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Case studies

Welsh Council for Voluntary Associations (WCVA)

AccountsIQ is helping WCVA with everything from trustee reports to SORP reporting.

“The more we use AccountsIQ, the more we realise how much it can do.” 

WCVA is the national membership body for voluntary organisations in Wales. It manages funding, training and a range of support services that help charities and non-profits ‘make a bigger difference together’. In the months before the UK’s first lockdown, WCVA’s Finance Director, Tracey Marsh, recognised that they needed better financial reporting and started looking at new finance systems.

“We weren’t happy with the reporting capabilities in our existing system, Exchequer,” says Tracey. “Every time we wanted a report that wasn’t standard, such as comparing actuals to budget with variances, we had to pay extra. That was on top of an already high annual fee.”

Lockdown accelerated the need for change

When lockdown happened, this sense of dissatisfaction turned into more urgent and serious issues. As with many other organisations, the transition to home working accelerated the need for digital transformation. “Our old system was server-based rather than Cloud-based,” explains Tracey.

“It was clunky; dropping all the time. And it just got worse and worse.  In that first lockdown, most of the pain from a finance point of view was because of the system. It meant we were working twice as many hours to do the same amount of work as when we were in the office. We simply couldn’t continue like that.”

AccountsIQ came in at a good price

The WCVA team first heard about AccountsIQ from their Scottish counterparts, the SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations). They were already using AccountsIQ and were happy to vouch for the system’s benefits. Nonetheless, WCVA still did their due diligence and conducted a thorough analysis of AccountsIQ against Sage, Iplicit and Exchequer.

“We chose AccountsIQ partly because of cost,” admits Tracey. “It came in at a reasonable price and we liked that there’s flexibility in the pricing. With so much uncertainty, we didn’t want to commit to a fixed cost that wasn’t linked to the number of users.”

Finance processes are now automated and seamless  

WCVA were also keen to move away from old, manual ways of working to more automated, seamless processes. “This is something I love about AccountsIQ,” says Tracey. “Everything is self- contained within the system; even our bank reconciliations are now automated. You’re also able to attach documents to transactions; our auditors think this is wonderful.”

Budget holders have more autonomy

One of Tracey’s key objectives was for budget holders to have access to certain parts of the system, so they’d be more self-sufficient. WCVA has around 40 system users. Five are finance team members and the others are set up as light users which enables the wider business to manage approvals and access reports. 

The next step will be to start using AccountsIQ’s automated consolidation features. WCVA has two subsidiaries. One has already moved onto AccountsIQ from Xero and the other will follow in due course.

Multi-dimensional reporting is so much easier

Like many non-profits, WCVA uses AccountsIQ’s BI codes and multi-dimensional reporting to manage their complex accounting and reporting needs. “One of our dimensions is used to distinguish between restricted and unrestricted funds,” explains Tracey. “Then we have lots of projects to which we allocate salaries and other costs; that’s another list of dimensions.

“We’ve also created other dimensions so we can deliver detailed reports to our trustees that show exactly what each project is contributing to the organisation. Once we've closed the accounts, I can just run this multiple KPI report for the trustees. I used to have to do that manually and now AccountsIQ pretty much does it all for me, it’s brilliant.”

AccountsIQ also helps with SORP reporting

WCVA’s finance team created their Chart of Accounts in AccountsIQ to align with their SORP reporting. “Now, we just run the GL explorer and there's the statutory accounts. Of course, we still have to do the notes ourselves, but the balance sheet is all there. It’s phenomenal!”

AccountsIQ is so easy to use, WCVA are using it more and more

When asked to sum up the single best thing about AccountsIQ, Tracey responds:

“As soon as we had the demo with Ellen at AccountsIQ, I could see it was a user-friendly system with a logical, intuitive layout. It was just lovely to look at. Also, Ellen was so knowledgeable and helpful, I knew we’d work well together. In fact, we’ve found that the more we use AccountsIQ, the more we learn and realise just how much more it can do for us.”

Learn More

AccountsIQ solves the often complex accounting, productivity and reporting challenges of over 100 charities such as the Archdiocese of Dublin and Lepra. View our customer testimonials.

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