Every company needs systems in place to run efficiently, big or small, public or private.
Systems maintain order within organizations. They help stakeholders carry out their duties with the most up-to-date insights and data.
Crown corporations are no different when it comes to running their business with efficiency. These government-owned entities provide essential services to the public. Therefore, they need to operate at the highest level of integrity and transparency to preserve Canadians' trust.
One tool that can help crown corporations achieve these goals is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. ERP systems help gain public support and confidence through greater accountability and credibility.
Government-owned entities need to maintain their financial transparency. With an ERP solution, board members, ministers, directors, and other stakeholders can oversee their strategic direction while protecting resources. This type of system enables organizations to monitor and report on their entire operation accurately.
A centralized database easily stores all financial information, including revenue, expenses, and assets. This data is accessible by different departments within the corporation, external auditors and regulators. The transparency provided by an ERP system can help prevent fraud and other financial irregularities, as all transactions can be tracked and audited.
Take, for example, Bombardier, a multinational aerospace and transportation company. It has received significant government support over the years. This company faced numerous challenges, including financial losses, delays in delivering major projects, and allegations of corruption. These issues have eroded public trust in Bombardier and raised concerns about the effectiveness of government support for the company. Without being able to produce accurate records, guilty or not, the lack of transparency makes for a tarnished public perception.
But with streamlined tracking systems, an ERP system can help corporations like Bombardier with financial planning and budgeting. Financial management determines a corporation's ability to perform services and fulfill mandates. But it also influences public opinion, so finances must be crystal clear.
Procurement is critical for crown corporations since they rely heavily on third-party vendors to provide goods and services. Because of this, they need to have transparency in their acquisition process. ERP software can provide a centralized database for all procurement-related information, including things like:
Furthermore, this information can be easily accessed and tracked, allowing for greater transparency in the process. As organizations build their systems from one source, they demonstrate greater credibility.
Though crown corporations may enjoy more autonomy and freedom than other government departments, that doesn't exempt them from complying with federal and provincial regulations.
Whether the corporation is 100% government-funded or financially self-sufficient, all crown corporations get audited yearly. That means there need to be standard procedures to improve this process. ERP software provides a singular system for storing important documents like permits, licenses, and certifications. These systems greatly benefit crown corporations because they can increase their accessibility and tracking. Better tracking and operational planning lead to better decision-making and increased accountability.
Hydro-Québec is a provincial crown corporation that provides electricity to Quebec residents. The company has faced many criticisms over the years, specifically its handling of environmental issues. Recently, Hydro-Quebec released a statement about their "duty to adopt best practices on ethics." The company plans to "integrate sustainable development into its governance, as well as into its various activities and projects." In other words: greater compliance.
Corporations must report their operations to various stakeholders, including government agencies, shareholders, and the public. An ERP solution can remove barriers to retrieving financial statements, regulatory filings, and performance metrics. This information can be easily accessed and reported on, allowing for greater transparency in the reporting process. ERP systems also enable organizations to plan their reporting procedures proactively for better performance outcomes. Because there's so much data to share, advanced reporting features can reduce friction and promote transparency.
With so many stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, and the public, there must be a way to streamline feedback.
An ERP solution builds out a system to contain things like:
These valuable insights enable corporations to plan strategically by analyzing their strengths and weaknesses.
Crown corporations play an important role in delivering essential services to Canadians, but they're not immune to challenges that impact their credibility. Addressing these challenges requires a commitment to transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement, ensuring they can continue to serve Canadians effectively and earn the trust and confidence of the public. But the only way to instill public trust is through open communication. An ERP solution can enable that communication to be more effective.
We want to help you prepare for your next audit and are happy to share what we've learned about your industry. Let us take you through the benefits of a fully-integrated, single platform for Human Resources, Scheduling, Payroll, and Financial Management and the key features we've built to help crown corporations thrive. Reach out to us here.