Client Case study: Creating the perfect virtual accounting system.

We love the freedom of a virtual business and enjoy working with business owners with the same sense of adventure. Recently we have been working with a virtual not-for-Profit who has been growing rapidly and now employs a team of 30 staff located across NSW. Our aim for this client was to centralise the accounting function , collect the financial information from various locations, create a paperless audit trail, create beautiful management accounts for the Board, and help manage and reduce the risks associated with a distributed team. Here’s how we did it.

1. Created an online system to record sales

Our client provides accommodation across a number of properties and needed a system to record guest bookings, cancellations, and the payment of invoices. We set up a relevant chart of accounts within Xero  integrated the cloud based accommodation software PRENO to record bookings, room allocations and guest details. Bookings taken by the phone operations team could be entered online from anywhere – using a PC, Ipad or Iphone. Our debt management process was managed within Xero using the automatic reminder system.

We also worked with developers to create a CRM system, based on Dynamics 365, which also integrates with Xero. This allows us to analyse booking and guest statistics, gather guest data, measure our client’s social impact and produce some mind blowing reports which provides our client with information not previously available.

2. Created an online process to manage payroll

We implemented DEPUTY to manage our client’s team roster and timesheets which integrates beautifully with Xero. We set up geo stamps within DEPUTY which allowed us to locate the team as they clocked on and off each day. Now the client’s team can review their roster, apply for leave, accept open shifts all via their phone or Ipad. The roster is managed centrally by the administrative team all of whom work from home. Award rates are managed within DEPUTY and afterhours or overtime is applied automatically.
To approve timesheets, the managers review a report comparing rostered hours to actual hours and any variances are discussed with the team prior to approval. The payroll is run in Xero and the ABA bank file is generated and sent to the client for payment.

3. Created a paperless system to record expenses

Our mission was to devise a process to capture expenses collecting the originating invoices and receipts from the team who were located all around NSW. We implemented RECEIPT BANK for this purpose. The team takes a photo of their receipts, uploads it via the RECEIPTBANK phone app, which then records all the financial information, including GST, and uploads into Xero. These expense are then matched automatically in Xero when paid, creating a paperless accounts payable process. Expense payments are managed centrally by the accounts team who use XERO to review invoices to be paid, then create batch payments which are uploaded into the bank. This process has met the requirement of the external auditor for the past 3 years and streamlines the process for both the onsite teams and administration team.

We have recently added DIGIPAY into our accounts payable tech stack. DIGIPAY is an app which provides virtual credit cards to the team, which can be managed centrally. Each team is allocated a spending budget per card but can request a top up which can be actioned immediately once approved. Teams use  a virtual credit card on their phones to pay expenses, alleviating the need for physical cards. We no longer have the difficulty of lost cards, insufficient funds and can easily turn cards on and off according to changes in personnel. We can see who is spending what in real time providing an extra layer of control. When making the payment, the team is prompted to take a photo of their receipt which is uploaded to Xero. Again, technology takes care of the data entry and filing for us.

4. Created beautiful management reports

With the income, payroll and expense information centrally recorded in Xero we could easily create tailored management reports for our client, which can be produced in real time at the click of a button. Our reports are professional and give a clear picture to our client about the current state of play within their business. We use location tracking within Xero to produce a separate profit and loss report for each location/team, adding an extra layer of analysis to our management reports.
We use SPOTLIGHT reporting to analyse the client’s performance against budget and to prepare a 3 way cashflow forecast, so we know exactly what is around the corner.

Our client now operates a significant not for profit organisation which has been recognised for its innovation through nomination as a finalist in the most recent Telstra Business Awards. They don’t have an office, they manage a significant team virtually and their accounting processes are paperless and run seamlessly, leaving management time to focus on ending homelessness in Australian. Sound amazing … it is!

If you would like Balanced Advantage to set up amazing virtual systems for you please contact us on 1800 883 439.

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