Digital budget management

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, North West, Acute

The problem

The financial management team needs to maintain lists of budget holders, authorised signatories for specific budget codes and the staff who should receive monthly budget reports. This information is used by other finance staff, such as the accounts payable team to ensure compliance with the trust’s SFIs approval levels and so that only approved staff are authorising expenditure against the relevant budget codes. In addition, an accurate list is necessary to ensure that the right staff receive monthly budget reports.

The challenge

How might we develop a paperless and easy to maintain list of authorised approvers and their cost centres? This needed to be available to all members of the finance department as a reference guide to ensure queries are directed to the right person the first time and systems are set up to ensure the approvers can access their relevant budget statements.

The outputs

  • We have a dataset that fulfils a number of financial requirements from a single source.
  • The data is constantly updated.
  • The data is used for multiple purposes (issuing budget reports, managing the authorised signatory list, identifying budget holders) with everything linked together between the finance ledger, ESR staffing and emails.
  • The system can be updated by any of the financial analysts as appropriate.
  • Because the system is essentially a full piece of software, the finance team can audit compliance and monitor budget holder awareness of budget positions.

The outcomes

  • We have accessible and up-to-date information, that is easy to maintain and use, which optimises staff time.
  • It has helped the accounts payable team to process invoices faster because they have signatory information readily available to them.
  • As a finance department we have recently adopted faster closing at month-end and due to the automated process of sending out budget reports, we have been able to meet the target of getting budget reports out in a tighter timeframe.
  • We are saving staffing time and have removed the need for manual manipulation of data as it is now automated.
  • We have been able to manage the authorised signatories process efficiently while working offsite/at home etc.

The Innovation

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Digital Budget Management

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What the peer-reviewers said

“This utilises data available within the Trust and reduces time for manual review.”

“This uses technology to free up staff time to focus on value adding activities.”

“The innovation has added value by having an accessible and timely data set.”

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Innovation C3

Digital budget management