A small NFP that is becoming bigger needs professional accounting support in order to progress with confidence. Stryder Community Transport engaged Hopscotch Accounting to provide expert outsourced accounting services that will empower it to achieve strong growth.
Stryder Community Transport has operated in Sydney’s Ryde and Hunters Hill regions for more than 30 years. It provides community transport to residents who need assistance due to age, frailty, location or disability, helping them to thrive.
Making the right choice
While the NFP originally employed a part-time bookkeeper, it knew that the organisation required greater accounting support. Virginia Coy, the General Manager of Stryder Community Transport, says that the NFP looked at two routes: employing a qualified accountant or engaging an outsourced accounts service. She felt reassured when Hopscotch Outsourced Accounting services were mentioned by another Community Transport organisation that already used the services.
“Because of what Hopscotch do and knowing they have worked with other people in our industry, it really helped,” says Virginia. “They are ethical. I don’t think that I would have the confidence that I would get what I needed if I just went searching randomly for an accounts service.”
Although Stryder could have gone down the route of appointing a new staff member with accounting qualifications, engaging Hopscotch Outsourced Accounting services has provided different benefits – including economical access to a team of expert accountants.
Hopscotch Accounting on the case
Hopscotch were able to steer Stryder through several important phases of improvement. The first was upgrading the accounts system from MYOB to Xero software. Then other technological solutions were introduced to enhance work processes, such as electronic employee timesheet collection. “This really improved our staff’s use of technology and how it all interacts with accounting and parts of HR, such as leave requests,” says Virginia.
Under the outsourced accounts team arrangement, Stryder doesn’t need to employ an accountant or even a bookkeeper. “All the accounts are outsourced to Hopscotch,” says Virginia.
Any processes that need to be handled internally can now be undertaken by an admin person. For example, Hopscotch set up the new payroll system for Stryder and prepares its payroll each month. While Stryder administration staff can process the payroll, the Hopscotch team manages any related matters. “If there are any issues, they handle all that,” Virginia explains.
Hopscotch produce monthly financial reports for the CEO, and bi-monthly reports for the board. “They prepare the budget and are very involved in those discussions,” says Virginia. They will also present the budget. In addition, Hopscotch team members will liaise with the auditors on behalf of Stryder and provide the required documentation.
Benefits of outsourcing to experts
The involvement of Hopscotch in reporting to the board is a key benefit. The Hopscotch team sends a representative to board meetings, as required, to answer questions in detail.
Another key task that benefited from Hopscotch’s upgrade of the systems and training of the NFP’s staff was the preparation of acquittal reports for government funding. “We can now do acquittal reports with more confidence,” comments Virginia. “Having their expertise to do all those acquittals has helped us.”
From her perspective as the General Manager, Virginia has been able to save her own time by engaging Hopscotch to do the bookkeeping and financial reporting using systems that make use of automated processes. “Previously I had to do a lot of the work, so it has saved me hours of work from that point of view. Also, their expertise and helping us to be more professional has definitely helped me.”
Overall, the professional contribution of Hopscotch has made a difference to the organisation. “I think it has given a lot of confidence to me to know that we are getting professional advice and guidance on operating our business,” says Virginia.
Reaching out to Hopscotch
The Hopscotch team are ready to assist when their client needs clarification on accounting matters. “They are always very available,” says Virginia. “I can go to any tier that is required.” For example, if she needs the advice of a qualified chartered accountant she can consult Hopscotch’s chartered accountants.
“Whatever the question is, they know the right person to contact for the answer,” adds Virginia.
Plans to grow
Engaging the Hopscotch team has provided the right foundation for developing the organisation. “It has helped us to grow,” says Virginia. “Getting those new systems up and running has been really beneficial. We’ve been able to implement some new processes so we can be more efficient into the future. Streamlining a lot of processes helps us achieve our goal of growing our business and becoming competitive into the future.”
Why using the Hopscotch outsourced accounting service works
Virginia has found that the Hopscotch team’s longstanding experience in the NFP sector makes them especially effective as accountants. She says, “I think they have that understanding of the whole NFP sector, including community transport, as they have worked with NFP clients. It has helped them with their understanding of government grants and how you do acquittals and all the nuances of contracts.”
Their ethical approach is also important, with ethics a big consideration for an NFP appointing an outsourced accounting service.
Virginia would recommend the Hopscotch outsourced accounting team to other NFPs or businesses. “I would say that I highly recommend them. I’ve found them to be professional, ethical and very easy to work with. They will help you grow your business.”