Improving financial processes at West Sussex County Council

Re-designing services and introducing new technology to enhance efficiency

The challenge

With ongoing austerity measures, West Sussex County Council was required to make £79m worth of savings across the organisation in 2010. West Sussex and Capita Local Public Services recognised that there was significant scope to re-design the finance workstream and introduce smarter technology-based processes that would contribute to these savings targets, while improving performance and enhancing the user experience for employees and suppliers alike.

Our solution

As part of a 10 year partnership, Capita has re-designed and transformed the finance workstream at West Sussex. Over £700,000 worth of savings have already been achieved and the Council is benefiting from enhanced financial transparency, management information and performance improvements. The Council now has more streamlined processes and a paperless finance department following the introduction of invoice scanning using optical character recognition (OCR) software. Employees have also been up-skilled to deliver multiple tasks from two centralised hubs - proving better performance, resilience and opportunities for employee development.

“We had taken initial steps to reorganise our finance department, but recognised that we needed the support of Capita to take this further to fully standardise our procedures and develop a new way of operating our finance service across the entire Council. By re-shaping service delivery and through Capita’s investment in new technologies, we now run a much slicker and effective finance service. It’s enabled us to benefit from costs savings, to transform our procurement process and fundamentally, improve performance for our suppliers and service users. In Capita, we knew we could utilise their experience in finance service transformation to deliver on schedule with no impact on service delivery.’’

West Sussex City Council

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West Sussex County Council and Capita partnership

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With Capita as a partner we were able to establish strong working relationships and tackle the transformation of services together. Combining our knowledge within the Council and Capita’s experience and capability of delivering transformational programmes, we have made significant step changes in the way we deliver services.

Chief Operating Officer, West Sussex County Council.

How e-forms improved the usability of West Sussex County Council’s website

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Prior to the current e-form, an initial referral would take, on average, 2 hours to process. With the Umbraco form, an initial referral takes approximately 1 hour to process. This includes saving, printing and copying all attachments.

West Sussex Council Officer, Special Needs Assessment team

Capita and the London Borough of Barnet work in partnership for financial transformation

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Alongside greater automation and financial transparency across the Council, Capita has also re-shaped the finance function to give us greater resilience and support through the accountancy functions provided - something that will prove invaluable as times of austerity continue.

John Hooton, Chief Executive, London Borough of Barnet