20th September 2016 – Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), the umbrella body for the third sector in Wales, has gone live with Advanced’s accounting solution (Exchequer) as it looks to enhance reporting with access to real-time information. The charity will save around 2,000 pieces of paper per year by going live with electronic document management at the same time.
The organisation went live with the technology in July 2016 and will also implement an integrated mobile app later in the year.
WCVA supports and campaigns for voluntary organisations and volunteers across Wales. The organisation was established in 1934 and today it has over 3,000 voluntary organisations as members.
The organisation was looking for a modern accounting solution to replace its previous system which required a lot of time-consuming manual work to enter data and produce reports. The system was chosen from a shortlist of three software providers due to Advanced’s tailored approach and the graphical dashboard reporting functionality. A key feature of the software was to be able to operate bilingually thereby providing members with a choice of communicating in Welsh.
Wilma Thomas, Director of Finance, Risk and Resources at WCVA, explains,
“We had been using our previous system for several years but it could no longer meet our needs. We needed a more integrated system that could future-proof the organisation by providing easy access to flexible reports and up-to-date information required to operate effectively.”
The solution is being used to manage all of WCVA’s financial ledgers, project monitoring as well as e-banking. The organisation has also implemented Advanced’s document management technology, which will scan around 5,000 invoices and expenses forms every year.
Advanced's accounting solution enables staff to access real-time financial information and analytics, making it far easier and quicker to produce reports and forecasts as staff do not have to manually input data. The software will also automate the organisation’s purchasing process, which was previously paper-based, to streamline procurement and enhance compliance. Staff can then spend the time saved on analysing and reviewing information.
Thomas says, “We want to move from quarterly to monthly reporting, which will be much easier with Advanced's solution because the information is automatically updated in real-time, and we can look at a wider range of metrics to assess performance. The software also offers different ways of presenting reports, so we can make them more accessible for internal and external stakeholders.”
Deploying Advanced's solution will also reduce WCVA’s environmental footprint as staff can view and send documents online rather than having to print them out. Currently the organisation fills 12 lever-arch files every year – using this solution it expects to cut this by half.
Later in the year WCVA will add the mobile application, which will enable staff across the charity’s three sites to approve transactions and view and send documents. This will generate further efficiencies as staff in different locations will no longer need to send paper copies of documents to each other.
“This solution will have a significant impact, delivering time efficiencies for staff, freeing them up for more analysis and strategic work, and cost-savings by reducing paper consumption and administration. It is also scalable and will support our future growth and the introduction of any new services, such as offering financial services to our members,” Thomas concludes.
“The charity sector faces a number of financial pressures in the current climate, but having the right technology in place is crucial in tackling those challenges and ensuring vital services provided by charities are unaffected.”