Advanced’s eFinancials online services employed to improve council budgeting and procurement
Brentwood Borough Council has rolled out a financial suite to help the local authority speed up supplier payments and improve procurement.
The council will implement Advanced Business Solutions’ eFinancials system integrated with budgeting and forecasting (Collaborative Planning), procurement, document management systems as well as an income management system from Capita. Advanced’s managed services division, Advanced 365, will host the portfolio.
The decision to implement the system as a managed service from Advanced 365 has meant that Brentwood has been able to apply new functionality quickly and cost-effectively. The suite also boasts a high level of security and risk management, and was recently added to the government’s G-Cloud catalogue.
Advanced’s Collaborative Planning system will enable budget-holders to “self-serve”, performing their own planning and forecasting with access to real-time updates on spend. This will maximise their ability to keep costs under control, the company claimed.
Brentwood processes 18,000 invoices annually. The document management system (powered by V1) will enable the council’s four-strong purchase-to-pay team to improve its invoice processing performance, helping to achieve the council’s 20-day for local businesses and 30-day supplier payment targets.
Until now its purchase-to-pay process has been paper-based and labour intensive, involving the manual circulation of paper invoices for approval and high volumes of phone calls. Implementing the eFinancials finance system will streamline processes, enable greater transparency and provide a stable finance platform for day-to-day transactions, according to Advanced.
The Capita system will support the council’s customers to make payments through multiple channels such as the web or an automated phone system.
Nigel Heath, project manager for Brentwood Borough Council, said, “This new system will dramatically improve our financial performance. Collaborative Planning will help us to deliver procurement savings as a result of smarter budgeting. We will also gain greater end-to-end visibility and control over the procurement process, from initial tendering to authorisation.”