Finance Reform Program

Refreshing financial processes and policies for emergency services client.

The financial processes and systems of our emergency services client have historically led to an internal control environment that exposes the client to fraud and other compliance deficiencies. 

Audit and reviews identified out-of-date policies and procedures, a lack of change management and training, and an ERP (SAP) that is not fit for purpose as key drivers of issues facing our client.

The key goals of the Finance Reform Program are:

  • Refresh all finance policies and procedures and undertake communication and education across the business
  • Develop and implement a robust compliance and assurance framework
  • Review and understand the critical pathways to refreshing the financial system and developing a business case for change.

Terra Firma’s program aimed to significantly enhance and improve our emergency services client’s internal control environment, improve the user experience, and reduce the risks of fraud and loss by:

  • Ensuring that there are clear and well-understood finance policies and procedures that are fit to support their service delivery model and meet all legislative and compliance requirements. These policies and procedures include all finance policies, procurement, contract management and documents.
  • Design and implement a finance assurance and compliance framework that can be practically implemented to report on compliance performance and reduce and manage internal control and compliance deficiencies.
  • Defining the target state for the new finance system SAP4HANA for our client and associated business process design.

Key stakeholders had to be engaged and supported through the transition from old processes, procedures and policies to the newly formed ones. This impacted many of our client’s finance teams and associated areas.

Stakeholders included:

  • CFO
  • CIO
  • GM Infrastructure Services
  • Project Manager/s– Finance
  • Relevant finance, ICT and asset management SME’s
  • Finance Team
  • User groups across the client including regions and districts
  • Emergency Services Client Executive

Rapid acceptance and adoption of the new policies, processes and procedures by end users was critical to realise improvements in managing possible fraud and ensuring compliance.

Our Approach

Terra Firma delivered a change strategy, stakeholder plan, high-level change impact assessments (with heat maps), a resistance plan, and training needs analysis. We undertook training to embed the changes while supporting the rollout of the new finance reform processes and procedures.

The change management approach consisted of three key elements that are all interrelated and provide structure for project delivery: the Transitional Model, the Change Management Framework (Prosci model (adapted), and John Kotter’s Change Management Methodology.

Some of the activities that sat under the deliverables included:

  • Develop stakeholder plans to support the consultation, education, and implementation of the Financial Reform Program
  • Undertake change impact assessments to support the development of behavioural change plans.
  • Develop communication plans to reach the broad and varied audience to achieve the change in practice required.
  • Identify risks and opportunities to manage the barriers to success of the program.
  • Developed various training, lunch and learn sessions.

Undertake short, online or face to face meetings for targeted groups with a structured agenda, scheduled well in advance, to maximise attendance but minimise the time impact on staff. The intention was to extract as much relevant information in the shortest possible timeframe.


Terra Firma successfully delivered and embedded the change to the Finance Reform Processes, Procedures and Policies within an eight-month period.

We increased our client’s ability to report on compliance performance, reduce and manage internal control and compliance deficiencies, and meet legislative and compliance requirements. Terra Firma’s Finance Reform Program promoted enhanced compliance to regulations and audit requirements.

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