Lancaster City Council implements Real Asset Management solution to manage its £278m asset base

Lancaster City Council implements Real Asset Management solution to manage its £278m asset base

Local authority selects RAM's capital accounting solution to achieve complete confidence in data integrity and comply with IFRS legislation

Lancaster City Council, a local authority serving a population of 143,000 people, has implemented Real Asset Management's (RAM) capital accounting solution to manage its £278 million worth of fixed assets. As well as helping the local authority achieve IFRS compliance, the RAM solution integrates with the existing ledger system to achieve streamlined back office processes and provide complete confidence in data integrity.

Lancaster City Council provides a host of services to the local community including, social housing, planning and regeneration, recycling and waste collection, and sports and leisure facilities. The authority's 3982 assets include a significant social housing stock, a sports centre, car parks, vehicles, parks and commercial investment properties.

Accounting for the Council's asset base was previously carried out using various spreadsheets. Andrew Clarke, Accountancy Services Manager, Lancaster City Council, comments, "The spreadsheet system was very archaic and time-consuming and, with the onset of IFRS, we knew that it would not be fit for purpose. Trying to meet the requirements for IFRS using these spreadsheets would have been too onerous in terms of calculating the necessary credits and debits for our ledger system. I knew for certain that we would have lost accuracy with the more complex calculations, which would have been unacceptable."

Clarke continues, "RAM's solution stood out as the right route to take. It is a dedicated asset accounting package in terms of what it delivers, and it doesn't try to be everything to everyone, which is crucial in operational terms. It delivers the information accurately, has good functionality and is easy to use. The RAM solution also integrates with our existing Civica Authority Financials ledger system which is important for us."

A key benefit of this integration is the efficiencies it affords, comments Clarke, "We expect the capital accounting solution to significantly streamline our close-down process. We are looking to eliminate a lot of the manual journal entry processes and save time, freeing up resources as a result. The system will help us improve processes for a number of calculations and reports including revaluations, updates on sales and disposals, upgrades through the capital programme, and impairments, which are extremely important in the current climate."

Clarke concludes, "The excellent reporting package allows us to create an accurate fixed asset register at the touch of a button and I have 100% confidence in the transactions that the system is producing. This in turn will give our auditors more confidence in the data which backs up our balance sheet."