Job losses on the cards for BBC finance staff

Job losses and cost savings will be ‘phased in over time’ in a drive to raise additional £750m for programming over the next six years. The corporate centre of the BBC cost £57m of the corporation’s £2.3bn spending last year, a proportion new BBC director-general Greg Dyke has pledged to reduce.

The BBC would not specify the number of finance staff that will be affected.

But in a bid to further reduce overheads, the BBC is set to scrap its current system of 13 different IT packages, in favour of a single ‘Apollo’ system which aims to upgrade business and financial systems onto SAP software.

John Smith, director of finance and business affairs, said Dyke had already told senior executives to make efficiencies in their departments.

He added: ‘Next year will involve significant challenges; implementing Apollo, simplifying the internal market and starting the property rationalisation programme. It will be hard work, but a sound financial platform exists as a solid underpinning for this period of major change.’

A spokeswoman added: ‘We hope to make substantial savings across the finance, property and business affairs department, but the process will be gradual and nobody is expected to leave until we have implemented the new system.’

However Accountancy Age understands that the Professional Services Division, which includes finance, property and business affairs, will account for up to 70% of the savings – a 27% cut in its costs is planned over three years. Common standards and requirements for all financial planning, management, reporting and control activities will be introduced, while the volume and frequency of management reporting and forecasting will be cut.

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