Efficient financial systems

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, North East and Yorkshire, Acute

The problem

Our finance teams need to work effectively and efficiently within available resources otherwise we face additional challenges from ineffective processes. This helps with continuous improvement, ensuring we develop a value for money approach as part of the day job.

The challenge

How might we assess the effectiveness of how we work and evaluate existing process and systems (including systems, staff and effectiveness of existing procedures) so that we can deliver efficiently and make the best use of resources available to us?

How might we optimise existing ledger systems so that we can use integrated modules, minimise or reduce levels of manual processes and share best use of these systems within ICBs to improve effectiveness and efficiencies in key financial governance areas?

How might we ensure existing process and procedures are fit for purpose, enhanced when opportunity is identified and shared with other users to optimise user experience?

The outputs

  • the review of existing processes by a fully engaged group using an integrated approach
  • identification of an improvement plan
  • development of audit evidence – the toolkit links well to existing internal audit reviews and the financial sustainability review mandated in 2022/23 as part of planning process
  • process reviews which link well to the individual’s appraisal reviews and support personal development plans
  • the opportunity to share effectiveness of organisations who are working on the same ledger system. They can easily share scoring and understand if others are further developed and ask what they could do differently
  • the review provides an opportunity to reiterate roles and responsibilities in key processes. For example, P2P can include accounts payable, procurement, budget holders, receipt and distribution teams, management accounts and financial systems. Process maps from existing P2P and hire to retire can be utilised or the government finance global design principles can be referenced to support developing process maps Finance global design principles (www.gov.uk) although a login is now required which can be arranged with the Innovation Forum. The information in this model is really useful in understanding and developing process maps.

As an example, our organisation identified that going live with an additional ledger module, reporting developments and moving to a new asset register were opportunities to improve effectiveness in our financial services processes. We plan to start our reviews in financial services in October 2022.

The outcomes

We hope for improved financial governance and clearly defined processes and procedures. In 2021/22 we had three internal audit reviews with no finance recommendations and no recommendations in our external audit review. This toolkit will provide an opportunity for further review and an opportunity to demonstrate what we have undertaken in developing a continuous improvement approach.

The benefits for the team were:

  • developments recognised by the Finance Innovation Forum and provided evidence of utilising FFF tools for accreditation submission
  • opportunity for the staff to share learning at FFF, regional and national HFMA events and regional SDN and Value Maker events – opportunity for other organisations to take on board some of our learning by going live and whether we have addressed some issues and pressures facing them
  • development opportunity for the staff in learning new skills – linked to personal development plans
  • greater integration in the wider team from sharing benefits and improving effectiveness of previous manual process – this has been an effective and standardised approach to tasks
  • shared use of experience in how we utilise ledger systems. This is the least developed area but can provide a great opportunity at an ICS/ ICB level if organisations share the same financial ledger.

The Innovation

Read the full innovation on efficient financial systems

All the documents and resources relating to this innovation can be found in the downloads section at the bottom of the page.

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What the peer-reviewers said

“It is simple enough to encourage discussions within and across teams it is possible to utilise it over a number of teams to highlight more efficient ways of working and links to the sustainability agenda”

“Good example of using continuous learning and benchmarking tools to improve”

“A great tool to make you stop and think about your current processes and weaknesses and make you challenge yourselves with regards to potential improvements”

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Downloads

Here are all of the documents and resources related to this innovation

Innovation K4

Efficient financial systems

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Supporting evidence K4 (1)

Capital accounting benchmarking tool – Powerpoint

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Supporting evidence K4 (2)

Capital benchmarking review – PDF

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Supporting evidence K4 (3)

Systems and processes tool – Excel

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