The Top Blokes Foundation is dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of young men in NSW. Two years ago, the foundation engaged the services of the Hopscotch Accounting team and since that time they have achieved measurable efficiencies that continue to support the organisation’s growth and development.
Melissa Abu-Gazaleh founded the organisation Top Blokes Foundation in 2006 when she was just nineteen. She recalls: “Young men were over-represented in suicide rates and youth crime rates, yet there weren’t any effective initiatives to help young men support themselves… I felt there was a key opportunity to address this.”
Now the Managing Director of the NFP organisation with eighteen staff members, which has supported more than 11,000 young males, Melissa has been recognised as the 2016 NSW Young Australian of the Year and the 2017 EY National Social Entrepreneur of the Year. She is on the current list of Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence.
The organisation delivers 3 or 6 months programs with social education and mentoring to boys and young men as young as 10 years old to 24 years old across primary schools, high schools and with community organisations.
MANAGING ORGANISATIONAL GROWTH
While NFPs may initially focus on servicing a defined area, success can see them expand into new regions and states.
A pivotal time in the growth of the Top Blokes Foundation came a few years ago, when they were asked to take on more work and reach out to other areas of Sydney and NSW.
The maturation of the organisation also meant increased management of accounts, with Melissa acknowledging that, “As we were starting to grow, the accounts were becoming more time intensive.
“We were starting to grow a regional team outside of our initial headquarters. So, it was no longer easy for staff to pop their receipts or timesheets on our desk.
“Up until this point, bookkeeping had been completed by the treasurer of our board, but as we were growing, the transactions and the work that needed to be done exceeded our capacity.
“Financial reporting had been on a quarterly basis, to match the quarterly board meetings, but we reached a point where we needed the reporting to be more frequent. Hopscotch moved us to monthly financial reporting which enabled us to measure how we were performing. That was the key – we didn’t have the time or expertise internally to do it on a monthly basis.”
ENGAGING HOPSCOTCH ACCOUNTING
Melissa recalls, “As a board we agreed to outsource our accounting. We went to our auditors HLB Mann Judd and asked if they could recommend anybody – and they recommended Hopscotch Accounting.”
Hopscotch specialises in accounting for NFPs and when the Foundation compared their services to others they felt Hopscotch offered much more. Says Melissa, “We obviously enquired through a few other places, but Hopscotch just excelled.”
Top Blokes engaged Hopscotch who worked with them to implement cloud accounting technologies and expertise and to assist them as they became familiar with the new processes and systems.
EMBRACING CLOUD ACCOUNTING TECHNOLOGY
Hopscotch guided Top Blokes staff members through working with Xero and associated apps that would improve communications and change internal practices for increased efficiency.
“Before we brought Hopscotch on, the Foundation’s receipts were handled manually for reconciliation”, says Melissa, “Hopscotch were able to introduce software to help automate the process.” The accounts payable automation software now tracks, reads and stores the organisation’s receipts, in turn improving its capacity to record and reconcile expenses.
The other areas where cloud accounting has improved efficiencies includes the payment of superannuation, PAYE transactions and single touch payroll – where Hopscotch have been able to set up actions within Xero and walk the organisation through how it works.
“They prepare it all, so I just have to check the details and sign off on it. I’m saving at least an hour on that one process every time”, Melissa says.
RECOGNISING THE BENEFITS OF AN OUTSOURCED ACCOUNTING TEAM
Hopscotch’s attention to mentoring clients has been appreciated. Melissa explains, “One of the best outcomes of our partnership is how they educate us on the different functionalities of Xero. They have also been able to fix minor issues that we’ve experienced – when things just aren’t working they are able to fix it that same day.
“I love how Hopscotch are able to answer all my questions, no matter how basic the questions might be – and at times I’m asking a lot of basic questions!”
Using an outsourced service has brought in additional benefits, “What’s also great about Hopscotch is they have a team. If one person is away, you’re not sitting there waiting as there are other team members of the organisation to provide support. They are sharp, they are on top of all the latest changes in our sector. They are highly professional and highly skilled; it is just so much more cost effective than other solutions.”
By embracing outstourced cloud accounting services, the Top Blokes Foundation has achieved measurable results.
Melissa believes that “It’s safe to say that now I spend less than a quarter of the time that I used to in dealing with all the different processes. We’ve worked with Hopscotch for two years. We’ve had an amazing experience with them and really appreciate their support and everything they’ve done for us. They are also very supportive of our community programs. I highly recommend them.”
Melissa advises that if you aren’t of an accounting frame of mind and have an NFP to run, Hopscotch services can especially help.
“They will definitely save time, money and stress.”
ABOUT HOPSCOTCH ACCOUNTING
Hopscotch Accounting works with a wide variety of NFP sector providers. Our experience in this space allows our clients to focus on service delivery, safe in the knowledge that their decisions are backed up by easily accessible and up-to-date financial information and professional support.