It saves us a few hours every month. Now I just open the software, update and print my reports. I don’t have to do all that manual processing.Trevor O'Hara
Stopping crime is hard work
Founded in 1989, Crime Stoppers in Queensland is structurally different to the other states in that it is run mostly by volunteers. There is a board with overall responsibility and then 5 full time staff in the state office. The organisation is supported by over 500 volunteers throughout the state, organised into 29 area committees. With its large, dispersed, non-metropolitan population, this model works well for both South-East Queensland and the regional areas from Cooktown to Mount Isa to Roma.
The bulk of funding comes from major sponsors supplemented by community fundraising activities run by volunteers.
CEO Trevor O’Hara feels that the use of volunteers increases engagement with the community. In turn, volunteer numbers have increased sharply from 300 to over 500 in the past 2 years.
As the organisation has developed, so has its use of technology, with more increasing levels of crime reports now coming through their website in addition to the traditional 1800 phone number. They’ve just released a mobile app and are using social media to increase awareness of Crime Stoppers amongst the public.
There’s been technological improvement in the back office too with the introduction of Calxa Premier for budgeting and reporting and MYOB AccountRight Live for general accounting. Both products have greatly improved the productivity of the office. It enables them to get more done and provide more transparent reporting to the board and volunteers.
Eighteen months ago the admin team at Crime Stoppers, including the CEO, were spending hours each month on board reports. They printed reports from the accounting software, manually typed them into spreadsheets and produced a few basic reports. Because of the limitations of time and resources, they couldn’t produce what the board really needed or deserved.
A Google search turned up Calxa and the Connecting Up donation program which suited them perfectly. As a community volunteer organisation, Crime Stoppers Queensland qualified for a donated copy of Calxa Premier through Connecting Up – a process Trevor found simple and easy to follow.
The results flowed quickly once Calxa was up and running. The direct link to the MYOB file eliminated the manual data entry. At the same time, the range and flexibility of the reports enabled Trevor to provide the board with the information they need to see what was happening in the organisation. The software is easy to use and provides clear, transparent reporting.
Creating budgets for the different programs run by Crime Stoppers was simple. Especially, the ability to copy them forward to future years. Trevor says,
“It saves us a few hours every month. Now I just open the software, update and print my reports. I don’t have to do all that manual processing.” He gets the reports he needs, exports them to PDF and sends them to the board – another step in reducing the paper in the office.
Moving to the cloud with MYOB
In the last few months, Crime Stoppers Queensland has embraced MYOB’s AccountRight Live to take their accounting to the cloud. Being able to link their cloud-based accounting data directly to their Calxa budgets was of major importance. As a result, Calxa’s ability to link using the MYOB API made the transition decision easy.
While the initial attraction was the ability to have multiple users in the file at once (the CEO, the Operations Manager and the Administration Assistant), they quickly realised that there were other benefits. They’re producing much less paper, sending less information from one staff member to another and back again. And, bank feeds have significantly reduced the time they spend on data entry.
All Not-for-Profit organisations are under pressure to improve efficiency and maximise what they achieve with the resources available. At the same time, board members are demanding better reporting to improve the transparency and accountability of the organisation. With the help of Connecting Up, Calxa and MYOB, Crime Stoppers Queensland has achieved these competing aims at minimal costs while improving both their efficiency and the quality of reporting.
About Act for Kids
Crime Stoppers is a community volunteer organisation that believes the general public can help make a difference in solving and preventing crime.
Call 1800 333 000 to report crime information or go to www.crimestoppersqld.com.au.