At the end of March the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) will be enforcing new regulatory compliance for Registered Providers of Social Housing.
The compliance is asking all Registered Providers (RPs) to have a comprehensive asset and liability register. The primary purpose of this is to ensure RP’s understand their housing assets and security position and have easy access to this information to aid strategy, and risk management decisions.
Currently, many RPs are relying on Excel spreadsheets to hold all their data. Depending on the complexity of the RPs’ assets, those spreadsheets may require data sets from various systems; housing, finance, component accounting and asset management systems.
With little integration and no ‘fit for purpose’ solutions in the marketplace, existing Registers can quickly become out of date and consequently aren’t reflecting an accurate record.
RPs can leverage this compliance as opportunity
As it will no longer be satisfactory to simply hold cursory data on properties owned and managed, RPs have the opportunity to implement a much more robust data management system.
Key advantage number 1: Centralised information
A RP’s data can be stored in multiple systems including Housing Management Systems, existing Asset Management Systems, 3rd Party Systems, Spreadsheets and Databases. This disparate storage method runs the risk of the data becoming;
- Not accurately replicated
- Difficult to view efficiently
- Cumbersome to compile into meaningful, trustworthy reports
By implementing a robust and scalable Asset & Liability Register, RPs can integrate with existing systems and have a single, reliable view of their portfolio.
An ALR can act as a central link between existing systems; allowing quick access to all relevant data in a manner that can easily be followed both by the RP and by any potential 3rd party.
However, if existing systems preclude an integration, RPs could migrate current data to a new, single platform for management.
Key advantage number 2: Improved customer service
Data is valuable. It’s also expensive to collect, store and maintain. Therefore it makes sense to use it to its full advantage. In addition to asset & liability management, an RP’s data can be used to improve the customer experience.
If an RP was to use its data beyond the impending compliance requirement it could, for example, improve information gathered and held. The ALR could be used as a Business Intelligence reporting system, generating reports and allowing RPs to;
- Eliminate guesswork
- Get faster answers to questions around their property portfolio
- Generate real-time business metric reports
- Identify areas that need attention
To achieve this, RPs need to fully understand the business processes they have and to ensure the asset data is structured, recorded and used in the correct manner.
Business Agility is working with its RP clients to fulfil their obligations and also to maximise the opportunity given by this regulation.
We are recommending Microsoft SharePoint as the best platform to create an ALR. It has wide capabilities, offering advanced Document Management, Business Intelligence, Automated Workflow and Records Management. The solution is all the more attractive as it could be delivered via Office 365, which is free for non-profit charitable organisations in the UK.
If you would like more information on how Business Agility can help you achieve compliance and more, please contact us.