Unit4 software's budget bungle leaves schools counting the cost

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A missive from a erstwhile authorities curate to nan caput of acquisition for 1 of nan UK's largest section authorities reveals nan financial disruption caused by nan implementation of a Unit4 HR, finance, and payroll system.

According to nan missive from Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab, nan troubled implementation of payroll successful schools near 1 schoolhouse incapable to complete its financial accounts for 3 months.

He called connected Clare Curran, Cabinet personnel for acquisition and learning, to get a grip of nan business "so that nan schoolhouse is capable to make due plans for its financial future."

The letter, seen by The Register, confirms our reports that nan caller £30 cardinal ($37.8 million) package system, which was delayed by 18 months and £3.9 cardinal ($4.92 million) complete budget, has caused financial uncertainty for astatine slightest 1 schoolhouse and hardship for staff.

Addressing concerns astir package errors astatine 1 school, Raab - a erstwhile Brexit, Foreign and Justice Secretary successful UK authorities - said nan package continued to salary unit who had left. It was besides incorrectly processing caller starters, which led to emergency taxation and pension contributions and nan withholding of overtime payments.

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In January, The Register reported that Surrey County Council's payroll support table prioritizes users who person "already had an effect connected salary which has resulted successful personification either receiving nil pay, a important underpayment aliases has near nan individual successful superior financial hardship."

Minutes from Cabinet Meetings successful December [PDF] past twelvemonth show nan president of nan council's Resources and Performance Select Committee had superior concerns astir nan caller ERP package – which replaced an SAP strategy – and nan agelong word impacts of nan project. "There were concerns that lessons were not being learnt arsenic different IT projects were being started," he said.

Also successful December, the council's resources committee heard [PDF] nan strategical head admit that forecast efficiencies of £500,000 would not beryllium achievable successful nan existent financial twelvemonth "mostly successful narration to" nan ERP project.

In a connection sent to The Register, a spokesperson for Surrey County Council, said:

"Following nan installation of a caller Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) strategy past summer, we person knowledgeable immoderate issues relating to payroll.

"We person put successful spot a number of workarounds and other assets to effort to minimise nan effect connected unit and schools, and a dedicated method squad is moving to resoluteness underlying issues. The betterment scheme is making bully progress, pinch nan number of errors reducing importantly complete clip including updating leavers' processes and nan schoolhouse financial reporting system, and a programme of engagement clinics has besides been coordinated to supply individual schools/settings pinch focused support.

"We are still moving done immoderate of nan issues and we are grateful to our unit and schools for some their efforts and patience arsenic we proceed to do this.

"Some level of disruption was expected passim specified a basal modulation to a caller system, but we are sorry for immoderate inconvenience to labor and schools adversely affected; our superior attraction has ever been nan use of our unit arsenic we resoluteness immoderate errors, and we will proceed to activity pinch them passim this process." ®