Waimate District Council in New Zealand is achieving a significant reduction in business risk and improved business efficiency using the MAGIQ Performance software application to deliver its Annual and 10-Year Long Term Financial Plans.
The Waimate District is located in the centre of the South Island, bounded by the Waitaki River in the south, the Pareora River in the north and the Hakataramea Valley to the west. The District is a productive agricultural area with a mix of pastoral, cropping, dairy farming, fruit and vegetable growing. Farming, forestry and milk processing are significant contributors to the local economy.
MAGIQ Performance is a suite of highly sophisticated and easy to use Budgeting, Reporting & Analytics, Financial and Strategic Planning software. The MAGIQ Financial Planning solution is designed to provide organisations with a sophisticated and highly automated application to model and produce their Long Term and Annual Financial Plans.
Waimate District Council had identified a level of business risk associated with the use of a complex, manual spreadsheet process to manage its financial planning. By implementing MAGIQ Performance Council has been able to eliminate the spreadsheets, thereby significantly reducing its business risk and delivering greater efficiency across the organisation.
Andy Hilton, Corporate Services Manager, Waimate District Council observes that the Long Term Financial Planning process inherently requires a significant time and effort by people across the entire organisation. Relying on a manual ‘hands on’ approach to manage the process had become very time-consuming and wasn’t sustainable in the long-term.
“Spreadsheets tend to be fairly ‘idiosyncratic’ by nature; and the full complexity and logic behind the model is often largely retained by the individual that built them. We had become reliant on external resources to assist us which introduced a level of risk we simply weren’t comfortable with and was also a costly exercise,” he said.
“By implementing MAGIQ Performance, changes that used to take hours and sometimes days to implement, are now completed within the hour,” said Andy. “That’s a huge benefit, which is freeing up time across the entire organisation.”
Andy believes overall confidence in the quality of the data has also improved, which has been a positive step towards building greater transparency and accountability across the organisation.
“Our senior managers need accurate financial insights to support their decision-making. MAGIQ Performance has allowed us to be a lot more responsive in this regard and we can now be very confident that decisions are being made on the basis of a single, consistent view of the data.”
Council’s Accountant Melissa Thomson has taken on the responsibility of building and maintaining the model in MAGIQ Performance.
“The results we have achieved are testament to the time and effort that Melissa has put into this project and her understanding of what we are trying to achieve,” said Andy. “It’s really important to invest internally as an organisation to get this done.”
In the future Andy and Melissa will continue to look at ways MAGIQ Performance can help to improve the efficiency of reporting and planning processes across the organisation.
“As an organisation we need to make the most efficient use of our time and resources – that’s our responsibility to our ratepayers. MAGIQ Performance has delivered a much more efficient modelling and planning process, and we’ll continue to look at how we can use the software to generate more business efficiencies,” he said.