Crawley Borough Council has selected Real Asset Management’s (RAM) proven capital accounting software to control and report on its £582 million asset base. Faced with the forthcoming challenge of a faster closedown of the accounts at year-end, Crawley Borough Council decided that it was the right time to review its current processes and to set in place a system to improve the efficiency of its asset accounting methods.
Situated halfway between London and Brighton and with 574 staff in employment, Crawley Borough Council provides a range of services such as rubbish collection, recycling, housing and planning applications to over 100,000 residents.
The onset of the new financial regulations relating to faster closedown, which are due to come into effect at year ending 2017/18, will dictate that audited accounts are fully complete by the end of July, two months earlier than at present. Mary Gaskins, Corporate Accountant at Crawley Borough Council comments, “We felt it was a good opportunity to get ahead of the game and implement a future-proof capital accounting solution which would improve departmental efficiency and relieve any unnecessary pressure at year-end. The new software from RAM will now provide us with the ability to import year-to-date transactions part way through the accounting year, thus spreading the workload and speeding up our year-end close.”
Another key driver behind the purchase of RAM’s software was its ability to comply with the latest IFRS regulations. The council is in good company, being one of over 80 UK local authorities to have selected RAM and feels confident that it will now be able to remain compliant with all audit requirements. Gaskins explains, “With 10,000 assets on the register that include investment properties, council dwellings, operational properties, IT equipment and furniture, our previous asset management solution provided only basic functionality. In contrast, RAM’s system will not only ensure that we record and maintain detailed asset records but will calculate IFRS compliant revaluations with ease, as well as produce the Fixed Asset Note to Accounts.”
RAM’s software, which fully integrates with the council’s finance system, eFinancials, was recommended via business partner Advanced Business Solutions (ABS) and will also provide Crawley Borough Council with the facility to quickly and easily upload all year-end transactions.
Gaskins concludes, “I have been very impressed so far with both RAM’s product and with its focus on customer service. It is a professional company with excellent experience and knowledge of the local government sector.”