Public sector finance professionals positive four months on from CSR

14 March 2011

Version One survey reveals that 62% are optimistic about their organisation’s future

Almost two-thirds of public sector finance professionals have a positive vision of their organisation’s future four months after the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), a survey by document management software company, Version One, has revealed. Version One carried out the research with 158 senior finance professionals (finance directors and managers) across a range of UK public sector organisations.

The survey highlights that 62 per cent of senior finance professionals are feeling ‘confident’ about their organisation’s future four months on from the review with a quarter of these (25 per cent) stating that they are VERY confident. In contrast, 26 per cent of respondents said they were ‘concerned’ about what may lay ahead for their organisation with 4 per cent admitting that they were ‘very concerned’. The remaining 8 per cent of respondents said it was still ‘too early to comment’ about their organisation’s long-term prospects.

Julian Buck, Version One’s Managing Director, comments, “The results of this survey make surprising reading and indicate that despite having to make some major financial adjustments, public sector organisations are feeling optimistic about the future. By working smarter they can translate this positive outlook into making efficiency savings whilst still delivering a good level of service.”

The survey also asked respondents what steps they believed were key to enabling them to cope more effectively with the budget cuts. 39 per cent said a combination of smarter procurement, moving to shared services and investing in automation technology would be key. 10 per cent stated that external outsourcing as a cost-effective alternative to in-house capability is the best way forward while just 9 per cent said staff redundancies is the answer. The remaining 42 per cent felt that a combination of these approaches would be effective.

Buck says, “While, sadly, redundancies are almost inevitable in the public sector, the survey suggests that organisations are looking to do everything they possibly can to tighten their belts to make job losses the last resort. Implementing software systems to automate a range of paper-based processes are key to ensuring a lean, streamlined finance operation and crucially free-up finance professionals to concentrate on adding greater value to their organisations.”

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