For Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley (BGCSV), the single most important metric or indicator of success is the number of kids served. The non-profit youth development organization’s ability to deliver on its mission came under siege during Covid-19 when numerous funding sources dried up and shelter-in-place orders made it difficult to keep the financial aspects of its operation humming.
Without its all-important funding, the possibility of expanding the number of kids served seemed like a pipedream. Its largely manual processes for invoicing and paying bills made it difficult, if not impossible, to conduct without in-person handling.
The organization and its new (at the time) president and CEO, Steve Wymer, turned to Bill.com finance automation software to gain greater financial insight and flexibility so it could maximize the focus on its youth programming.
Wymer and team needed real-time visibility into the numbers, which wasn’t possible before Bill.com. “We needed to connect with each other remotely. We needed to know how far we were stretching the numbers,” he recalls.
Finance Automation Benefits the Kids
BGCSV currently serves 3,000 regular members between the ages of 6 and 18. However, there are approximately 70,000 needs kids in Silicon Valley, so it’s currently reaching less than 5% of its prospective clientele. In other words, the opportunity to expand and reach more kids with its after-school and summer enrichment programs is nearly wide open.
When Covid-19 hit, the organization’s ability to reach its kids (many of whom don’t have reliable Internet and are at constant risk of losing their homes or going hungry) was severely challenged. Its operations team needed to keep vital assistance in place while its finance team hustled to operate virtually and the org applied for government grants and funding. At the same time, organizational leadership decided it wasn’t going to lay off employees, so it was prepared to pull out all the stops to work through the crisis.
One other key consideration: The organization needs operational staff in order to expand its reach, without investing in a big finance department.
Enter Bill.com, which BGCSV implemented in September 2020. Using the company’s cloud-based finance automation software, Wymer is able to monitor cash going out at the same time he can monitor and approve invoices from his phone. “For the big amounts, it’s the simplest approval process ever,” Wymer says. “It’s just something I have to make sure that it’s actually approved before I just click yes.” Bill.com’s mobile app allows that approval process to flow, even when it comes to large dollar-amount invoices, with security, efficiency, and simplicity.
Bill.com integrates with BGCSV’s implementation of QuickBooks, which also adds important efficiency benefits, says Bill.com Vice President of Product Marketing Pranav Piyush. This means activities, like creating a new invoice or sending out a payment, sync automatically. Payments can be approved at any time on any device; bills can be paid electronically and international wire payments can also be made. The integration saves time on data entry, eliminates errors, and keeps the books accurate and up to date.
“Frankly, there was no way I was going to be driving around Santa Clara County signing checks. It was just not going to happen,” Wymer says. “I really needed an integration to QuickBooks for our accounting service. I needed a fully-baked solution.”
Saving the Day
Wymer said that automating core financial functions with the help of Bill.com has helped the organization retain focus on its goal of serving 10,000 kids through its summer program, all while it minimizes its investment in financial headcount and back-office administration and keeps spreading the BGCSV message.
Bill.com’s Priyush says one potential new automation opportunity for BGCSV is to deploy Divvy, Bill.com’s expense-management solution.
While that may come to pass, Wymer is enthused with the progress made to date through automation: “When the chips were really down, Bill.com was a godsend.”
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