Time to generate a trial balance slashed from 4 hours to just seconds
Ability to spend more time understanding narrative behind the numbers to inform strategic insight
Greatly improved budgeting ownership and engagement from management
Haven Home Safe (HHS) is one of Australia’s only fully integrated homelessness services and affordable housing providers. It has been providing homelessness support services and affordable rental housing to vulnerable Victorians for over four decades. HHS is a not-for-profit organisation, employing nearly 200 staff across 4 offices with 1800+ homes under management, a balance sheet of assets worth $300 million and an annual turnover of $30 million.
“The use of CALUMO has revolutionised the way we develop our annual budget, now facilitating monthly financial reports for program managers to enable them to access the financial results they need. We have continuing plans to further develop these reports to also incorporate a range of non-financial data as well”
– Paul Sommerville, Chief Financial Officer, Haven Home Safe
Fifteen years ago, HHS was servicing 200 affordable rental properties, mostly in regional Victoria.
In 2020, this number has soared to over 1800 properties in a range of built form across a growing geographic footprint from the outer suburbs of metropolitan Melbourne, across to Geelong through to Mildura on the banks of the Murray River and most regional centres in between.
With an ambitious strategic plan to house and support more people, HHS needed to scale at speed.
To achieve this, the CEO Ken Marchingo AM was committed to transformational technology and tools that would provide his management team with the robust and timely information they required to make the kind of decisions that would effectively allow HHS to expand its capabilities to serve people in need.
After beginning with a disintegrated, separate, stand-alone housing system, disconnected from their finance system. HHS had implemented an integrated tenancy management system, which provided an improvement in integrating housing and finance data.
That was data capture solved, but real leverage comes through data access, transparency and insights. HHS needed to get the right information to the right people at the right time in a way that they could turn that information to immediate benefit.
After comprehensive research, CALUMO was selected due to its usability, web delivery and integration with the advanced functionality of Microsoft Office as the ‘bridge’ for HHS to maximise the value of its data and optimise performance.
HHS also had tight timeframes signing up on 4 December, requesting that the system be implemented to report the December financials by the middle of the following January.
There were only seven consulting days and five weeks to implement, reconcile, test, train, and build the reports. The monthly reports, with far deeper detailed analysis than they could ever do previously, were delivered ahead of schedule on 10 January.
Based on the success of the initial implementation, HHS decided to engage CALUMO to deliver the full budgeting model, again with extremely tight deadlines.
With a joint commitment, the two teams worked together such that every agreed deliverable was met. The combined team rolled out the product, onboarded management, delivered the training and produced the budget with enough time to carry out a detailed analysis and what-if scenarios.
“CALUMO gives our people, from the frontline to the board, the tools they need to make the informed decisions that are necessary to grow and scale our enterprise to allow us to help more people,” he says.
– Andrew Chittenden, General Manager, Haven Home Safe
The benefits HHS has experienced can be broken down into four different areas:
“The process efficiency has been astronomical,” said Haven Home Safe General Manager, Andrew Chittenden. “It’s been a game-changer for the finance team to have a tool that can grab this data and produce meaningful reports so fast”.
By way of example, before CALUMO, it would take four hours to run a trial balance, it can now be achieved in a matter of seconds. The monthly reports would take days combining data from multiple sources and manipulating the data in Excel – now they are produced automatically without any effort.
“Previously, because it was such a manual and time-consuming process. We were spending all of our time finalising profit and loss reports at the end of the month and there was no time left to understand the numbers. The team is capable, but the inefficiencies in the systems wouldn’t allow them to apply their skills” he says.
This is now a thing of the past.
Analysis is now in the hands of both finance people and business people. Making decisions autonomously, with data and with confidence has become commonplace.
Managers can now review, modify and complete their budgets using direct entry into CALUMO. Because the managers have created the budget, ownership of results naturally rises – which has boosted engagement enormously. What’s more, have a level of access which would have previously required a one-on-one briefing with a senior finance member.
Across the organisation, the focus has moved from simple quarterly financial reporting in arrears, to business intelligence analysis – allowing for managers to look at real-time actual versus budget reporting, providing more visibility over expenses and the ability to make smarter decisions.
“I cannot emphasise what a success this has been for us. The results have exceeded our expectations. CALUMO gives our people, from the frontline to the Board, the tools they need to make the informed decisions that are necessary to grow and scale our enterprise to allow us to help more people.”
– Andrew Chittenden, General Manager, Haven Home Safe