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Finance Division

 

New Group Consolidation System 

The Finance Division has successfully delivered the initial phases of Cambridge University’s first ever automated consolidation system. The Group Consolidation System project launched in January 2018 and aims to harmonise the management of the University’s financial and external reporting, consolidation and forecasting requirements.  

The project was initiated following recognition that the University and some of its subsidiaries (including Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press and other subsidiaries and trusts) were using several disparate tools for financial reporting tasks, each operating autonomously. This included departments and schools using standalone software tools which did not integrate, and which required manual intervention via Microsoft Excel or Access to provide the information required for statutory and regulatory reporting.  As a result, the effort required to achieve an overall view of the University’s financial accounts was extensive and it has been difficult to provide a robust audit trail. 

The first phase involved a tendering process, which resulted in financial software provider OneStream being chosen to introduce a more integrated financial consolidation and reporting application for the University.  Then followed the second phase which commenced in December 2018 and involved the implementation of the new Group Consolidation system. The system has enabled historical data to be migrated from the prior year and it has also integrated with other systems such as CUFS and the SAP systems for Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press. 

The start of phase three saw the new Group Consolidation system go live in August 2019 and being used for the current financial year end.  Once year end is completed, the project will begin a new phase which will provide additional functionality and improve processes still further.  This will include supporting all Subsidiaries and Trusts to integrate the load of their year-end financial results and supplementary information from their underlying systems into the new system. It will also include loading budget and forecast data and improving report production for the Red Book and other University-wide reports such as tax returns and cash flow statements. 

It is expected that this phase will be substantially completed by July 2020, although some tasks will continue until October 2020. 

 

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