ChildFund International automates currency conversion globally with Advanced’s financial software

Published 02/07/2015 by Advanced, Editor

Charity will save six days per quarter with Collaborative Planning

ChildFund International (ChildFund), a global child protection organization, has selected software from Advanced to automate its budgeting and forecasting, saving the organization up to six days every quarter. ChildFund went live with Collaborative Planning at its headquarters in May 2015 and is rolling out the solution to its 36 global offices over the next three years.

ChildFund’s headquarters, based in Richmond, Va., has 1,670 staff members working around the world in 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Vietnam and Ecuador. The organization has been established for 76 years and supports 18.2 million children and their families through integrated health, education and nutrition programs.

ChildFund is using Collaborative Planning to unify its budgeting and forecasting processes in one single database throughout its offices. The software has already demonstrated success in the UK’s National Health Service, as well as in the public and private sectors.

Currently, staff in each national office use Excel spreadsheets to produce two budgets, one in local currency and one in U.S. dollars. These budgets are incorporated into the regional office’s spreadsheet and then sent to the headquarters for consolidation. Collaborative Planning will automate manual currency conversion at each stage of the process. Staff at every office will be able to remotely access the web-based system and upload financial information, replacing multiple spreadsheets.

“Working in Excel and making changes in multiple currencies become a labor-intensive process with too much potential for error,” says Laura Meloy, ChildFund’s Controller.

“We chose Collaborative Planning because there was a big push from staff to have a more effective system. As a large, complex non-profit organization, we also needed a cost-effective system with the capacity to work on a global level. We are already feeling the benefit of the local currency translation at headquarters and will potentially save up to 120 hours on each quarterly budget process. Once we implement the solution at our other offices, these savings will multiply, and the impact will be extraordinary.”

Collaborative Planning integrates seamlessly with ChildFund’s financial system, meaning budget reports can be created using real-time information and can include accurate comparisons between actuals and predicted data.

“Our main focus over the next three years is building a single financial database for global use, which Advanced is supporting us to do with this new technology. This will have a huge impact on our budgeting processes,” Laura adds.

“As a charity, we need to be innovative and competitive, and this software is critical for ensuring that we are as efficient and cost-effective with donor dollars as possible. To support the children we are trying to help, we need to maximize all funds available for programs, and this system will help us to do that.”