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East Herts Council finance team gets a digital upgrade

04/04/2017 minute read Mark Dewell

East Hertfordshire District Council (EHDC) has partnered with Advanced to kick-start the digital transformation of its financial operations and deliver a paperless service internally as well as to its customers. By streamlining its core financial, purchasing and budgeting processes and managing its circa 20,000 annual transactions, the new financial management solution from Advanced will free up staff to deliver greater value by creating a connected finance team with real-time ownership of their budgets. The move to automated digital processes will also help reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

The full solution includes Advanced’s specialist financial management software and integrated finance process automation for local government, along with a budgeting and forecasting solution, mobile approval app, and an eSupplier self-service portal, all from Advanced and managed by the council’s shared ICT partner, Stevenage Council. The five-year contract was awarded through the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation and is a Crown Commercial Services RM1042 contract, a framework set up by the government to provide better access to approved suppliers.

EHDC provides essential services to over 144,700 residents and is replacing its previous financial systems to modernise its internal processes and to be ready for its external digital strategy which includes introducing paperless invoicing. This will also help reduce its carbon footprint in line with local government targets.

“Our goal is to become digital by default, delivering efficient services that meet the needs of our customers.. This includes offering more flexible mobile access, automating financial processes and streamlining workflows to eradicate manual tasks for our staff, whilst making it easy to extract financial data for reporting. We also needed the change to be managed securely and result in a resilient system. We knew that Advanced could help us deliver our objectives. The team has a strong track record working in supporting other councils to deliver services in new and innovative ways,” said Isabel Brittain, Head of Strategic Finance and Property at EHDC.

“All councils have an incredible opportunity to embrace digital technologies to help them transform services by becoming more agile and efficient. Starting with modernising its internal financial processes will ensure EHDC is well prepared for the transformational way its services can be delivered externally by benefitting from a connected finance function, allowing them to do much more with less budget,”

comments Nick Wilson, MD – Public Sector, Health and Care - Advanced.

The solution will be used by 200 staff to manage more than 20,000 transactions and by up to 2,000 self-service suppliers. The budgeting and forecasting solution provided by Advanced shares the systems financial data and so allows self-service budget managers to create budgets, outturn forecasts and monthly reports to be produced quickly using real-time data.