Finance Process Review
Status Update November 2007
• Process Review Programme initiated in line with University Strategy
and communicated to staff
• Planning and design of Finance Process Review with Ernst & Young
Autumn 06 – Spring 07
• Representative staff consultation covering current finance processes
and ideas for improvement. Views gathered via 40 one-to-one
interviews, 5 workshops and website questionnaire.
• Quantitative data gathering
• Benchmarking against best practice organisations
• Report to Programme Board and University Management Advisory
• Staff interviewed were generally positive about current finance
processes and have a good working relationship with central finance.
• However a number of improvement opportunities were noted, some
commonly-experienced and some area-specific. These along with best
practice advice informed our recommendations for the future.
What Does Good Look Like?
Organisation Technology Success Factors
•Customer focus •Integrated ledgers •Clear roles & policies
• Devolved budgets •One source of data •Standardisation
& asset ownership •Electronic •Good communication •Centralised transactions •Clear timetables processing & authorisation •Skills & training •Automation
Focus of Recommendations
• Academics and similar staff should focus their effort on areas such as
planning and forecasting for which ‘local knowledge and expertise’ are
vital. Devolution of budgets should be maximised. Routine finance
processes should be performed (where possible) by specialist support
staff. Finance roles should be defined and positioned in order to allow
• Staff performing finance roles should be supported with role-based
training and toolkits.
Define & position finance roles
Maximise Role-based benefits training of ‘local & toolkits knowledge’
Increase Key users & specialist delegation support
• Finance systems need to be updated and fully exploited, making use of
the latest functionality e.g. electronic approvals & workflow.
• More finance processes need to be properly integrated into the finance
system e.g. budgeting, reporting, expenses & fixed assets.
• Systems support and training need to be improved with the focus on
role-based accesses and training.
Agresso 5.5 systems,
e-Journals, e-Procurement, One source of data, drill down & e-Expenses, analysis e-IR’s
• Finance process steps need to be defined and aligned with finance
• Processes need to be more consistent, more timely and place greater
focus on decision-support
• Processes should be clearly communicated via role-based training &
Clear communication of Definition of policy & process process and roles
Separate review Improve quality
of ‘unique’ areas & timeliness
of outputs e.g. trading
• Update communication to staff
• ‘Quick guides’, covering finance information requested by staff during
review, written and posted on finance website
• Draft Gold Report produced at year end 07 (also requested by staff)
• Agresso ‘End-User’ workshops held - Communication and consultation
re upgrade planning & capture of ‘End-User Wishlists’
• Finance role definition in consultation with Faculties/Divisions
• Implementation project planning
• Phased implementation of recommendations