Case Study – Assured Managed Services for Local Authorities
EY has been providing financial statement closedown support to the corporate sector for a number of years. More recently, as the role of public finance professionals has evolved to become true value-add business partners to their organisations, preparing the monthly, quarterly and annual financial reporting has become a managed service, quality assured by EY staff.
This is not a replacement or outsource of staff but instead, a managed service designed to free finance teams from historical reporting to focus instead on the real-time business decision making.
Within the public sector, EY has worked with a number of local authority bodies during the (2016-17) financial year with a focus wholly on streamlining, accelerating and improving the efficiency of the year-end closedown process.
At times this process involves disproportionate effort in the last quarter of the year, EY looks to agree on balances as soon as possible and identify as well as rectify hurdles before they have an impact on the reporting and audit deadlines.
Working with the finance team and their systems, EY are able to report monthly, quarterly and provide a final outturn position to shorten timescales. This process has the effect of smoothing the effort for annual reporting in statutory financial statements. EY essentially acts as virtual finance reporting support, helping manage a resource intensive yet important finance owned process.
Having on-hand technical support from EY also meant that the complex accounting queries were addressed efficiently and in a timely manner — all as part of a managed service from EY — working in conjunction with the client team.
“EY provided support to our financial statement closedown process from an early stage and weren’t just there for the year-end. They provided process improvement advice, technical assistance, training for both the finance team and Members and ultimately helped us complete our draft financial statements in line with statutory deadlines. Having someone on call really helped us with closedown and auditor liaison”
Local Authority Head of Finance