Want to Get a Streamlined Financial Workflow? United Way Can Show You How
When BC was hit by devastating forest fires and flooding last year, non-profit organization United Way British Columbia (UWBC) moved quickly to support impacted communities; for example, raising over $2M in donations for flood victims. Their ability to turn these donations into boots-on-the-ground assistance for BC residents is essential, and the quicker and smoother they can make this happen, the better. Kendahl Cardinal, UWBC’s Food Security Coordinator, says: “It’s important that United Way is able to release the funding and support organizations quickly and efficiently so that all residents have access to food.”
It goes without saying that UWBC is keen to do away with any manual processes that can contribute to unacceptable delays when providing much-needed help to the communities they serve — and this included examining their existing financial workflow.
Eliminate Manual Process, Get your Money where it Needs to Be
“We would be spending 50% more of our time on manual processes. We wouldn't be able to get funds quickly to those that need it, so our non-profits would have to wait 1-2 weeks, and when we have people who have lost their homes, that’s just not acceptable. We just cannot have the timeline gap,” says Kim Winchell, UWBC’s Director of Community Impact & Investment.
Accounts Payable (AP) functions were managed over email, for each invoice there were at least 2 pieces of paper printed, physical signatures were needed, and full-time dedication to coding invoices was required. Not only was the process slow and eating up manpower, but it also left gaps for duplications and mistakes.
After implementing Quadient AP Automation by Beanworks, UWBC has a new, streamlined financial workflow that runs smoothly and at a much higher speed, in alignment with its purpose. As Kim explains: “UWBC is a leader in social impact in our communities and [Quadient AP] allows us to do that much more effectively and more efficiently”. Beyond the time and money that Quadient AP saves UWBC, is the possibility their new automated financial system opens up for them to move and respond more quickly in areas that matter most. Quadient AP simplifies UWBC’s AP workflow by putting everything on one digital platform, eliminating paper usage, reducing time spent on data entry, making the approval process quick and easy, and providing much-needed visibility. Now, “non-profits have been over the moon about how quickly we can get dollars to them and how efficiently they can report on those dollars through Quadient AP”.
Get ahead of Internal Audits
UWBC is not only responsible to the communities they support, but as a not-for-profit they are also accountable to their donors and subject to an annual external audit. Thanks to Quadient AP, Tamara Isaak, Chief Financial Officer, says the easy visibility into their accounts payable activities does all the work for them in “demonstrating that we did follow a strong internal control process and that we can be responsive to our communities in that way”.
After discovering the benefits of automating their AP processes and how Quadient AP helps “solidify the community impact work that [UWBC is] doing in ways that make us feel really proud”, United Way BC is eager to dive deeper into all of the ways the Quadient AP can support and improve their financial processes, as Kim Winchell says, “I think we’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg, here.”
Wondering how you can amplify your impact by aligning your functional processes with the purpose of your business? Connect with our AP experts to find out how to get started.