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Islington Council to make £3m saving supported by Advanced’s budgeting solution

Collaborative Planning assists Council to reduce core finance costs by 40 per cent

3 December 2014 – Islington Council is on track to reduce its core finance costs by 40 per cent, amounting to £3 million, supported by its implementation of Collaborative Planning, a budgeting and forecasting solution from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced).

Advanced’s solution has assisted the Council following its implementation in 2010, by improving financial transparency and devolving greater responsibility to budget holders. It has recently gone live with the latest version of Collaborative Planning in preparation for managing further required cuts of £34 million in 2015.

Islington is the eighth most deprived borough in England and a significant proportion of the Council’s finances are required to support children and adult social care services. Government funding restrictions have required it to reduce controllable spend by 35 per cent since 2010. But manual processes restricted its ability to interpret its financial position and make informed decisions.

Alan Layton, Director of Financial Management at Islington Council, explains, “Previously it was almost impossible to gather accurate forecasting information within a reasonable timescale, plus there was a high risk of error due to our protracted consolidation process involving numerous complicated spreadsheets.

“Collaborative Planning offered the added functionality and flexibility we needed and could crucially integrate with our existing Advanced financial management system. We can now quickly produce reliable monthly forecasting information, with minimal effort, and better understand our data.”

By replacing spreadsheets, Advanced’s web-based solution has automated and devolved the Council’s entire budget monitoring process, making it easier to access and analyse real-time financial information.

It empowers budget holders to submit, approve and compare budgets with forecasts to monitor performance against targets, while enabling finance to focus on adding greater strategic value.

The intuitive system can also be configured to consider ‘what if’ scenarios to assess the impact of potential changes to funding. Data is automatically extracted and displayed across related plans, budgets and forecasts so that remedial action can be prepared for in advance.

Alan Layton comments, “The budgeting and forecasting solution has eliminated various labour intensive processes, which will enable us to reduce our core finance costs by 40 per cent, amounting to over £3 million. It has also been instrumental in keeping tight financial control of our budgets.”

“Implementing the latest version of Collaborative Planning has enabled us to move to a single revenue model to further improve efficiency and to focus on risk.”

Advanced Business Solutions is an Advanced Computer Software Group company. In 2014, the Group won Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards and was ranked in the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

About Islington Council

www.islington.gov.uk

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. Advanced also provides specialist vertical solutions for the not-for-profit and legal markets. 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, NHS Scotland, 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.

Press contact:
Angela Mycock and Ben Carey, Advanced Computer Software Group

pr@advancedcomputersoftware.com
+44(0)1625 856 513
07887 415 232