Introduction

The Professional Services Transformation (PST) Satisfaction Survey ran from 19 October to 2 November 2020 and was designed to measure and baseline end user satisfaction across HR, Finance and Research Administration. Representation was wide with 541 responses received in total from across the College. Questions were asked in the form of positive statements, with responses on a 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree' scale, in addition to open text questions asking for suggestions for improvements.

You told us...


Below is a summary of the free text comments that were recieved related to Finance. The summary is based on an independent interpretation of the free text comments that were provided in the Survey:

You told us

Purchasing and Supplier Set Up

  • Requests for an all supplier database that is easy to access and can be searched to bring up the details of the goods/services a supplier provides.
  • New Supplier Set Up process is very long and complex.
  • No visibility of progress status.

Accounts Payable and Expenses

  • Lack of trust in the AP process resulting in unnecessary record keeping locally in Departments.
  • Lack of visibility of invoice progress status, slow response times.
  • “ …Expense system is great if you use it frequently...”

Income

  • “…how to better present our services to our customers and make the process of requesting these easier for staff”
  • “…clarity around the process and how long it takes”
  • General neutral or dissatisfaction with the timeliness of processes.

Our Finance Action Plan

Purchasing and Supplier Set Up

"New Supplier Set Up process is very long and complex." 

  • Over 160k obsolete suppliers have been removed from the database, which will help to speed up the supplier set-up process.  End of January 22 - Over the next quarter we will pilot new bank validation functionality alongside the need to manually check supplier details and will report back whether the service has had a positive impact on reducing even further  set-up times for our users. 

"No visibility of progress status."

  • Partially completed. Service Now (ASK) was upgraded and a new customer service module introduced in September that will provide better end-user experience, and allow for better progress status tracking of enquires and status of work. 

  • Further system improvements around reporting and tracking will be delivered by a new Centre of Excellence team that are starting work in November and throughout 2022.

Accounts Payable and Expenses

"Lack of trust in the AP process resulting in unnecessary record keeping locally in Departments." 

  • Three-way matching will give Buyers control and visibility of their invoices as they will be reviewing and approving all invoices processed by AP before they are released for payment. This functionality is being reviewed as part of the ERP replacement project that is currently underway. It is anticipated this could be an early win in advance of a new system.

Lack of visibility of invoice progress status, slow response times.

  • Move Invoice Query process into ASK to provide an easy to monitor tracking for invoices that cannot be processed for payment and ensure appropriate follow up. 
  • Further training and guidance will be available to end users to signpost them to self-service and progress status tracking through ASK Portal.

“ … Expense system is great if you use it frequently ...”

  • Completed - Expenses manual has been reviewed and updated on the finance website. A direct link to the manual will also be published on the new Payments landing page that is currently under construction. (Expected completion for the landing page is the end of January due to local work within Payments and the upgrade to the T4 website software that hosts all of the information.)
  • Making the Expenses system more intuitive will form part of the ERP programme as many of the user comments require fundamental change to the current iExpenses system and further work on simplification, cost-centres and the introduction of role-based approvals. 

Income

“…How to better present our services to our customers and make the process of requesting these easier for staff”

  • Completed first stage of reviewing the existing Income processes, with a focus on customer setup and sundry transaction requests. This will include ensuring the forms are up-to-date with the latest analysis codes, which is a known issue. Billing forms have been updated with latest codes. Five departments are currently using the new Oracle driven process. Onboarding will begin shortly for additional departments on to this process – expected March 2022.

“…Clarity around the process and how long it takes”

  • Completed - How to Pay page updated to include new methods and payment processing times. All of the SLA’s have been updated.


"General neutral or dissatisfaction with the timeliness of processes"

  • Payments: In 2020, our new Income Management System was introduced which resulted in approximately 36% of payments received (41k receipts processed for that reporting period of 4 months) moving from a manual process to being allocated automatically. Ongoing projects relating to automation include adding new payment channels to the system, reviewing the logic sitting within the system, and driving payers towards the automated (and more secure) channels where possible.
  • Risk: A project is currently underway with ICT to improve the risk reporting on our funders and customers. The project aim is to be able pull near real-time data from credit reference agencies directly into Oracle so we can provide accurate and up-to-date information upon request. This enhancement will save our users on average 3 days when resources are available in the new year to upload the full database for ongoing risk reporting. Expected in early 2022.