HHRD claims to have saved 80 hours of financial time every month. Is this a fluke—or the leading edge of something else? A survey of three companies.
Founded in 2005, Helping Hand for Relief and Development, Inc. serves those impacted by disasters and poverty in 85 countries. Farooq Haque, CFO of HHRD, plays a crucial role in facilitating projects like orphan sponsorship and Covid relief.
However, even as HHRD reached new heights, their accounting program suffered. HHRD receives over 80% of all net assets with donor restrictions. The exacting speed and accuracy of HHRD’s finance team expanded drastically, with 14 wide-ranging programs and over 20 US and international offices.
When HHRD chose Xledger in 2017, nobody expected much more than a reasonably effective financial software. But by two years later, Haque relates to us that HHRD has saved 80+ hours of accounting labor per month.
Is this a fluke? Or does it represent a broader trend?
We will start by comparing HHRD to three other organizations: CURE International, Woman to Woman, and the American Soybean Association. Each step will compare an approach Haque used to that implemented by the other party.
First, HHRD prioritized Robotic Process Automation and Machine Learning.
Traditionally, finance activities take time. Monthly close requires that the majority of companies take between 6.8 and 10 days to close. Audit times demand more, as do the audit-type grants that HHRD applies for.
By contrast, Xledger strives to automate all of these. With RPA and machine learning, Xledger automates the broadest range of financial processes in any financial management solution. From bank reconciliation to automated data entry, Xledger gives the C-Suite a striking number of tools to work with.
Take CURE International, a global network with surgical hospitals or doctors in 29 countries, “The challenge was going from manual to automated,” says Chief Financial Officer Dave Helman. “We dealt with massive spending and waste—from wasteful manual errors to increasing staff costs.”
When CURE went live on Xledger, the CURE leadership saw the benefits snowball. CURE found that Xledger paired automation with user validation and nearly eliminated manual errors. Over time, CURE managed to cut its staff costs in half. By shortening and digitizing workflow, they shortened cycles of approval. “We were able to devote resources to analytics, turning key staff to turning up additional time savings and opportunities. I believe that Xledger made an enormous difference in our organization.”
Insight: Real-time Data and BI tools
Second, HHRD re-envisioned its relation to internal and external data management. Rather than accountants navigating complex spreadsheets, Haque brought two qualities to HHRD’s decision-making: robust BI tools and truly real-time data.
“The challenge was getting information from the developing world into the US headquarters,” says Chief Financial Officer Dave Hellman. “Our business data was coming in 45 to 60 days after.” This lag upended CURE’s efforts to maintain financial insight. Yet Hellman had more than upkeep to worry about: an organization that relies on scattershot sources for their insight can give mixed-up or even fraudulent reports.
However, the Xledger solution aims to change this. Xledger provides the two features that Haque wanted, the robust BI tools and the instantaneous business intelligence. Then it provides specificity beyond the market meaning. Robust BI tools expand from the flex screens that let Xledger manage your entire inquiry process in one page to the drill-down, drill-through techniques you can leverage. Instant intelligence means that you have real-time data in every one of your subsidiaries, whether located in Jordan or Michigan.
With Xledger, the CURE leadership could see real-time, auto-consolidated data from every one of their 29 countries. “We have immediate visibility into our data, allowing for faster analysis and a much stronger basis for quality decisions.”
Xledger’s insight has also proved invaluable to Women to Women. Katja Mannerla, Head of Accounting, explains the benefits seen by the 20-nation women’s rights organization “We estimate that before Xledger, it took two weeks to complete a quality-assured report for a large project. In Xledger the whole process takes about three days. The reason it moves so much more quickly is that we get all the numbers with the touch of a button, but also that there are fewer quality assurance elements in Xledger thanks to the fact that they have a dimension for donor agreements in the report. With Xledger, we can get real-time control over the situation.”
The Covid Double: Scalability
Third, HHRD pursued the advantages of a cloud-based solution. They, and everyone else on here, had no reason to believe that the cloud would become a life-or-death priority in 2020-2021.
Xledger has honed a stockpile of benefits: anytime-anywhere accessibility, broadband access even in remote locations, all-cloud workflow, time and expenses in easy-to-use devices, a UKIP ultra-secure cloud platform, and so on. As a committed cloud-based solution, Xledger stands as one of few to maintain sole multi-tenancy, meaning that you can enjoy every economy of scale without delay.
But Covid brought Xledger to the aid of those multi-network organizations that had joined before the crisis. Even as the pandemic slowed and businesses fell into debt, HHRD and American Soybean Association saw extraordinary savings take place.
“Xledger makes our accounting world so much more streamlined, efficient,” declares Cindy Westervelt, Accounting Coordinator at American Soybean Association. “Because of Covid, I have found out what the efficiency capabilities are of Xledger, and how I can work remotely, and how I’m not putting as many miles or using as much fuel with my car. I think it’s helping with congestion on the highways. I think it’s helping with pollution. I think it’s helping in more ways than people recognize. It’s not just the efficiency and time-saving and accuracy, it’s helping with climate control—I mean, it’s making a big impact.”
In short, Helping Hand for Relief and Development, Inc. experienced no fluke result. When Xledger saved them 80 hours of accounting labor per month, HHRD shared the same dividends as nonprofits CURE International, Women to Women, and the American Soybean Association.
But the benefits of Xledger stretch beyond the nonprofit landscape. Any customer, whether non- or for-profit, that expands into multiple entities will face largely identical challenges: difficulty getting insight in real-time and with the right BI tools, an accounting team swamped in manual labor, and a limited ability to scale when you most need to. For-profit and multi-entity customers using Xledger include Galbraith’s, Accurise, Corporater, and more.
Xledger provides the market’s most automated finance management solution. Trusted by the world’s most trusted global audit firms, Xledger has been recognized as a provider in the market for financial software—by IDC as a major player and by Gartner as a representative vendor. Xledger delivers three value pillars: automation frees 75% of your finance team from manual labor; insight empowers your leaders with real-time insight and robust BI tools; scalability enables you to grow as far and fast as you want on our true cloud solution.
For more information about how HHRD saved 80 hours in accounting labor a month, please get in touch. We would love to dialogue with you.