Improvements to Corporate Services Benchmarking service


We have listened to your feedback regarding the squeeze in time and resources, and continue to develop our benchmarking reporting package. 


• Highlighting key figures. Emphasised important data indicators of performance in the executive summary.
Graphical techniques enriched to highlight important information and provide a basis to share information and ideas.
• Using better narrative to explain what is included which makes interpretation and utilisation easier.
• Increased trend analysis in your reports identifying direction of travel for your organisation.
• New online portal, allowing easy access to tools and reports.
• A draft report which aims to validate your return and give you a taste of the trends and direction of the data.
• A final report that provides you with trend analysis, tabular and graphically designed key performance indicators.
• A comparative report which examines and contrasts your performance against 18 other different councils.
• An interactive report that allows you to roam with ease through any graph presented in the report, as well as compile your own set of comparators.
• A read-back database interface which contains the full dataset and an interactive questionnaire where any of the submissions can be displayed.
• Using better narrative to explain what is included in the figures you see in your report, making interpretation and utilisation easier.
• An executive summary for most clubs where the key performance indicators are summarised and ready to use at any internal or external meeting you attend.
Increased trend analysis in your reports identifying direction of travel for your organisation.

Sample reports and questionnaires can be found by selecting the area you are interested in from a list including:

AuditBenchmarking logo
Benefits Administration
Council Tax
Human Resources
Non-domestic rates
Pensions Administration
Risk Management
Treasury Management

Our benchmarking process aims to help achieve a continuous improvement cycle.



A user-friendly questionnaire is circulated to nominated contacts with detailed definitions and guidance on its completion. A telephone and email helpline is also available to answer any queries. You will typically have a six-week period in which to return data.

Data Analysis and Validation:

The returned data is subject to extensive analysis and validation to ensure that data is as accurate as possible. A draft report is then issued providing you with an opportunity to revise data if we reveal any inconsistencies before final reports are produced. As we are benchmarking each function from the point of view of your organisation, it doesn’t matter how the function is delivered, whether in-house, via shared services, contracted out or a mixture of these.


Comparative Reports:

Members get two reports that will identify your specific authority in a series of easy to understand tables and graphical visualisations that collectively build up a detailed view of your service. One report will compare you to all club members and the second with your personally selected group of organisations.


Each club includes textual questions covering key areas of policy and practice that provide detailed insight into approaches taken and challenges faced, in a clear and simple to read set of documents.


Read-Back Interface:

CIPFA’s Read-Back Interface gives benchmarking club members unprecedented access to the raw data behind the graphs and analysis that is generated by benchmarking club reports. Select the organisation that you would like to review and the questionnaire populates itself with the relevant figures. Using this data, you can perform your own numerical and statistical analysis against those of other organisations, creating your own graphs or reports based on the raw data provided.

Interactive Report:

CIPFA’s Interactive Report allows benchmarking club members to quickly and easily reproduce many of the graphs found in the benchmarking reports. You can select which graph you want to create, highlight a specific organisation or select groups of organisations to compare. These graphs are easy to insert into PowerPoint presentations or Word documents, giving you flexibility to effectively present your data.


A full database is available for club members, including all data and member contact details.


“A very good tool for monitoring your performance.” 

Shaun McVeigh Northumberland county council – Creditors benchmarking club 

“I find this a useful exercise to compare against similar sized funds and to pick out areas where performance varies so that I can explore why” 

Sally Fox Oxfordshire county council – Pensions benchmarking club.

Find out more

Discover more details of the complete Corporate Services Benchmarking clubs

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