When we talk about the Finance Transformation Programme, it can sound as if all the changes are going to happen far into the future, but you’ll start seeing the effects sooner than you think. Here are five changes you will notice this financial year:
- Single Point of Contact: Currently there are 16 different phone numbers, which can be used as a first point of contact for the Finance department, making it difficult for anyone to figure out who to phone. In 2018, we will introduce one helpline, which will be able to deal with straightforward queries right away or refer more complex issues to the relevant section within Finance. This will be easier to navigate, and enable our specialist staff to spend less time dealing with simple requests for forms and password resets, to concentrate on the work they’re here to do.
- Better online resources: When support calls go through to one single point of contact, it’s much easier to keep track of why people are getting in touch. We’ll be able to use this information to start identifying the most common queries, and refine our online help resources so more people are able to find the answers to their questions on the Finance website.
- Delegated Authority Schedule: The Delegated Authority Schedule (DAS) specifies who can approve transactions, and although this is very detailed at the senior management level, it’s less prescriptive for everyday purchases, causing confusion over what individuals or committees can approve. This project will create detailed guidance on what different people can approve, based on job functions rather than grade, and provide training materials for anyone using the DAS.
- Policies and Guidance: By the end of the 2017/18 financial year, finance policies and procedures will start to become more standardised across the University, and all of the policies will be stored in a single online repository available to all staff. A more structured approach to policy development will mean consultation with Schools and Departments before any policy changes take place, and guidance on the policies will be written to provide the level of detail they need.
- Chart of accounts: We will redesign the chart of accounts and create a simpler and more logical structure for our accounting codes. This will reduce the number of coding errors and provide us with better reporting data.
Over the next few months, we’ll be running workshops to get your input into these projects. We hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, you can follow the progress of our workshops on the Finance Transformation wiki.