The view from the Ministry of Defence: Ady Pearson, Assistant Head, Directorate of Financial Management, Information Systems Current Capability
How will public sector funding cuts affect your work?
All the public sector will feel the impact of cuts. My role is to ensure that my teams provide the level of service expected and agreed with customers. This will be driven by a stringent review of priorities that considers the reduced level of resources. The key will be to focus on the outputs that generate the maximum business benefits.
Is the nature of your work changing?
It has changed and will no doubt continue to do so. The underlying approach to the systems work remains constant, aside from implementing lessons learned. The key challenges are to widen the scope of my role and the changing emphasis on stakeholder management. This increasingly focuses on meeting the needs of the corporate centre to implement strategic changes. I also have to manage resources to adapt to external requirements – eg Treasury initiatives and IFRS.
Will funding cuts mean that IT systems become out-of-date?
The focus is on activities that deliver maximum benefits: including by managing activities to ensure that systems keep going longer through constantly measuring the risk of obsolescence and potentially reduced resilience. I expect more reliance on and use made of the core IT tools to replace manual offline processes in the public and business sectors: so the IT system must remain fit for purpose to provide the management information to aid decision-making.
How does being an FCCA assist you in your role?
My team is a blend of people with technical IT skills and accountancy expertise. The key output is the delivery and maintenance of systems to meet the accounting and management information needs, so there is a lot of direct engagement with customers at all levels of the organisation. My qualification and background provide me with the knowledge and confidence to engage with the finance community to ensure that the users’ expectations and requirements are understood and met.
What keeps you awake at night?
The fear of Everton being relegated from the Premier League!
21 : staff in current capability team
£41.2bn: total MoD expenditure in 2009/10