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Client Profile: Halton Family Services increases productivity by 50% with Sage ERP Accpac

Halton Family Services has been providing the community with a wide variety of professional, not-for-profit counseling services since 1954, to more than 2,500 individuals, couples and families per year. They have an office in each of Halton’s four municipalities, with staff nearing forty. In addition to their social work, Halton Family Services provides a Credit Counseling program that helps to find solutions to people’s financial problems. While committed to growing with the community, Halton Family Services is challenged with maintaining its tradition of availability while adapting to the diverse nature and accelerating expansion of the region.

To continue to have the capacity to meet the needs of their clients, the mandate at Halton Family Services is to plan for the financial stability and responsible management of its resources; explore new options to grow revenues; and expand its base funding.


Staff of one – work of many

“A growing concern for Halton Family Services was the need to administer the service programs funds more efficiently and generate timely, accurate financial reports to the Board and Funders,” says Annette Balgord, principal, Affinity NFP. “Recording manual entries and tracking receivables in their DOS-based accounting system took days, as did finding and compiling the correct data to prepare various funding reports for five different programs, including the United Way and the Government.”

Halton Family Services, like many other nonprofits, experienced a 10% cut in grants and donations due to current economic conditions. They needed to find a way to offset this loss in funding and maximize the efforts of their one administrator.


Major funder’s audit for accreditation

For 15 years, Canadian Family Services Accreditation Program (CFSAP) granted accreditation to Halton Family Services for excellence. Every five years they had to reapply for reaccreditation. CFSAP, operated by Family Service Ontario, and the Ontario Association of Credit Counseling Services, rates Agencies in the areas of governance, administration, general program, family counseling, credit counseling and employee assistance programs. The CFSAP team reviews and evaluates all the services and the operating structure to determine whether the Agency meets their established standards and is worthy of their use and support. To ensure the continuation of their accreditation, Halton Family Services needed a solution.

After a search for a new financial management system, Halton Family Services found the one best suited for what they needed, and that was Sage ERP Accpac 200. Affinity NFP implemented Accpac to address the flexibility that Halton Family Services’ needed to track and report on their multiple programs. Now, they could easily and simply drill down to the information they needed on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. They could also view historical transactional data in their General Ledger through to Accounts Payable, with ease.


Auditors in and out

“Accpac was instrumental in enabling us to prepare accurate and timely reports with differing fiscal dates, illustrating our policies and procedures. It allowed us to provide the Auditors with the answers they needed quickly and shortened their stay,” says, Nancy Brown, Executive Director, Halton Family Services.

“Affinity NFP has provided us with remarkable service expertise and willingness to assist,” exclaims Tricia Varey, Business Manager, Halton Family Services, “particularly since we were accustomed to working in a DOS environment. In no time, I was able to reduce my administration time compiling reports by 50%,” adds Varey.

Tricia was now able to focus her efforts on identifying cost reductions for the organization and planning and executing fundraising activities. In fact, she recently added a Spring Concert to Halton Family Services fundraising lineup.


Affinity NFP understands Nonprofit needs

“Not only is Affinity NFP wonderful to work with, they understand the not-for-profit sector and are always available to provide us with technical advice,” says Brown.

It took Halton Family Services two and half years of preparation to achieve a 99% score from the CFSAP team. “This score is the community’s guarantee that they are using and supporting an outstanding agency,” said Brown.

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"Flexibility within a software solution means customization, and the prospect of a complicated installation procedure coupled with a lengthy implementation process seemed daunting. However, my concerns were quickly dispelled after contacting Affinity NFP and speaking with Annette who clearly understood our requirements, and whose professionalism was reflected in every interaction with her staff."

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