TechnologyOne’s OneCouncil, is an integrated whole-of-council software solution that significantly reduces the time, cost and risks associated with large scale implementations. The solution was implemented on time and budget, which gave employees a lot of confidence in the project.
The innovative solution has consolidated the councils’ technology stack, simplified business systems in one platform and improved end-to-end business process workflows. Today the team runs the council accounts, general ledger, bank reconciliation, purchasing and invoicing all through OneCouncil.
Ms Foy said the solution introduced much smarter ways of working: “TechnologyOne’s OneCouncil is a million miles away from where we were. It helps us deliver business improvements as well as cost efficiencies, and bring with it better business intelligence capabilities, automation and integration.”
“It is giving us better access to corporate data and clearer management information, the finance team has access to analytics and insights that improve their decisions making, which is absolutely key given the limited discretionary funding available.”
Employees can use OneCouncil any time, using any device, wherever they are.
“It’s absolutely empowered our workforce. People don’t need to wait until they’re in the office or on their laptop to action some of the decision making, they can quickly view and approve requests and actions on their phones. The benefits of carrying out finance tasks anywhere really flattened the change curve for people. When they realised the flexibility they had, the prospect of something new didn’t feel scary,” Ms Foy said.
A staff member added: “I can work from any device, any time, meaning I can attend school events or do the school run without any detriment to the performance of the finance team.”
OneCouncil has helped West Lindsey save significant time on reporting. Despite the new system going live that year, the 2021/22 accounts were completed on time, with West Lindsey being one of the few councils in the country to meet the audit certification deadline. The 2022/23 accounts were completed by mid-May enabling the council to easily meet the 2023/24 deadline when it was brought forward.
“The full budget report for Member approval and Council Tax setting in February took two hours rather than the two weeks it used to take before we implemented OneCouncil, and we have eradicated the use of spreadsheets and unstructured filing,” said Ms Foy.
Forecasting has also been improved enabling the council to run forecast position reporting on Disabled Facilities Grants that identified the need to invest a further £150,000 in Disabled Facilities Grants to ensure people could stay in their own homes for longer.
“Without OneCouncil’s forecasting tools, we couldn’t have planned or found the additional spend to maintain service delivery to some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Ms Foy.
Performance measurement, management and reporting tools also help the team seamlessly manage operational KPIs and other performance-related data. Finance and Property Services have maintained 100% of Key Performance indicators over the last 12 months.
“For the first time we have a true project accounting enabling us to keep track of our £13m Levelling Up grant funding expenditure. We also have one report that reports by project rather than segregation between revenue and capital spend, which is incredibly useful for busy programme leads and sponsors,” Ms Foy said.
OneCouncil’s easy-to-use user interface has empowered the entire team to operate in a more efficient and effective way, with different teams having access to straightforward information dashboards and simple-to-use applications. The format of reports is easy to understand by the council’s operational staff, giving them the ability to self-serve without having to refer to finance colleagues. This has allowed the council to operate with a reduced staffing structure.
“Having e-forms for every task written in ‘non-finance speak’ means people have not been as anxious as they might be usually with a new system, which has significantly helped with take up,” Ms Foy said.
The move to a modern, integrated solution has been transformative for the council. It has helped the team deliver on the council’s priorities, providing significant business improvements and cost efficiencies by automating workflows, standardising reporting and business processes, and improving data accuracy.
“OneCouncil is the golden thread between our corporate plan, operational plans and service planning,” concluded Ms Foy.