Amber Valley Borough Council has selected Real Asset Management’s (RAM) fixed asset accounting module to expedite its year-end process and replace the spreadsheet system that it had in place. The council decided that due to the deadline for completion of its annual accounts being earlier than in previous years, it needed a specialist system to reduce the manual work involved with finalising the financial year.
Amber Valley Borough Council operates in Derbyshire, East Midlands. Its constituency encompasses a number of small towns, with a combined population that exceeds 120,000. It provides council services, including the supply of refuse collection, managing planning applications for building works, providing businesses with licenses for street trading and offering support on health and safety matters for its residents.
Based on a detailed evaluation, the system was clearly the most user-friendly and professional.
The council had been using spreadsheets to manage its fixed assets but decided that it could save time and improve the quality of asset information by implementing a specialist system. Lee Finnesey, Principal Accountant at Amber Valley Borough Council states, “It had become extremely time-consuming to maintain our register. We also found that the data was difficult to understand for anybody other than the author and the person responsible for updating it. We decided to move to a system that allows all authorised users to log in and access any information that they might need.”
Amber Valley Borough Council selected RAM’s offering ahead of its competitors because of its extensive experience in the sector, amongst other reasons. Finnesey comments, “Based on a detailed evaluation, the system was clearly the most userfriendly and professional. It was also recommended to us by contacts within the local authority sector that had experience of RAM’s software and had enjoyed the benefits.”
The main objectives of implementing a specialist fixed asset system was to save employees time and improve the quality of information available at year-end. Finnesey explains, “The main users of the software will be the accountancy team, though it is anticipated that the reports generated will prove beneficial to other areas of the council. We decided to move to the system to free up staff time, especially at year-end. The deadline for the completion of the annual accounts is now earlier and implementing the solution will help us with the stricter time constraints. We will also benefit from the in-depth reports that we are able to generate from the system.
“To date, the relationship with RAM has been excellent,” Finnesey concludes. “Its experience in the local government sector has been invaluable throughout the implementation process and everybody we have dealt with there has been helpful and professional.”
“I have found everybody I’ve dealt with at RAM to be helpful and extremely knowledgeable about its product and accounting for components, grants and fixed assets in general. I was introduced to the system at a Housing Finance conference where it was recommended to me by two other Associations. Its pedigree in the sector made it an easy choice”.