Burwood Council

Burwood Council

Burwood Council engaged BDO to review its finance function and provide a roadmap to uplift it in line with the greater optimisation program underway for the whole Council.

The engagement was divided into three stages:

  1. Discover: Observe current state practices and identify recommendations for improvement of the finance function
  2. Define: Priority areas for improvement and focused development for future state improvements and opportunities
  3. Deliver: Improvement action plan that is fit for purpose and aligned to Council’s identified priorities.

During the six-week engagement, BDO used a combination of interviews, process mapping, maturity assessments, and our experience to document and assess the current state of the Council’s finance function delivery, to improve efficiency and end-user experience.

Our team interviewed the finance team to understand the current state of the finance function. The staff detailed what they do daily, how they interact with the systems and their colleagues, their understanding of their position and role within the organisation, their growth aspirations, and subsequent training and upskilling requirements.

BDO also facilitated a workshop with the users of the finance function including the General Manager of the Council, Procurement Manager, HR Manager, Property Manager and Customer Service Manager. This workshop aimed to understand their experiences interacting with and utilising the finance team.

When reviewing the systems used by Council, BDO identified that while they are fit for purpose, a lack of integration creates manual work and potential inefficiencies, leaving limited time for add-value reporting, finance business partnering or training.

Once the discovery phase was complete and information collated, BDO facilitated a workshop with all key stakeholders where everyone could review the recommendations and define priorities. Observations were categorised across People, Processes, Systems / Technology, and Information & Reporting, and the group categorised the priorities according to high / low value, high / low impact, and ease of implementation.

Outcomes delivered

To help develop the strategy, BDO brought in a Senior Manager from our Strategy & Transformation team to cross-collaborate and bring a consulting mindset to developing our report and recommendations.

BDO delivered a comprehensive report with the current state observations, recommendations for improvement, and a prioritisation roadmap with agreed timings and responsibilities assigned. The roadmap was developed in consultation with all stakeholders to give them buy-in for the journey.

The report included an overview of platform requirements for Council’s consideration with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) focus areas and identified the must-have and should-have components.

This engagement allowed Burwood Council to future-proof its finance function, supporting the business to deliver exceptional customer outcomes to the community.

Due to budget restrictions, the recommendations will be rolled out by internal resources over the next two years. BDO Partner Nick Fox and his key contact from Council are in regular contact discussing the progress of the roadmap implementation.