NAV improves control and reporting for Centacare Ballarat

When Centacare Ballarat outgrew the capabilities of its PC-based accounting software package, it sought a financials application with robustness, flexibility and familiarity. To manage and control its 60 separate cost centres, the Catholic social service organisation chose Melbourne-based national ERP software specialist Evolution Business Systems (EBS) to install and support a solution designed around Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

With more than 220 employees, 13 offices and a multi-million-dollar annual budget, the Victorian-based Catholic social service organisation is funded by both Federal and State governments to support specific activities. Its wide range of disciplines includes homeless support, advocacy for aged housing, mental health and drug rehabilitation programs, marriage counselling programs and employment services. Epitomising this complexity, Centacare Ballarat operates 60 different cost centres within its $16 million budget, reflecting different funding programs and agencies, each of which have rigorous reporting requirements. Additionally, Centacare often pays expenses on behalf of its clients, which means that its accounting system has to maintain records for more than 3300 suppliers.

Early in 2010, Centacare Ballarat recognised that its existing accounting software was no longer meeting its needs. A major limitation was MYOB’s inability to load budgets for each cost centre. To prepare monthly reports, data had to be exported to third party software, a process that could take all night, especially as the data file grew in size near the end of the financial year. Sometimes, this process even crashed during the overnight export.

Centacare Ballarat finance manager Antony Rucco said the organisation’s requirements had exceeded the capabilities of the software. “Clearly, it was no longer meeting our needs,” he said.

“EBS has been great to work with and delivered the NAV project on budget and one month earlier than first planned. Due to a concerted team effort on both sides and a sound, structured implementation methodology, the project achieve a best-case ‘go live’, which reduced the original implementation time by one third. This significantly reduced the disruption of the changeover and gave us access to a better system quicker.”

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Centacare Ballarat building on more than 30 years of service and the values of catholic social teaching.
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