Local Government New Zealand and Sybiz
Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ)
Accounting and business intelligence
Product names: Sybiz Vision
and Sybiz Vision Business Intelligence Centre
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Based in Wellington, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is an organisation for elected members in local government.
With a mission of creating “Effective local governance across New Zealand,” it serves as the national voice of local government and seeks to provide policy, advice and training to each of the 11 regional councils, 61 territorial authorities, and six unitary councils into which New Zealand is partitioned.
Subscription to LGNZ is voluntary and is reviewed by each local council annually, so its long-term viability directly correlates with its ability to provide quantitative, positive benefits to its members.
LGNZ recently brought their accounts processing back in-house. This decision was based on a review that identified gains for LGNZ through improved efficiencies in the timing of the reporting, providing access to online financial and project reports, improving the data coding with the introduction of detailed narrations; as well as a saving in overall cost. At the same time a policy on the finance operations and procedures was introduced to tighten the rules, controls and delegated authorities. In summary, the gains were primarily knowledge, control, financial saving and the minimising of risk.
Employees’ work at LGNZ is project related. The challenge was to replace the existing General Ledger system with Project Reporting to allow information to be available on demand, and reported by project in detail, summary; budget and forecast. The project reporting was to be available to many employees with controlled access to only their team’s projects, and in a format easy for the non-accountant to understand. Management reporting, monthly and YTD were to be included.
Managers often did not consider finance as a component of project reporting, and frequently operated without a clear understanding of how their expenditure impacted on management budgeting decisions and the LGNZ organisation as a whole.
To resolve this situation and live up to its aim as a “champion of best practice,” LGNZ came up with a list of changes they needed to implement:
- Greater control over and access to timely, accurate, and comprehensive data
- Attention to security to minimise the risk of fraud
- Real-time financial and management reporting
- Project personnel taking financial and personal responsibility for accounts
In deciding which technology would help rein in costs and improve productivity and insight into their organisation, LGNZ chose Sybiz.
Says LGNZ Office Manager, Ally McBride “I was fortunate to have used Sybiz software previously and I knew the financial and organisational benefits.”
Working closely with Reboot Limited (a Wellington based Sybiz Business Partner) the organisation implemented Sybiz Vision Accounting
and Sybiz Vision Business Intelligence Centre (BIC)
, which uses the power of Microsoft Excel® to present and manipulate information in a familiar, easy to understand format.
With Sybiz Vision BIC
, reports can be generated in real-time using information stored in disparate databases and across different products and platforms. A dynamic management report pack built into the software also provides drill down functionality, which allows managers to drill down to see the transactions behind the numbers so that they can make better, timelier business decisions.
Within a very short time, LGNZ had a fully functional accounting and job costing system plus customised BIC reporting, and integration functionality which imported sales invoices from their existing course management software, all on budget, and on time.
Implementation of the Sybiz Vision BIC software
has had an immediate and profound effect on the way business is conducted at LGNZ.
Handling accounts and account reporting in-house has resulted in significant cost savings to the organisation while giving the LGNZ greater access to and control over its own data.
Because the BIC software consolidates information from different sources and makes it available in a single location through a detailed dashboard display, it frees up time that would otherwise be spent combing through standalone databases, modules, and systems.
The result is a more productive, better informed staff.
In addition, now that LGNZ project managers are able to access the specific information they need in real-time, they are more aware than ever before of the financial and business impacts of their decisions and can make sure the projects they work on are correctly coded and properly authorised from the outset.
The introduction of financial and business processes and controls, such as the new purchase request system that was unveiled recently, has helped standardise operations and improve the overall productivity of the organisation.
Finally, the detailed reporting features of the Sybiz Vision BIC software
are also having a significant influence on the way the LGNZ interacts with its members, enabling the LGNZ to use the detailed, quantitative information at its disposal to provide effective and targeted support to the local councils with which it works.