Girl Guides of Canada was among the founding members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, back in 1910. Girl Guides of Ontario is the Provincial Council and serves more than 34,000 girl members plus an additional 8,000 adults across the province with programs, camps, and enrichment opportunities aimed to help each member reach their potential.
Girl Guides of Ontario acts as the administrative and oversight body for 2,700 local units. This busy operation requires efficiency building tools to enable it to fulfil its mission. Sage 300 ERP is one of the tools the organization depends on, supported and optimized by the talented team at BAASS Business Solutions.
Traditionally, each of the 2,700 local units had its own bank account, its own set of cheques, and its own system for managing cash. Lily Mak, Finance Manager for Girl Guides of Ontario, explains: "Some of the units used simple software for managing their accounts receivable, accounts payable, and cash - but most units used spreadsheets or manual systems."
Thousands of disparate accounting systems added up to inefficiency. Unit volunteers are not typically accountants and most perform their work from home. This meant that sensitive banking information often ended up on home computers. Unit volunteers generally serve for a year or two, then the data and programs have to be transferred to the next volunteer. Without a reliable, easy-to-use system, that transition was often difficult.
"We knew there was a better way out there, but we weren't sure just how to get there." - Andrea Chiu, Banking Coordinator
Girl Guides of Ontario turned to its long-time business partner and Sage ERP consultant, BAASS: "We trust BAASS and knew they had the expertise and skillset to solve a complex problem like this. They have been our accounting system support for many years".
BAASS assembled a team of business analysts and engineers to work with Girl Guides of Ontario to design and implement an online banking solution to streamline and simplify accounting for both the units and provincial office. The solution would enable unit volunteers to log in to a customized web portal and perform a variety of functions:
With this paperless solution, Chiu notes: "We have eliminated the need to mail cheques to our units, and our units no longer need to mail invoices and other documents to us. Not only does that save on postage and cheque stock, but by eliminating paper, we cut out a whole labour intensive step in the process, making the whole system more efficient".
"Our goal was to ease the accounting burden on our units and streamline the purchasing and expense reimbursement between the units and the provincial office. We've definitely succeeded in that goal. We receive great feedback from our units and are saving time and money at every level. In addition, it is a secure, efficient, and easy-to-use system that helps the organization conform to good business practices." - Lily Mak, Finance Manager
The benefits being realized by merging all of the individual bank accounts into a single account are significant. The units each save on bank service fees and no longer need to make frequent trips to the bank branch. By combining the funds of each unit into a single account, they are able to strategically invest the money, significantly increasing the interest earned: "That is money we can reinvest in the organization."
Units now receive a purchase card, a prepaid credit card loaded with a modest dollar amount can be used for small expenditures. BAASS developed an import utility from the issuing bank that brings the purchase transactions into the application and displays them for the units to review and confirm. This process further reduces the time and costs associated with paying for supplies or services by eliminating the need for paper-based purchase orders and invoice processing.
"BAASS was able to guide us successfully through the whole process, including the technology infrastructure, workflow, and controls." - LIly Mak, Finance Manager
Requests for larger expenditures or reimbursements are initiated through the web form. An electronic workflow routes the request through a series of approvals, ensuring best practices are followed. Cheques are being phased out as each unit volunteer is reimbursed using EFT, a Sage ERP module that BAASS integrated into the solution.
As the unit deposits cash from dues or cookie sales, those deposits are automatically associated with the appropriate unit through a customized deposit ticket. A second import utility brings the file from the bank into the application, enabling each unit to review and confirm the deposits that they have made.
Sage 300cloud is the solution for all your ERP needs. It simplifies your financials and gives you access to data from all areas of your business. It a robust solution which can be used in the cloud, with on-premise solution, and or a hybrid of the two. BAASS can help you understand which best fits your business needs.
Are you looking for a connected ERP solution? Contact BAASS today to learn more about Sage 300 and how it can help you streamline your business.