Gloucester City Council has improved its business efficiency by using a budgeting and forecasting system from Advanced Business Solutions (ABS). The software has helped the Council to reduce its budget loading time from ten days to just minutes and to better monitor, evaluate and improve its financial performance by replacing spreadsheets.
Janet Parrott, Financial Planning Accountant at Gloucester City Council, explains, “It used to take several members of the finance team over a week to complete their budget loading by collating information from various Excel spreadsheets. This process was extremely inefficient, prone to errors and didn’t provide us with an accurate picture of our finances.”
The web-based budgeting and forecasting system, which has been tightly integrated into Gloucester City Council’s existing ABS financial management system, enables the creation and real-time monitoring of financial plans and forecasts. Budgetary information can be quickly extracted, consolidated and reported to authorised users, eliminating time-consuming manual processes and the consolidation of spreadsheets,
Parrott comments, “ABS’ system has significantly streamlined our budgeting processes and made it quicker and easier to produce reports. It used to take us approximately ten days to load, validate and consolidate budget data from various standalone spreadsheets. By automating these processes with ABS’ system we have reduced this to minutes, dramatically improving efficiency, whilst eliminating errors around data manipulation.”
Parrott adds, “ABS’ system has helped to increase financial transparency and visibility at every stage of the budgeting cycle. With quicker access to financial data in a user-friendly format, this has assisted us to more accurately budget against Government performance targets whilst ensuring greater financial control and improved decision making.”
Going forward authorised users at Gloucester City Council will also be able to use ABS’ system to compare budgets to forecasts in real-time and easily input, process and view financial data directly from the desktop. This will enable issues connected with under and over spending to be addressed far earlier.
Dean Dickinson, Managing Director (Public Sector & Enterprise) of Advanced Business Solutions, says, “This is another example of how our local authority customers are gaining considerable efficiency savings as a result of implementing our budgeting and forecasting system. This system enables organisations to increase financial control by providing an on-going real-time and accurate view of their budgets and forecasted spend, allowing any budgetary issues to be addressed as and when they occur.”
Notes to Editors:
About Gloucester City Council www.gloucester.gov.uk/
Gloucester City Council services the historic city’s population of approximately 56,000 households comprising of over 100,000 citizens.
About Advanced Business Solutions www.advancedcomputersoftware.com/abs
Advanced Business Solutions (ABS) 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. ABS prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
ABS's software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, 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, which can also be delivered as a managed or bureau service option.
Customers come from both public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
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.
Ben Carey and Tim Palmer, Advanced Computer Software Group
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