Ramahyuck – Case Study

RDAC defies COVID-19 to roll out Business Central in a time of pandemic

When Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation (RDAC) in eastern Victoria decided that it had outgrown its old accounting system, it selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central from Melbourne-based enterprise software specialist Evolution Business Systems (EBS) to replace it. After a successful scoping, deployment and training program, RDAC was about to go live with the new system in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck Australia, forcing staff to work from home. Despite this hurdle, EBS successfully introduced Business Central to RDAC, which is now reaping the benefits including large time savings, greater efficiency, easier payroll and more comprehensive reporting.

Ramahyuck

The challenge: RDAC outgrew its former accounting system

Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation (RDAC), a not-for-profit community-controlled, member-based health and wellbeing service that supports Aboriginal people living on the lands of the Gunai Kurnai people in the Gippsland region of Victoria, is a large and complex organisation.

Servicing the communities of La Trobe, Wellington and Baw Baw shires, RDAC employs about 120 people and manages programs involved in providing primary health care, social and emotional wellbeing, childcare, dental, family and community services.

With more than three quarters of its $14 million annual budget comprising grants for specific programs, RDAC needs profit and loss reports for each project to meet its reporting requirements.

 

Business Central saves us time on so many different levels including faster bank reconciliation and payroll processing.
Nancy Binotto
Financial Controller

However, as RDAC grew in size and complexity, it found that the Reckon software it had used since 2001 was no longer meeting its needs. In addition to the complexity of running many project-based P&L reports, RDAC found that Reckon was holding it back in terms of reporting and payroll functionality.

RDAC Financial Controller Nancy Binotto said Reckon had been good when the operation was smaller. “Basically, we just outgrew it,” she said.

“As our complexity grew, our needs outstripped its functionality due to things like funding report requirements and managing payrolls that covered five or six different awards. It was too simplistic for what we needed.”

In early 2019, Ms Binotto and RDAC CEO David Morgan, himself a Certified Practicing Accountant, began looking for alternatives. During a six-month evaluation process, they spoke with several accounting software providers to evaluate the system that would best meet RDAC’s immediate and future needs.

In the second half of the year, RDAC chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central from Melbourne-based enterprise software specialist Evolution Business Systems. Deployment was underway by October that year.

The journey: Deploying Business Central went without a hitch – despite COVID-19

Ms Binotto said RDAC selected Business Central because it met a long list of its requirements including comprehensive payroll and an employee portal. “An important benefit was its compatibility with Microsoft Office, so it fitted right in with our existing software applications,” she said.

“Business Central with Payroll Easy also offered us comprehensive payroll functionality, including an employee portal, as well as much greater automation of reporting with Jet Reports. Purchase Ordering was another big thing. Whereas previously, we had a very manual purchase system. Business Central is now fully electronic. Importantly, its cost also fitted within our budget.

“Another problem with Reckon was the lack of support beyond a phone number whereas the support from EBS has been excellent.”

 

I would highly recommend Business Central and the team from EBS. When we sit back and reflect on where we have come from and how we are now using Business Central, it seems much longer than one year. We have come so far.”
Ramahyuck

Ms Binotto said that Business Central was also able to meet the needs of an Aboriginal corporation such as RDAC. “With all the funding we manage, we have a large scope of different programs, each of which has its own Profit and Loss that we may have to report at any time,” she said.

“It was a big thing to manage all those programs in Reckon, but it is straightforward in Business Central.”

Ms Binotto said the software deployment project went completely according to plan – until COVID-19 struck. “The first step was our project manager came on site in the second half of 2019 and we went through every requirement we had,” she said.

“We had all the key users around the table, which let us build a project plan that showed what we were doing and what EBS was doing. By February 2020, we were ready for on-site training with the goal of going live with Business Central on March 1 and with Payroll Easy on April 1.

“Then COVID struck and we started working from home from mid-March, so it was our choice to delay the go-live with Payroll Easy until July 1. It was very simple for us from our end, even though we were working remotely. It was a very good implementation process which went without a hitch, despite the lockdowns caused by the pandemic.”

The outcome: “Business Central saves us time on so many different levels”

Ms Binotto said Business Central had saved RDAC time on “so many levels” since it was deployed. “The efficiency has been massive for us: For example, my monthly board report is now taking a day to prepare compared to a week before, so that alone saves four days a month,” she said.

“Another big time-saver is the integration available with Business Central. We use external systems at the dental clinic and the medical clinic and at a small gallery with a point of sale system. They are now integrated, so the system pulls reports from those three systems into Business Central.

“Business Central saves us time on so many different levels including faster bank reconciliation and payroll processing. With only three of us in the finance team, saving time is a huge benefit.

“This lets me be more proactive by getting out with other GMs into project areas, so we can do more planning and program reviews. Before, I didn’t have that time, whereas now I am free to understand the full logistics and challenges of each program.”

Ms Binotto said EBS trainers Dan and Charmaine had been amazing through the whole process. “They are very quick to respond and, since going live, EBS Support is very responsive,” she said.

“My finance team experienced a big change to go from Reckon to such an accounting-based system as Business Central, but with all the training we had, we were quite comfortable. Despite COVID, we managed our way through it and now our users are really enjoying using both Business Central and Payroll Easy. We’ve already completed our first End of Financial Year and our first audit, which went very smoothly despite such a major change during the financial year.”

Ms Binotto said the support from EBS was a key part of the successful implementation of Business Central. “Right at the start, we met with three or four key people from EBS, which started that relationship and they followed us right through,” she said.

“We’ve also valued the EBS User Group, which we’ve attended once in-person and, since COVID, via Microsoft Teams. It’s been a good experience to meet other users and it’s great to get the updates as part of that.

I would highly recommend Business Central and the team from EBS. When we sit back and reflect on where we have come from and how we are now using Business Central, it seems much longer than one year. We have come so far.”

Australian Childhood Foundation chose EBS for their business management software

Client Profile:

Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation (RDAC) was established as an Aboriginal Community Controlled organisation in 1992 to improve the social, health and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. The not-for-profit community service, which has about 120 employees and has an annual budget of $14 million, supports the Aboriginal communities of La Trobe, Wellington and Baw Baw shires in Gippsland by providing primary health care, social and emotional wellbeing, childcare, dental, family and community services.

ramahyuck.org

03 5143 1644

Office Location

3/47 Burgundy St
Heidelberg VIC 3084

Postal Address

PO Box 1115
Camberwell VIC 3124

Phone

1300 303 973