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Original interview with Natalie Moyce of Xledger UK and Melanie Crooks (FD at CoE Diocese of Birmingham).
Six months after on-boarding (January 2017), Xledger visited the diocese’s Finance Director Melanie Crooks to learn how their journey to cloud ERP went.
The Church of England diocese of Birmingham is part of a large and complex organisation comprising 42 dioceses across England and Europe. The Birmingham diocese covers 300 square miles and includes parishes in the West Midlands like Birmingham and parts of Solihull, Sandwell, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. The organisation promotes, facilitates and assists advancement of the Christian faith with a clergy and staff team of around 220, together with (in excess of) 150 parsonages. The team manages complex budgets working with a diverse range of stakeholders, with day to day finance underpinned by voluntary donations from its parishes.
The Diocese of Birmingham came to Xledger in 2016 looking to overcome the challenges of their existing system. In an accounting system they were looking for something that would fit all accounting requirements and within the wider strategy to reduce time consuming manual processing, allowing more time for in-depth data analysis for decision makers and to become more cloud-based. Challenges faced were:
- on-premise system supplemented by a ‘spaghetti of spreadsheets’
- no meaningful information in an easily accessible format
- limited data capture
- excessive manual entry of data
- lack of visibility across the organisation
- difficulties with decision making
- lack of Charity SORP compliance at data entry level
The diocese noticed that most systems on the market were not truly cloud based. They were the old fashioned server-based systems with a cloud veneer. In Xledger they found true cloud and a consistent (end to end) customer journey.
Xledger provided CoE Birmingham with a cost-effective platform, no monthly tie-in and quarterly vendor-side updates. In the first six months the organisation has achieved:
- revised chart of accounts
- implemented new processes together with management and reporting structures
- 25 new users including budget holders
- implementation of Purchase Ordering
- embedding of Project Accounting
- budgeting for in excess of 150 parsonages with real-time insight
- deployed integrated system in the cloud
- agile forecasting system
- automated banking and accounting functions
- additional functionality for planning
- dashboard management and easy reporting
- support and development with the Xledger team
- project accounting functionality
- reporting and analytics in real-time
Get in touch
If you are struggling with an old finance management system or are unhappy with your current ERP system, why not get in touch to see how we can help?
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Automation saves us time
“The most immediate challenge Xledger helped us with is paying suppliers. We just go online and we ‘tick tick tick’, review invoices on the system and BACS just happens. We don’t have to write cheques, envelope things with compliment slips or put them in the post. Xledger sends a remittance directly to our supplier. And they know what’s been paid and when it is going to come into the bank.”
True cloud is more flexible and faster
“Being a cloud based system I can be working remotely from anywhere in the world. It is flexible and fits around people’s working practices which has been quite a revolution for us. What was taking someone two days to sort out is now a press of a button.”
Insight gives us greater visibility
“We’ve greater visibility in terms of what is happening within the organisation. Our staff are now better informed in real-time. It has been a facilitator for digital change.”
Support at Xledger is always timely
“Our dedicated support manager Zheng made Xledger really easy to implement and use. We get extremely timely responses back every time.”