AccountsIQ’s ease of adoption and time-saving benefits enable Whale and Dolphin Conservation to weather a perfect storm
Wildlife charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) inspires global actions to achieve its vision of a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free. A combination of campaigns, research, education, and other conservation activities underpin WDC’s strategy to achieve its goal. With Headquarters in the UK and offices around the globe, WDC is funded through voluntary donations and grants by individuals, trusts, corporate partners and other stakeholders who share WDC’s commitment to the protection of whales and dolphins.
In early 2020 WDC’s Finance Director Jane Bryan ran into ‘a perfect storm’ of challenges for her department:
- Their accounting platform, Sage Business Cloud Financials, was no longer supported.
- A vacancy occurred in the Finance team at a senior level.
- Yvonne Hanks joined as WDC’s new Finance Manager with a strong background as a chartered accountant but new to the charity sector.
- The Coronavirus pandemic meant they had to quickly adapt to remote working.
- Year end was fast-approaching.
We had a tortuous experience with Sage. My first task was to find a new accounting system. We had a ticking clock. The need was very clear: we need it in, we need it working, and we need it quick.” – Yvonne Hanks
After narrowing down a long list of potential accounting platforms to a shortlist of five, AccountsIQ became the obvious choice for its charity-compliant feature set and great customer support at a price they could afford.
With other vendors I was handed over to sales people who didn’t really understand our needs. With AccountsIQ it was reassuring to speak to people who understood things from an accountant’s perspective. 99% of what we needed we felt AccountsIQ could offer.” – Yvonne Hanks
Features that comply with the unique accounting requirements of charities
WDC implemented AccountsIQ for its two UK entities: the UK charity as parent and its UK trading company as subsidiary. Jane and Yvonne worked alongside AccountsIQ’s support team to set up the software so that it was charity compliant from the start:
- Multi-dimensional analysis with three BI codes to accommodate WDC’s operational structure (department, activity, and project).
- Differentiation between charitable activities and trading activities with support for partial VAT.
- Adaptation of the traditional ledger format into one that was SORP-compliant.
When we set up AccountsIQ, I felt like we set it up properly. What we’ve done, it works. We’ve done the VAT returns. We’ve done internal reporting. And I’m confident we’ll be able to do external reporting for the SORP.” – Jane Bryan
Automation to increase productivity and save time
Jane and Yvonne have both experienced time-saving benefits from the numerous automations and paper-saving processes in AccountsIQ:
- The ability to create default settings makes data entry almost foolproof and enables new users to quickly get up to speed.
- Workflow approval automatically allocates team members to specific approval tasks.
- Electronic attachments remove the need for paper and makes it easy to quickly find essential documents and speeds up preparation for the audit.
- The GL Explorer provides instantaneous access to key information, supporting donor relations by being able to provide information on funds by project, on request.
- Sales invoices can be drawn up and sent in a matter of minutes.
- Exchange rates can be automatically updated with the click of a button for multicurrency accounting.
I love the GL explorer – it’s a huge time saver. With the VAT return we used to download huge amounts of information and manipulate the data to find out our partial recovery rate. With the GL explorer, the information is already there for business and non-business income. We can tell our percentage at any point in time rather than at the end of every quarter which means the information is so much more accurate than it otherwise would have been.” – Jane Bryan
Easy to learn for both new hires and experienced staff
Jane and Yvonne credit AccountsIQ’s user-friendly features and substantial help resources with helping them get up to speed quickly with the platform. This includes:
- Comprehensive help documentation built into the app.
- AccountsIQ Academy e-learning platform for training new hires and learning new features.
- “Sandboxes” allow users to test actions before they go live.
These features make it easy to train new users, even when staff are working entirely from home.
We’ve always had people working from home, but where I’m really confident is with our new hires. Training can be very time-consuming but, with AccountsIQ, I’m confident that with a little bit of help they’ll be able to learn the tool largely on their own. The help documents and AIQ Academy e-learning platform mean our new hires can answer most of their questions themselves. This is better for them and better for us.” – Jane Bryan
People previously had to have a comprehensive knowledge of the organisation before putting invoices in the system. The way AccountsIQ is structured, because you can set up defaults for any supplier, and default BI codes by general ledger codes, you can have a fairly inexperienced user come in and quickly learn the system.” – Yvonne Hanks
Easy implementation, competitive price
We chose AccountsIQ for its easy implementation, excellent help notes, competitive price, and honest support. They seemed very experienced in migration from Sage Financials, very responsive, and I was able to have an ongoing relationship with the same people. Compared to other suppliers, it didn’t feel like people were selling the moon and not delivering. AccountsIQ has set us up to do internal and external reporting and VAT returns more quickly and more accurately than ever before.” – Jane Bryan
AccountsIQ solves the often complex accounting, productivity and reporting challenges of over 100 charities such as the Archdiocese of Dublin and the Artichoke Trust. View our customer testimonials.
Read our blog on automating finance for charities.