF CEDAR EFINANCIALS
CedAr, a UK financial software company, formed following the merger of Cedar Software and Arelon, has announced that Stirling Council has gone live on CedAr’s eFinancials version 3.0.1. The implementation process was completed on target and within eight weeks, ensuring the system was up and running in time for Stirling’s year-end requirements.
Stirling Council administers the 9th largest local authority area in Scotland encompassing a mix of rural and urban settlements, yet has the 8th smallest population at just over 85,000 inhabitants. The council has 4500 employees spread across five different services and more than 500 users with access to the CedAr eFinancials accounting system.
George Murphy is Stirling Council’s Project Implementation Manager. “The successful implementation of eFinancials version 3.0.1 is the latest chapter in a relationship that we have had with CedAr since 1991. Prior to 1996, the CedAr CFACS product had been the main financial information system for Stirling District Council. At Local Government reorganisation in April 1996, Stirling District Council merged with Central Regional Council to form the new Stirling Council, with CFACS continuing as the main financial information system. The system was originally chosen because it was a fully integrated financial accounting system and looked to be a reliable and robust application. This certainly proved to be the case and in the twelve years that we have used the various versions of the system we have not considered looking for an alternative vendor.”
He continues, “The recent adoption of the latest version of eFinancials delivers significant benefits, particularly to the user base. The look and feel of the system has been greatly improved and has increased overall user-friendliness. Training of users on the new system has been a fairly straightforward process as we were able to show them how to handle the differences in the application rather than having to train from scratch.”
Throughout the relationship between the two organisations, Stirling Council has been keen to remain at the forefront of software developments. “We firmly believe that the best place to be is on the latest version of the product. This ensures that we get the best possible support and also reap the benefit of the most up-to-date development work. Our philosophy has always been to keep the system as simple as possible. This means it is easier to maintain, easier to use and easier to upgrade. Over the years we have written a number of bespoke reports and processes to cope with specific management information needs of Stirling Council, but these represent minor adjustments to the main system and are easily transferable to new versions of the system. We are currently working on a forecasting and projection module jointly with CedAr and we expect this to be in the core system in time for the next product launch in June”.
The implementation of eFinancials 3.0.1 has allowed Stirling Council to move forward with its plans to provide the Council’s educational establishments with direct access to the system. This accords with the Scottish Executive working group report ‘Review of Devolved School Management’ which stated that local authorities should consider progressing development of ICT to support Devolved School Management, whilst ensuring that there is compatibility between local authority and schools-based financial information systems. “Access to eFinancials not only gives our schools the ability to directly process their individual transactions, but also provides significant enhancements to their budget management and financial reporting capabilities”, he adds.
CedAr eFinancials is managed at three levels within the council; Information Services handles the database administration; Corporate Accounting handles the main systems administration; and Customer Services Support administers the sub-ledgers. The database runs on a V880 Sun Server and the application runs on an E450 Sun Server, both running under Solaris 8. The desktop systems are running under both Windows 98 and Windows 2000.
George concludes, “I believe that the implementation of eFinancials 3.0.1 went smoothly for a number of reasons, but particularly due to our in-house knowledge of the system having previously upgraded to eFinancials 1.1.2 in October 1991, and the continued fostering of close working relationships with our CedAr colleagues. In addition, CedAr claimed that eFinancials 3.0.1 was the most thoroughly tested system that they had ever produced, and our implementation experience showed this to be true. We are now successfully up and running and are certainly looking forward to continuing our long partnership with CedAr.”
CedAr is the newly formed merger between Cedar Software and Arelon. The company provides financial accounting and procurement software that delivers increased performance and offers a direct and measurable financial return on investment. CedAr has a customer base of more than 500 organisations in both the public and private sector. For more information, please visit www.cedar.com
Jack Gocher JGC Ltd
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