Striving for operational excellence and mitigating risk by eliminating inefficiencies.
As the central financing authority for the Queensland Government, QTC provides financial resources and services for the State. In the last financial year, it delivered A$300 million worth of returns for Government stakeholders and achieved a record A$20.5 billion issuance to fund the State’s borrowing program despite challenging global conditions.
As part of an organisational transformation that began about six years ago, much of QTC’s operations had already transitioned to Microsoft platforms, but in 2019 the Finance team determined modernisation was needed. Using a legacy financial management system that featured multiple manual processes, numerous workarounds and slow bulk journal processing, QTC realized its system could not deliver the agility and efficiencies it needed.
A Request For Proposal (RFP) identified Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Finance solution as the strongest contender to improve access to data and streamline and automate multiple processes—while laying the foundations for ongoing innovation.
Working with DXC Eclipse and Microsoft Fast Track, and using the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Implementation Methodology, QTC deployed the system in less than six months despite the global pandemic forcing most of the team to work remotely.
Rapid deployment was essential. The rollout needed to be completed by the end of June 2020 ready for go-live on 1 July 2020 to avoid the finance team having to wrangle two separate platforms when the new financial year rolled in.
One of the immediate benefits according to Jane Keating, Managing Director – Finance, Data & Compliance, QTC is that; “It’s certainly given us more timely information. So, we get access to information very early in the piece every morning, as opposed to waiting half a day for that information to get processed through our other systems, which means that clients can get their information much more quickly.
Internally, the project to update the finance platform was known as Project Luca, named after the 15th Century Franciscan Friar, Luca Pacioli, widely acknowledged as the ‘father of accounting’ who was renowned for his work on double entry book-keeping and as a maths tutor to Leonardo da Vinci.
Clarity and consistency were his guiding lights – and Pacioli would likely have approved of QTC’s ability to harness modern technology to dispense with the traditional paper shuffling associated with filing expense claims – replacing that with a mobile application – and in the process killing off the petty cash tin.
No matter how forward looking the customisation is today, it could not have foreseen the impact that the pandemic would have when it began the Dynamics 365 implementation in January 2020, said Kristan Bowen director enterprise information and technology at QTC. He noted the deliberate decision by the organisation to leverage Microsoft public cloud and other technologies opens the door to a broad array of trusted and secure services.
“We’re constantly reviewing workloads for their suitability to be shifted to Microsoft’s public cloud” he said.
With a team of just 10, Bowen is also keen to explore opportunities for expanding QTC’s innovation envelope by setting up governance guardrails that would allow more citizen business application development by front line workers who understand what would help them do their work.