Organization Profile

Rehoboth Christian Ministries works to serve people with disabilities and allow them to flourish in life. Founded in 1976, they began their mission with a single camp in Central Alberta and now support over 50 group homes across the province. Their organization serves the disabled community with continued growth and development opportunities through residential, vocational, and respite services.

With corporate services managing five regional offices, Rehoboth migrated to Sparkrock 365 to manage their human resources (HR), finance, and payroll.

The Challenge

Before switching to Sparkrock, their finance and payroll departments were overwhelmed with manual tasks and disconnected systems. Payroll took 2-3 days to complete due to using paper timesheets, no scheduling solution, and the need to import Excel spreadsheets into their previous finance system.

"We've never not been able to submit our payroll on time to get our employees paid. In all the time we've been with Sparkrock we've never had a problem with getting our payroll done and our financials out to a system we need to have the information." 

Janice Gerbrandt

Director of Corporate Services at Rehoboth. 

The lack of integration also made reporting a tedious task. Like many nonprofits, Rehoboth must provide regular reports to its board of directors and the government. These reports were time intensive and prone to many errors. One example is source deductions. If this is not done on time or appropriately based on an organization's threshold, this could result in hefty fines. In the past, their organization has admittedly faced penalties for not filing source deductions on time. 

They knew their existing system would not scale, so they searched for an ERP system. Their top priority was finding a way to integrate HR, finance, and payroll while reducing the need for manual calculations and human intervention.

Selecting Sparkrock 365

Their leadership team created an RFP and looked at five different ERP systems. Ultimately, Sparkrock was able to provide everything Rehoboth needed.

"Sparkrock could give us finance, payroll and HR functionality with one system and make them talk to each other."

Janice Gerbrandt

Director of Corporate Services at Rehoboth. 

They successfully migrated to Sparkrock in 2016 before upgrading to Sparkrock 365 in 2022. Sparkrock's partnership with also Microsoft was a key driver in their decision-making process. It allowed them to integrate other Microsoft 365 applications, such as Outlook for email and Microsoft PowerBI, a data visualization platform for advanced reporting. "It's so seamless going from one application to the next. It's all there. You don't need to jump around to get information. Sparkrock took it to another level when partnering with Microsoft as greatly as they did. That made all the difference for us, remarks Gerbrandt."

Sparkrock and their industry experts shared best practices that played a significant role in successfully implementing their software. A critical part of getting your ERP system up and running on time is trusting and relying on the team implementing the system. "There would be times when things wouldn't be working, but we could always count on them to be ready to support us. If they didn't know the answer, they were honest. They would say let us take this away, we'll find an answer, and we'll get this solved. They were diligent, and our relationship with them was invaluable," Gerbrandt says.

The Outcome

Before Sparkrock, the finance team would spend hours getting reports ready. This means Janice and her team were constantly buried in manual tasks instead of focusing on more strategic tasks. With Sparkrock 365 and Microsoft Power BI, the system automatically generates quarterly reports and bi-monthly financial statements for Rehoboth's Board of Directors. And with the drill-down functionality, users can dig in to find even more information if needed. This makes it easier for Rehoboth to assess the most impactful programs, where additional resources might be required, and ultimately provide a higher quality of care to those they serve.

"It's just invaluable to validate why we do what we do with our money and time. Our reports have just become more efficient. We are right down to the dollar with our spending. We are more fiscally responsible than ever because we can report accurately to the government."

Janice Gerbrandt

Director of Corporate Services, Rehoboth Christian Ministries

Janice also mentions that there's been a big payoff with Sparkrock 365 and significant organizational adoption from when they first got the system up and running. The permission-based roles give users access to what they need to do their job correctly. Management now has visibility into budgets, schedules, volunteer hours, and attendance management which was a big problem in their previous system. With over $1 million in vacation liability, ensuring employees use vacation appropriately was another top priority for their Board of Directors.

Submitting source deductions on time is no longer an issue, and Sparkrock has helped save thousands in fines for Rehoboth. Overall, it's been much easier for them to stay on top of payroll, manage their staff and provide care to those who need it most.

Customer Profile

The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) offers childcare services, employment and settlement services, skills advancement programs, language training, youth programs and entrepreneurship programs to individuals and families in northwest Toronto.

The Challenge

Their accounting software was unable to deliver on the complex reporting and information requirements of the foundation’s board and funders. Generating reports that documented the impact of funding across a wide variety of services required searching through paper files, huge amounts of manual effort and comparing spreadsheets side by side to track revenues and expenses across hundreds of contracts.

Selecting Sparkrock

We helped LEF migrate to our enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, one that includes finance, workforce management, payroll and employee scheduling.

"I can now move someone up into accounts receivable much more quickly than we could before. The old, manual processes required months of specialized training and departmental knowledge transfer. Now, all of that is programmed into the system, and automated." 

Bill Kennedy
VP of Finance

The Outcome

LEF now has the power to expand their programs without growing their headcount. Their accounting staff now perform higher-value tasks than simply maintaining cumbersome spreadsheets. Their new ERP solution supports better decision making, helping the organization report back to the board of directors and funders to demonstrate the positive impact funding is having on the individuals and families they serve.

Customer Profile

Kenora District Services Board delivers needed social services to all citizens in the District of Kenora, Ontario. They provide assistance to Ontario Works, Social Housing, Emergency Medical Services and Early Learning and Child Care Services under the vision that with forward thinking and engaged employees they can achieve consistent service and better outcomes.

The Challenge

As Kenora District Services Board expanded they needed a more advanced financial management solution and several other product enhancing features to support their operations. They had three main pain points.

The first was reporting; with their existing financial software, reports were time consuming to create and the capability to easily update reports was not there.

The second was navigation; within their system it was hard to find what they were looking for. It often took several clicks or drill downs to find relevant information and the search capability of the system was not thorough.

Lastly, end users did not have access to the information they needed. The Finance team was constantly being asked for data and figures, which had to be manually pulled and distributed. Since this data was a snapshot, it became stale very quickly.

Selecting Sparkrock

By implementing our integrated Finance solution, KDSB was able to achieve greater operational efficiencies, including easy access to real-time data, allowing for better decision making and increased employee productivity now that staff could access financial information without dependence on the Finance department. The new system not only provides access to this information, but also employs an intuitive user interface that makes finding specific data quick and easy.

“After investigating multiple solutions, we were impressed with the flexibility and knowledge of the Sparkrock team. Sparkrock’s Finance solution met all our critical component requirements while providing the opportunity for future growth. Their knowledge of our industry and willingness to find solutions to our unique reporting needs made them the best choice for now and the future.” 

Corrine Owen
Director of Finance & Asset Management

The Outcome

After implementing their new solution, KDSB was able to immediately reduce their accounting costs quite drastically and realized significant improvements in efficiency.

The new solution virtually eliminated human errors of keying in information, and their reporting became a breeze! With a flexible system that could be updated to meet changing ministry standards, their month-end reports were able to be completed in a fraction of the time.

Overall, because of these new-found efficiencies, KDSB is now saving a considerable amount of money per year, which is being reallocated back into their services.

Customer Profile & Mission

To provide responsive and individualized services that foster the hopes and dreams of people and their communities.

The Challenge

They were ready for a digital transformation because of the time- consuming inefficiencies they had from disparate systems in their operations. The staff’s challenges stemmed from administrative processes that were done manually which took a lot of time – especially the payment of their 200 foster parents, which happens twice a month – they had to manually enter every dollar amount for every parent.

Selecting Sparkrock

New Directions has scaled from a $21 million organization into a $51 million organization because of the switch from a disparate system to a single ERP platform. Instead of manually keying in every amount, they’re able to import a list of contacts with all of the amounts to pay directly into the General Ledger – something that took hours now takes seconds.

"The Sparkrock team’s experience from working directly with Nonprofits was truly invaluable. They had amazing perspective and advice for the project." 

Jennifer Hume
Director of Financial and Operational Support

The Outcome

New Directions has been able to grow tremendously by increasing their efficiencies and reducing the time it takes to complete administrative processes.

The biggest time saver for the organization has been how they’re now able to pay their foster parents. Instead of manually keying in every amount, they’re able to import a list of contacts with all of the amounts to pay directly into the General Ledger – what used to take an hour now takes seconds.

One of the most complicated areas of scheduling for New Directions is that 32 of their homes are scheduled 24/7, but this is all managed manually. Overtime costs become a problem because finding available staff with the right qualifications must be done over the phone.

With the new HRP solution and Scheduling functionality, all of these processes will become automated, allowing staff to go online to see what shifts are available, while built-in alerts will notify managers when certain staff are approaching overtime hours.

Customer Profile

The District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) is committed to promoting and enhancing healthy communities, and strengthening and empowering their citizens. With a wealth of in-house experience, they carry out their mission in a citizen-focused manner, and by offering the best quality of services possible.

The Challenge

DNSSAB was using an outdated and costly system that made them rely on Excel spreadsheets to complete most tasks. Reporting was a hassle since the legacy software did not easily support basic accounting transactions and reporting, like providing aged Accounts Receivable listings.

“Everything took a long time. It took two Finance Officers to handle the many workarounds we developed. On top of that, the system was not user friendly and delayed the simple process of retrieving financial information.”

Sara Tonks
Director of Finance and Administration

With more than 75 funds to manage, the organization was searching for a solution that catered to their specific needs and could handle complex reporting to 4 different government funders. The top 3 goals set out by Tonks were flexibility to use dimensions, user-friendliness, and flexibility in reporting and accessing of information.

Selecting Sparkrock

Sparkrock’s Finance and Accounting solution that was implemented solved all of the problems that DNSSAB was facing when it came to reporting. They can now add many different dimensions to their data, allowing them to slice and dice information and arrange it exactly the way their funders want it.

Furthermore, their new system can integrate with other systems to make importing and exporting data simple and fast, while providing real-time numbers. Workflows also streamline processes to ensure that funds and grants go through the proper approval process before being allocated to one of DNSSAB’s programs.

“We deal with many different government funders and Sparkrock’s financial solution gives us the flexibility to get the required information reported properly, accurately and fast. It’s wonderful and liberating to be confident that our information is correct.” 

Sara Tonks
Director of Finance and Administration

The Outcome

After implementing their new solution, DNSSAB reduced the immediate accounting costs by $20,000 and realized significant improvements in efficiency. They virtually eliminated human errors of keying in information, and their reporting became a breeze!

What’s more, their month-end reports used to not be ready until the 3rd week the following month; now they are able to run reports any time, in real-time. They’ve reduced the reporting time from a month to usually less than 2 days.

Overall, because of these new-found efficiencies, DNSSAB estimates saving about $50,000 per year, which can be reallocated back into their services.

Customer Profile

Community Living South Muskoka (CLSM) provides lifetime support to all those impacted by a developmental disability, utilizing skilled staff and effective partnerships involving the individual, the family, and the community with the result that the individual is accepted as a valued community member.

The Challenge

CLSM was having a tough time supporting multiple systems, which was taking a toll on their internal staff. Managing employees was difficult since vacation requests and personal information were tracked manually. At the same time, reporting was very cumbersome and would take a long time to retrieve information from the previous system.

It was clear that CLSM could benefit from an integrated system with flexible reporting and scheduling tools and comprehensive employee self-serve options.

“We desperately needed an integrated system to pull information quickly and easily. Also, scheduling conflicts and vacation requests created many difficulties and communication challenges for the staff.”

Rick Van Der Ley
Director of Administration for CLSM

Selecting Sparkrock

The implementation of the General Ledger took less than two months. Their project manager Victor designed a template that simplified the importing of data from the previous system to the new one.

"Working with him has been a great experience, making us feel that Sparkrock has our best interest at heart. Overall, we’re thrilled to get information out of our system so easily! Sparkrock’s solution was an obvious choice when we learned that it encompassed scheduling, finance, and reporting modules in one integrated system. It’s great that we don’t need to support 3 or 4 different systems and struggle to make them work together anymore."

Rick Van Der Ley
Director of Administration for CLSM

After replacing their previous 10 year old system with Finance & Accounting, and Workforce Management solutions, CLSM was extremely satisfied. It is easy to get information from the reporting modules in one integrated system. 

The Outcome

With their new system, CLSM now has real-time, on-demand data analysis and reporting. They can manage and track their budgets and allocate funds to different community programs. They are also now able to export and refresh data directly in Excel, which allows users to set up detailed reports and update them with the click of a button.

“Having worked with Sparkrock since 2007, we trust their social services expertise and ability to deliver on time and on budget.” 

Christine Jenkins
Supervisor of Administration

From a user standpoint, their new accounting system provides the better navigation they were looking for. With a more user-friendly environment, employees can navigate from one table to another with minimal clicks, or through the solution-wide search functionality. Also, employees now have the ability to access the information they are looking for without having to ask the Finance department. This will also ensure end-users are seeing the most up-to-date, real-time information with refresh capabilities.

Their new scheduling tool makes it easy for their HR department to make informed scheduling decisions for any location, eliminate shift conflicts, notify employees of work shifts automatically, avoid human error, and produce perfect timesheets every month.

All of this adds up to providing easier, more-streamlined administrative processes, which allows more time and money to be funnelled into the valuable services they provide for their community.

“We have all public money, and we have to be good caretakers of these funds. Anything that implements stronger controls is a big positive for us.”

Jeri Krajewski
Senior Accountant, SACOG

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is where local government leaders in the Sacramento region come together to advance three strategic goals:

SACOG is unique because it is the only public agency representing all jurisdictions in the region. It is comprised of a team of 60 people, as well as a board of directors, which includes representation from each city and county. 

Together, they tackle tough problems that are too large for any single city or county to handle alone. SACOG assists local governments with various initiatives, including

Jeri Krajewski is the Senior Accountant for SACOG.

SACOG grappled with disjointed legacy systems comprised of separate modules for various functions like purchase orders, accounts payable, and revenue management. “They were all made of modules that bridged with each other,” Krajewski shared. “No one was an all-inclusive option.”

These fragmented systems led to inefficiencies and a lack of seamless integration. This hindered SACOG’s ability to streamline operations and enhance transparency. Because of this, SACOG sought a comprehensive solution. The goal was to consolidate these disparate processes into a unified platform, facilitating data entry, electronic approvals, and receiving purchase orders.

SACOG began a rigorous RFP process, resulting in proposals from many different software vendors. Seeking a suitable ERP solution, they went through several demonstrations. However, most companies were unable to provide what SACOG was looking for, due to their reliance on third-party add-ons to provide full-service solutions. 

The stand-out competitor was Sparkrock 365, whose demonstration blew the competition out of the water. Krajewski remarked to a student intern, “We are now into the new realm of ERP systems,” after the demonstration finished. 

Drawing from her extensive experience with diverse ERP solutions, Krajewski recognized the transformative potential of Sparkrock 365. Its intuitive, easy-to-use interface and fully integrated functionality resonated with SACOG’s vision of modernizing its operations.

The decision to adopt Sparkrock 365 was driven by confidence that SACOG staff would understand and adapt to its user-friendly design and comprehensive capabilities. 

Reach out to a Sparkrock Expert today

Following the rollout of Sparkrock 365 to individual staff members at SACOG, significant improvements were observed across three key areas:

Reduced Errors and Time Savings:

Implementation of Sparkrock 365 resulted in a notable reduction in errors and substantial time savings. With streamlined workflows, staff encountered fewer incorrect entries, reducing the need to make modifications or corrections. The system’s efficiency enabled faster data processing, eliminating the need for manual entries into ledgers. As a result, SACOG experienced fewer general journal entries and corrections.

The system’s intuitive interface has facilitated smoother transitions during staff changes. This has mitigated time crunches. “The system has saved me more than once,” Krajewski remarked. Sparkrock’s accessibility and organization of information have significantly expedited tasks, saving time for SACOG personnel and allowing them to meet deadlines more easily.

Strengthened Controls:

Sparkrock 365 has empowered SACOG to enhance internal controls and ensure greater transparency in financial transactions. Previously, reliance on manual cover sheets for transaction approvals sometimes led to oversight issues. However, with Sparkrock’s integrated features, including contract attachment and electronic approval workflows, SACOG gained better oversight.

“They can see right up front everything they need,” added Krajewski. Strengthened controls provide SACOG with the assurance needed to safeguard public funds and maintain stakeholder accountability.

Improved Audits:

With strengthened controls, the transition to Sparkrock 365 has also resulted in improved audit processes. “There’s good arm’s length transactions,” Krajewski stated, “which is better for audit.” Electronic approvals streamlined audit procedures, providing auditors with clear documentation and reducing the likelihood of discrepancies.

Furthermore, the strengthened controls facilitated by Sparkrock 365 have minimized the need for modifications or corrections. This has fostered confidence in the integrity of SACOG’s financial operations and bolstered its reputation as a responsible steward of public resources.

In addition to addressing core challenges and achieving significant outcomes, SACOG recognized several ancillary benefits in its transition to Sparkrock 365. 

  1. Efficient Implementation Process: A dedicated team spearheaded the implementation efforts, ensuring that all stakeholders were aligned and committed to the same result. Krajewski noted that the Sparkrock and SACOG teams worked together to identify what they wanted the end result to be and worked their way back.
  2. Strategic Migration Planning: The migration was seamlessly executed, thanks to meticulous planning and guidance. SACOG was directed exactly how to proceed with the process before they lost critical content. As a result, SACOG was able to migrate to Sparkrock 265 without any loss of information or disruption to operations. This ensured continuity and data integrity throughout the transition process. 

If you’re considering transitioning to a purpose-built ERP solution for your organization, contact us to discuss your next move.

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