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The Further Education area review process has driven a great deal of change in a short space of time that requires new ways of thinking and operating. Whilst government initiatives such as Cloud-First and Digital by Default, help public sector organisations provide more effective services with fewer resources, it’s challenging to overhaul internal systems, processes and technology. Despite that, the area reviews can provide the ideal springboard for change.
By modernising back office systems such as the accounting system, colleges can be forward-thinking, embracing change whilst also preparing for the future. Those who have implemented modern software solutions have been able to do more with less, driving down costs and achieving more than they could on paper.
One outcome of area reviews is the need to merge with other establishments, creating the opportunity to consolidate operational and finance systems. The ability to bring in new cloud accounting software gives way for automation, the ability to forward plan (like never before), and develop accurate reporting and forecasting capability.
Updating systems can seem like a daunting task but change inspires opportunity. These opportunities include the ability to standardise processes and save time on training. In addition, they also promote transparency between colleges and the sharing of information between services. Staff will be able to access the same systems across multiple sites, making integration easier.
From a financial perspective, cloud-based accounting software is subscription based, so the expense comes from operating expenditure rather than capital expenditure, making it easier to budget and plan for any move. For your own financial insight into the merged entity, you’ll get the ability to deliver deeper insight and more accurate forecasting and spending information. This gives you the visibility to make better decisions as a group, see where profitability lies and cut unnecessary costs.
Cloud-based systems also offer multiple access, meaning that staff at every level across shared services can view them (if permissions allow). This allows connectivity and visibility between colleges and their staff, as well as local authorities and other organisations if required.
When undergoing change, it’s important to understand the reasons behind it, as well as discovering how other institutions are dealing with similar processes. Where are you on your cloud journey? Learn more about the impact of the area reviews and how colleges are succeeding in this new era of cloud based finance technology.
See how other merged colleges are adopting cloud accounting systems. Download the full report now.