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Case Study:
Wood's Homes

Wood’s Homes Budgets up to 24x Faster

Fast facts

Industry

Healthcare

Nonprofit

Based In

Calgary, AB Canada

Employees

GL System

Dynamics GP

Testimonial

“By automating this process, I can spend more time working side by side with the staff to strategically evaluate budgets and identify opportunities for improvement across our programs.”
“Centage has proven to be a valuable resource in the long term financial health of our growing organization.”

Pat Keppler, Finance Manager, Wood’s Homes

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Wood’s Homes is a nonprofit children’s mental health center based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. With over 450 staff and 100 volunteers, Wood’s Homes provides 35 programs and services for 20,000 children and their families each year in towns across Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

Wood’s Homes finance manager Pat Keppler is responsible for more than 122 financial statements across 35 programs, many backed by 5-6 different funders. With over 7,000 account codes and associated individual budgets, Pat eventually hit a wall with what she was able to achieve with Excel alone.

She turned to Centage to better manage the budgeting & forecasting process. After just four days of in-person training, Pat had a working budget model and was up to speed and confident in her ability to leverage Centage to simplify and streamline her daily responsibilities.

Software to effectively manage a high velocity & volume of data

“When you are responsible for ensuring the financial foundation is set for the success of critical mental health programs for more than 20,000 children, Excel is not the tool to rely on.”

The ability to budget at the level of individual programs is critical in the nonprofit industry. Each program is uniquely designed to meet certain objectives and to address the requests of key funders. As such, Wood’s Homes is required to manage various budgets based on a wide set of parameters: % of manager time/salary, number of staff, and amount of funding allocations of support costs to all departments, among others.

To report on the accuracy of these parameters within each budget was prohibitively difficult in Excel. The spreadsheet-based approach to budgeting and forecasting lacked the breadth and depth of capabilities necessary to effectively manage the velocity and volume of data.

Budget automation frees up time & resources for more important work

“By automating [the budgeting] process, I can spend more time working side by side with the staff to strategically evaluate budgets and identify opportunities for improvement across our programs.”

Automating the budget process with Centage has freed Pat up to focus and easily report on funder requirements. With the click of a button, she can prove to stakeholders that the program budget is being allocated appropriately.

If there’s a discrepancy and a change is needed, she can easily make that change, which will then cascade down and be reflected throughout the budget. No more spreadsheet version control nightmares.

Centage lets Pat manage balance sheets and cash flow fluctuations — something she couldn’t do in Excel. She can now easily create valid projections of funds, grants, and charitable contributions, and regulate seasonality and unknowns through continuous forecasting.

Personnel planning, new program budgeting, and re-budgeting up to 24x faster

Previously, Pat would spend up to three days inputting personnel data into an Excel spreadsheet to allocate the appropriate personnel to assigned programs. Each time a change was made to the spreadsheet, the risk of error was high, so she would rebalance each program to ensure its accuracy.

Now, personnel information is transferred seamlessly in less than one hour. Additional changes are easily executed with a few clicks, and the risk of introducing new formula errors when making these changes is virtually zero.

Centage’s tight integration with both the personnel system and the Wood’s Homes accounting system lets Pat easily populate a new budget for a new program. This process took a week when she was manually inputting the data into Excel.

The same is true for re-budgeting. Before Centage, each time a program needed to be re-budgeted, Pat had to re-budget all 35 programs individually. This inevitably led to significant errors, and consumed days. Now she can re-budget a department, add new programs, and eliminate programs within minutes, limiting the risk of human error and compromised data.

Pat can also turn programs on and off depending on expense trends like seasonality, while her team stays laser-focused on the programs that need the most attention at the moment.

Centage reduces error & instills confidence in the Finance team’s numbers

“With a high margin for error, it would be irresponsible not to improve the financial process through advanced automation tools, designed to support strategic budgeting and forecasting. Centage has proven to be a valuable resource in the long term financial health of our growing organization.”

With Centage, Pat’s team can develop accurate income forecasts related to program services, contributions, gifts, and grants — and take advantage of “what-if” scenarios to account for auctions, walks or runs, galas, or other variables in the financial plan. Centage’s “what-if” scenario planning capabilities help her team change assumptions and see the immediate impact on revenue, expenses, and cash flow.

With more than 35 programs in place, and more being planned, this functionality puts Pat in a more strategic role, enabling her to educate the leadership team and guide strategic decision-making as new programs are evaluated.

Book a demo to learn more about Centage’s formula-free FP&A software.

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