Improving financial capability and effectively embedding Finance Business Partnering across Defence Equipment & Support
DE&S is the organisation within the MoD that spends £15bn annually on the acquisition of major military platforms and equipment and their ongoing repair / support. This includes fast jets, helicopters, armoured fighting vehicles, ships and submarines. DE&S is undergoing a major transformation as it moves to become a semi-autonomous trading entity. This transformation has been accompanied by a significant change in its working culture, its organisational structure and its working practices. Prederi have been working alongside DE&S to help build greater Financial and Business Partnering capability across its various project teams and corporate functions, through a proactive and flexible approach to meeting the changing training needs of its 600 Finance staff.
Prederi works alongside the Finance Professionalism Team within DE&S to understand the training needs of the large number of staff in the areas of Finance & Accounting, Cost Control and Project Control. We have jointly designed an L&D programme to improve their knowledge and skills and transform attitudes and behaviours.
We have delivered a variety of types of technical finance training over the four years of the contract including accounting for the acquisition and use of military equipment (and the inventory required to support it), accounting for nuclear provisions for submarines from their in-service date until the decommissioning process is complete, as well as how to provide Audit evidence for accruals on complex long term projects.
We have also helped to try and embed a more commercial mindset across the finance community through training them in understanding the financial and commercial implications of their long term, complex contracts with UK & overseas Defence contractors.
As part of this work we have helped to embed a cultural change focusing on the need for different functions (finance, inventory management, commercial, project management) to work more closely and effectively, so that better programme management decisions are made by senior staff.
Recently Prederi has implemented a three day Finance Business Partnering programme across DE&S to coincide with the change in its structure. This includes elements emphasising the change in role that will be required in relation to areas like planning, forecasting and benefits management. Its also includes elements about seeing the big picture and adopting a more customer focused attitude with a significant behavioural element to the programme including the use of an Insights diagnostic tool. This helps delegates understand different personality types so that they can become more effective at communicating and influencing the senior staff they are working with, and working more effectively in project teams.
We have successfully completed well over 150 training events across many different areas over the duration of the contract. There has been a significant improvement in producing accurate financial information in areas such as inventory accounting and accruals. There has also been an improvement in the quality of audit evidence produced for the NAO evidenced by the reduction in the number of qualifications of DE&S accounts.
The Business Partnering part of our work has proved extremely useful to delegates helping them to adopt a more commercial mindset and to help demonstrate how equipment acquisition and support can provide better Value for Money. Feedback indicates that delegates have also been able to use their knowledge of different personality types to improve how they communicate across project teams and with people from other functions, and to improve how they present information to Project team leaders to enable better business decision making.
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