Large English Housing Association selects proven software to create robust centralised register to manage its 200,000 asset records
Viridian Housing, a Housing Association serving London and the South East, has selected asset accounting software from Real Asset Management (RAM) to control its asset base, valued at around £960 million. The software provides the Association with component accounting detail and integration with the existing financial package, saving the finance team time and helping them manage the assets more effectively.
Founded over 60 years ago and with an annual turnover of £114.6 million, Viridian Housing is a social business which provides care, housing and support to communities in London and the South East, providing 16,000 homes for more than 30,000 people. Services include rented family housing, homes for shared ownership, care and supported homes for the elderly and the vulnerable, assisted living, hostels and student accommodation.
Like many public sector organisations, Viridian Housing was previously using spreadsheets to manage its assets. Clare Togneri, Financial Reporting and Taxation Manager at Viridian Housing, comments, "The situation wasn't ideal, but the system was manageable until the need to implement component accounting became more prevalent. To be able to comply with IFRS and the Statement of Recommended Practice (SoRP) for our sector, we needed to invest in a dedicated asset register in order to cope with the volume and intricacy of the data required."
RAM's solution provides Viridian Housing with a configurable format which can be adapted to the specific reporting requirements of the organisation. It is also accessible and user-friendly, allowing us to extract the data we require and to manipulate the reporting format."
Saving time was also an important consideration, adds Togneri, "The asset register will provide us with more transparent data and increased financial control. Now that the process has evolved from spreadsheets, it is not as susceptible to human error. Importantly, the automation central to the system also saves the finance team time by reducing manual data input."
Togneri adds, "We can also upload data files in large batches - hundreds of lines at a time - helping us make the process more efficient, and allowing us to spend more time on data analysis." Togneri concludes, "RAM has been invaluable in helping us meet our target timeframe to have the system up and running to close our 2009/10 accounts. It is also reassuring that we have the opportunity to purchase further modules in the future, as this will allow us to extend the system and increase data transparency across the organisation."