AEIOU Foundation is a Not-For-Profit (NFP) with a simple goal: To provide early intervention that enables children with autism to live their best lives.
They achieve this through delivering high-quality, family-centred therapy and care at each of their 11 customised centres across Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Simon Smith has extensive experience in the NFP sector and understands the importance of creating efficiencies wherever possible – maximising the resources available to deliver on the organisation’s objectives.
When he joined AEIOU, Mr Smith identified accounting processes which could be made more efficient through the adoption of cloud-based software – more specifically, through a transition to Xero and integrated apps.
Having worked with BDO on similar projects at other organisations previously, he knew our team had the required technical expertise and understanding of the complexities of NFP reporting.
“Understanding Not-For-Profit reporting requirements and flows was crucial,” says Mr Smith. “Meeting those requirements can be resource-intensive, so any gains we can make in minimising manual processes translates to more resources available for service delivery – which is the objective of any NFP organisation.”
Over a period of approximately five months from March to August 2022, the BDO Cloud Advisory team, led by Jacqui Silva, worked with Simon and the AEIOU finance team to determine their process requirements and implement suitable cloud ecosystem solutions – including Xero, Dext and ApprovalMax.
The teams built a strong working relationship throughout the project, which included the following services:
- Two half-day workshops to map out AEIOU’s finance processes and consider future state and needs
- Assistance from Jacqui and the team to help understand the options – including the pros and cons. As well as investigate solutions to potential pain points
- End-to-end project management
- Software solutions training and regular check-ins throughout implementation
- Follow-up support.
This relationship ensured the best possible outcomes for the AEIOU finance team, who were able to draw on the extensive practical experience of Jacqui and her team and use them as a sounding board to guide decision making – particularly where customised flows were required in the new systems.
“In addition to excellent technical expertise, the team at BDO really understand our business and have relevant, on-the-ground experience of the processes and systems we wanted to work with. This knowledge bank is so valuable,” says Mr Smith.
The project has resulted in numerous improvements for AEIOU’s finance function, including the automation and improved efficiency of documentation, communication with centres, approvals and reporting processes, which were previously quite manual.
With greater visibility of real-time data and more efficient processes, the finance team at AEIOU look forward to directing more of their time and effort to supporting continued improvements for the foundation, its centres and clients.
Learn more about the work AEIOU Foundation does to provide early intervention support for children with autism at aeiou.org.au.