Although SES Water began life in 1996, as a result of a merger between East Surrey Water and Sutton District Water it can in fact trace its roots back to the mid nineteenth century when Victorian engineers first started connecting houses to the water mains.
SES Water supplies an average of 160 million litres of water to its customers every day, via 3,500km of pipes and 31 reservoirs and water towers. The company employs over 280 people and is now under Japanese ownership, having been acquired by Sumitomo Corporation and Osaka Gas in 2013.
SES Water, along with the other water companies in the United Kingdom, operates within a regulatory framework, overseen by Ofwat, which places considerable demands on the company’s financial planning and reporting systems. Under Ofwat rules, SES Water must be able to
differentiate regulated and non-regulated cost and profit centres and ensure that investment plans – agreed with the regulator over a 5-year cycle – are ring-fenced from
other business expenditure.
With up to 300 significant infrastructure projects in progress in any one year, keeping track of all the costs and assets across the business, reporting on them to prove compliance to the regulator, as well as keeping financial stakeholders informed of business performance is a significant challenge.
In 2003, when we first began working with SES Water, the company was in the build-up to the 2004 Price Review which set the company’s reporting and revenue parameters for the next five years.
It had become clear to the company that their existing financial and accounting software was becoming obsolete and was unable to support the accounts team in the way required of it.