Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA), a medium sized organisation based in Twickenham, South West London, has been using Real Asset Management’s component accounting software since 2007 to control and manage its asset base, worth £565 million. The system was implemented initially to manage its property records, but the introduction of component accounting under SORP regulations saw TVHA’s register grow to 113,000 individual assets. The software enabled the association to meet the SORP deadline with ease and has most recently facilitated a successful transition to FRS 102.
Founded almost 50 years ago and with an annual rental turnover of £82 million, Thames Valley Housing Association owns and manages over 15,000 homes in London, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Sussex. These units include traditional rented housing, shared ownership, key worker and student accommodation.
Used in conjunction with TVHA’s finance system, Info SunSystems, the software has provided time saving efficiencies across the department. Jason Schofield, Component Accountant at TVHA comments, “Having a flexible software tool to split out the costs of each unit at component level has been invaluable. Calculations such as depreciation and determining costs on disposals are made so easy and having the facility to upload data files in large batches, hundreds of lines at a time, makes our period end process very efficient.”
Schofield continues, “The system allows for exceptionally detailed analysis which has been key to enabling us to measure and report on our assets in compliance with the requirements of the new accounting and statutory frameworks and to ensure an efficient and speedy adoption of component accounting and FRS 102.”
As with all housing associations facing the task of becoming FRS 102 compliant, TVHA had to overcome a number of challenges last year, such as assessing the most suitable basis for measuring its asset and grant treatment, working out prior year adjustments and undertaking data cleansing and recalculation work. In terms of systems, it also had to adapt the use of its asset management and accounting software to meet the required changes. Schofield comments, “The ease of use and practical user interface of RAM’s system is a major plus and I believe the adaptability and modification features of the software have been pivotal in delivering an asset register compatible to FRS 102 requirements. RAM’s assistance throughout the entire process has been fundamental in ensuring that we arrived at a reliable FRS 102 asset valuation and the fast upload of the revised asset register enabled us to meet our audit target and timetable.”
Schofield concludes, “We have always found the team at RAM to be highly knowledgeable and professional, responding swiftly to any queries or concerns which we may have. This level of customer service continues today and it has been reassuring to have access to such expertise whilst implementing such demanding regulatory changes.”