London Ambulance Service to save £200,000 per annum by moving to shared financial services

London - 27 June 2012

Financial processes are being outsourced to ELFS Shared Services in partnership with Advanced Business Solutions

The London Ambulance Service, the busiest ambulance service in the country serving more than seven million people, is anticipating cost savings of £200,000 per year by outsourcing its financial accounting services and the management of its accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) processes.

ELFS Shared Services (ELFS), a division of Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will be managing the Trust’s financial processes using a finance system that is being provided, hosted and supported by Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). ELFS is now providing shared services to 17 NHS client organisations at its North-West base. London Ambulance Service’s go live is planned for 1st July 2012.

The Service is taking the decision to outsource its AP and AR processes together with its financial accounting services (including control account reconciliation and cash management) to help deliver its cost reduction targets without compromising financial service delivery. ELFS will be servicing the London Ambulance Service including its 70 London ambulance stations and will be using Advanced’s finance system with integrated electronic procurement, business intelligence (SAP Business Objects) and document management (Version One).

London Ambulance Service’s central finance and procurement teams together with staff from its logistics site, will also have access to the Advanced finance system. This system, which is being provided as a managed service and is replacing a more manually-intensive onsite finance solution, will enable authorised staff across all 70 stations to electronically procure goods and services. In September 2012, budgeting and forecasting functionality is being added to the system to enable a more automated, collaborative and transparent approach to budget setting.

ELFS and Advanced Business Solutions were selected by the Service after a competitive tendering process that involved a panel of assessors from the finance, procurement and IT departments together with end users from across the Service.
Amanda Cant, Deputy Director of Finance, London Ambulance Service, says, “ELFS was chosen because of its NHS heritage and track record of providing high quality financial and procurement services within a shared services environment. Advanced’s integrated finance system, which will be supporting our financial operations, is also proven to be robust, reliable and functionally-rich.”

The Service is anticipating significant cost savings by moving to shared financial services and a new managed finance system, aiding its cost reduction goals.

Amanda Cant says, “By outsourcing our financial accounting, AP and AR processes to ELFS and moving to an Advanced managed finance system, we expect to save at least £200,000 per year. These savings are key if we’re to meet our tough cost cutting targets.”

Amanda Cant adds, “This is the first shared service arrangement the Service has ever entered into and so it has been a very important and considered decision. We will be working very closely with both ELFS and Advanced to ensure a smooth transition and long-term success.”

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