Argyll & Bute Council
In the public service sector, Argyll and Bute Council, along with its partners, strives to be the best rural area in Scotland. To accomplish this goal, the council recognized the need to have a framework in place that provided a defined level of public accountability: monitoring of performance indicators, internal auditing, and tracking of revenue and capital budgets. As the council gained recognition and grew its business, it became clear that its method for operational reporting also needed to be executed at a faster rate in order to maintain its reputation and serve the communities successfully.
In the late 1990s, there were only two staff members developing operational reports using Oracle Discoverer for Oracle Accounts Payable (AP) and General Ledger (GL). The process led to numerous hours of report creation, and often required use of an Oracle technical reference manual for instruction on how to join data source tables. These reports also had to be recreated every time Oracle issued an upgrade. Efficiency and real-time reporting drove Argyll and Bute Council to invest in a solution that would streamline this process and allow business users to have information at their fingertips.
Argyll and Bute Council decided to continue to use Oracle Discoverer as a reporting tool, but they still sought a complementary solution that would enable them to extract business data quickly in order to eliminate hours of manual work. Noetix was the chosen solution because it allowed Argyll’s management staff to present financial information to budget holders much more effectively.
“With Oracle Discoverer alone, we were unable to meet the need for customized queries,” said Bruce West, Head of Strategic Finance, Argyll and Bute Council. “Noetix has extended Discoverer’s capabilities and enabled us to extract the information we need quickly, into the format we want and the product we prefer. In addition, we can get this information without having to remap to the data. Noetix does that for us automatically.”
Argyll and Bute Council currently has 75 users up and running with Noetix and plans to double this number in the near future. Added West, “We were able to get our business users generating their own reports within minutes after the initial training.”
With Noetix, Argyll and Bute Council has been able to conduct monthly reports on year-to-date budgets (actuals vs. planned) as well as calculate the lifecycle of an invoice (i.e., track from the time it is submitted to a vendor until the time it gets paid). More importantly, users manage Noetix from the convenience of their desktop for immediate and accurate response to requests from management.
“We have been able to provide our budget holders with accurate and up-to-date monthly financial reports using Noetix,” added West. “This has allowed us to see how we are performing against the planned budget and to view individual transactions in order to understand better where the money is being spent. As we wrap up one fiscal year, we are able to make adjustments and plan accordingly for the next year.”
Argyll and Bute Council was able to invest in technology that complemented their current reporting solution, giving them a greater return on investment. Noetix has given Argyll and Bute the framework needed to respond proactively to potential issues and to become a more accountable organization.
Head of Strategic Finance
Argyll & Bute Council
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