Awards 2007: Finance Team of the Year – Public Sector

AA Awards

Sponsored by: CIMA

Winner: Ealing Homes

Ealing Homes manages 19,000 council tenants and leaseholder properties,
providing tenancy, leasehold and sheltered housing service.

The team is also responsible for ensuring improvements to meet the ‘Decent
Homes’ standard by 2010, repairs and maintenance, support for resident
involvement, rent collection, estate management and Right to Buy.

The finance team has played a vital role in achieving these across a customer
base comprising 14 ethnicities, ranging in age from those in their mid-20s to
late 60s.

To manage this, the team introduced a new accounting system in 2006, which
converted and uploaded 38,000 historical transactions while retaining a detailed
audit trail.

The team has also automated existing financial reports, cutting down on
reporting time from an average five days to 15 minutes.

Successful implementation of swipe cards enabling rent payment also resulted
in a 15% drop in arrears.

Rent reconciliation time has also been reduced from one month to five working
days of closing accounts, a procedure that has been recognised by both internal
and external auditors as an innovative and effective tool.

And objectives relating to timely and accurate publication of statutory
accounts have also been fully met.

Ealing Homes did all the above while keeping a strict control on budgets,
achieving a cost saving of £1m in the current year, while maintaining a constant
management fee and efficient service delivery despite inflation.

The new procedures were particularly commended by both KPMG and Deloitte as a
model for other boroughs.

The accomplishments impressed the judges, who said: ‘The team was focused on
its objectives and made great savings while beating all the targets set for
them. A real team effort that rose head and shoulders above the rest of the

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