HR and Financial software gives NHS Confederation time to focus on work that really makes a difference

If your processes involve multiple spreadsheets, spending days making sense of data and going back and forth with colleagues to get simple administrative tasks done, then you’ll feel the same pain that the NHS Confederation felt back in 2020.

Ready to let technology take on the manual labour, the NHS Confederation were determined to find the best products in the market – they just so happened to all come from IRIS.

Products used:

IRIS Financials logo
IRIS Analytics logo
IRIS Cascade logo
IRIS Payroll logo
Networx logo

The NHS Confederation is the membership organisation that brings together, supports and speaks for the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. With 230 members of staff, and offices in Leeds, London, Belfast and Cardiff, the Confederation works with members who employ over 1.5 million staff, care for more than 1 million patients a day and control £150 billions of public expenditure. As a result, it’s crucial that they have software in place that takes on the manual administration tasks and allows the teams to focus on the work that matters.

Time to excel beyond spreadsheets

In the finance team, having used the same product for ten years, the team had reached their limit on using spreadsheets, spending days reporting and putting hours into laborious, time-consuming tasks.

Hannah Matthews

Hannah Matthews, Head of Financial Accounts & Contracts at NHS Confederation told us,

“It’s tricky when you go out to tender for financial software, as they all do a fairly similar thing. But when we saw IRIS Analytics, well that really sealed the deal for us.”

“This is software that is really advanced in comparison to other systems on the market.”

Over in the HR and Payroll team, where they too were drowning in spreadsheets, the system was struggling to cope with workarounds and the team were fed up with the heavy administration.

Marie Pritchard, Director of People & Governance at NHS Confederation said, “A team of us looked at several HR & Payroll systems and scored them independently. It fairly quickly became a one-horse race and the decision to go with IRIS Cascade & Payroll was unanimous.

The fact that all these products came from the same company was a bonus, but ultimately, we just chose the best solutions for our organisation.”

Marie Pritchard

A happier workforce is a more productive workforce

With a HR system that was struggling to cope with the amount of workarounds in place to make it bespoke enough for the Confederation, errors were becoming more and more frequent, and with no real resolution to these problems. The HR Manager knew it was time to find a system that could cope with their needs, and the flexibility of Cascade and the self-service within it filled the team with excitement.

Marie said, “Cascade HR is the best system I have worked with; staff find it really easy to use, we love that our employees can self-serve and that has given our managers such valuable time back.

There were certain tasks I used to absolutely dread because I knew it would involve me sitting in a dark room, hunched over spreadsheets, working through formulas. The Gender Pay Gap was one of those tasks, and last year all I had to do was press a button and, poof, there it was!

“No errors, no spreadsheets, no stress.

Powerful analytics and flexible reporting systems that empower your decision-making

Nikki Barraclough

Nikki Barraclough, Director of Finance and IT at NHS Confederation, told us, “A huge benefit of the software for us is that it’s grown organically as our needs have changed. Initially we had management accounts and forecasting, we now have debt reporting so each of our budget holders can see what debt we have, with access to their budget setting reports and a summary by department.

“Because we’ve been  able to increase visibility for our budget holders, they can now view data in real time, which means we can now easily get input from across the organisation.”

Hannah Matthews

Hannah added, “With our previous finance software, we still had a lot of information on spreadsheets. We could pull data from the system and use excel formulas, but it wasn’t the same as Analytics. The fact we can build our own reports is ideal for us, it gives us such flexibility. As a result, we’ve managed to automate our data collection from budget holders, taking away hours of painful administration, that’s been a really key benefit for budget setting and forecasting. Our month end reporting is more efficient too, it’s literally the click of a button.

“We’ve saved time, taken back control, streamlined workflows and put vital information into the hands of those who need it.”

Steph Coward

Steph Coward, Managing Director, IRIS HCM commented, “We know the last couple of years have been tough for British organisations and it’s always fantastic for us to hear that our software is making a difference to businesses like the NHS Confederation. We know what the pressure is like for HR, Payroll and Finance teams and the fast-moving changes in the workforce, which is why our products are designed to reduce resource-intensive tasks and help them focus on the work that matters. The right software really can take the pain out of processes and

“I’m really proud that our products are playing a role in such an important organisation.”

There’s no such thing as a perfect HR & Payroll system…

When asked if they would recommend IRIS software to other organisations, the team at NHS Confederation gave a resounding yes.

Nikki tell us, “The product is flexible and adaptable, it’s a critical system within our organisation, and the team at IRIS are incredibly helpful when we need them.

Marie adds, “There’s no such thing as a perfect HR & Payroll system, but Cascade might just be as close as it gets! I would highly recommend it and would be happy to speak to other businesses about how it works for us.”

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