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Councils' consultancy business improves financial reporting with BI

Replaces 'cumbersome' Excel spreadsheets

Council-owned consultancy services business GLE Group is improving its budgetary control and financial accountability with a new business intelligence (BI) platform.

GLE Group, which provides business finance, accommodation, enterprise development and consulting services, is owned by the 33 London boroughs. It is now implementing new software to help streamline its business processes and improve its financial auditing.

GLE is using TechnologyOne's enterprise budgeting and business intelligence platform to replace its reliance on cumbersome Excel spreadsheets.

For the past 12 years, GLE has used Sun Accounts but an upcoming group-wide upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7 prompted a re-evaluation of its core financial systems.

Joanne Baker, GLE Group London business finance controller, said the complexity of many of the organisation's activities meant Excel was "less than ideal" for budgeting and reporting needs. Additionally, the lack of an audit trail around changes and approvals needed by different parts of the group made the existing process "challenging", she said.

Baker said: "The new system scores highly in terms of its process management and its flexibility to interface with our existing systems. Our expectation is that it will help us cut down the time it takes us to produce management accounts.

"Another key benefit is the software's work flow-driven approvals process with a full audit trail."

GLE will initially deploy the TechnologyOne system at its London and Leeds sites in October. Other parts of the group are expected to follow.

In other improved financial reporting news Aston Martin is on the road to better accounting with a new Microsoft system. The luxury car maker has deployed a Microsoft Dynamics AX platform for all accounting ledgers, including general, purchase, fixed assets and sales.

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