Centralising the Group’s Finance Operations
As a result, tenants and management are now assured of a more efficient and professional service, and the Group is better able to help finance new homes for a growing population. Established in 2007, Spectrum Housing Group works in partnership with local authorities, health trusts, statutory bodies, a range of voluntary organisations and higher education establishments. The Group owns and manages approximately 18,000 homes across the South of England.
Sandie Williams, Business Implementation Manager, for Spectrum Housing Group, said: “Our objective is to run the Group as a business but we do not trade for profit. We plan to make surplus income each year and this is all reinvested in the work of the subsidiaries, to maintain existing homes and help finance the building of new ones.”
The Group Board is responsible for the overall strategy and direction of the business, and is made up of independent members and representatives of each subsidiary. These subsidiaries work to their own operational plans, agreed with the Group Board, and have direct responsibility for all service delivery to tenants and residents in the areas they cover. Prior to the Group’s merger in 2007, Spectrum Housing Group had always been made up of several separate entities, and as a result, operated three different accounting systems. This meant that one of the first tasks was to centralise the Group’s finance operations. After this was achieved, a common finance system was required to provide consistency, opportunity for further efficiencies, and a more effective financial operation.
Detailed Requirements Created
Sandie Williams explains: “We needed a common chart of accounts for all companies, which would provide consistent processes applied to transactions and reporting across the Group. Enhanced management information, and support for our customers in understanding and reporting on the financial aspects of the operation, were also important.”