Keeping track of your assets
Staffordshire County Council is a local authority serving the residents of Staffordshire and the surrounding areas with over £2 billion worth of assets. It was this large asset base that caused the Council to look for an effective and efficient capital accounting system, implementing MRI Software’s (MRI) fixed asset solution in March 2012.
William Wilkes, Senior Accountant, Staffordshire County Council, comments, “We were using spreadsheets to monitor our assets before engaging with MRI and acknowledged that we needed something far more efficient and flexible, especially as the compliance requirements within IFRS became increasingly complicated.”
Improving efficiencies and becoming compliant
“The system from MRI Software has provided us with solid efficiencies throughout our closedown and audit period and I am confident that next year we will be able to gain even more. There are many accounting processes which we can now manage and control that were becoming increasingly unmanageable with the use of spreadsheets,” says William Wilkes.
Staffordshire County Council found the accounting processes, in particular the self-populated disclosure notes functionality within the MRI solution extremely beneficial as this was a process that was carried out manually before. It is using the fixed asset management system predominantly for two months a year intensely and needed to get the most from the system during this time; something that the flexible nature of the solution allows them to do.
William Wilkes comments, “Before using Asset4000 our IFRS audit processes were very drawn out and intense, but since using the MRI system everything is completed more quickly and automatically. It has made our processes so much smoother and saved us two weeks’ worth of staff time doing the same job with the same outcome, in comparison to the previous year and I would expect this to increase even further during the next audit.”
With the ability to integrate with Staffordshire County Council’s finance software, SAP, the MRI system has allowed the authority to gain confidence in its auditing process and reassurance that its reporting is accurate and up to date.
Staffordshire County Council has seen greatly increased efficiencies and tangible time savings since working with MRI and anticipates even more in the future. Asset4000 has allowed the Council to automate its procedures and enable flexibility whilst future proofing its organisation for impending changes to legislation.
William Wilkes concludes, “MRI’s implementation and service has been of a very high standard throughout the consultation, implementation and support process and we have been really impressed with their consultants and their ability to work flexibly to our requirements. I am looking forward to gaining even more efficiencies and benefits from MRI’s solution as we use it more and more.”