Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is an independent body providing support services to councils and other government organisations. These wide-ranging services are supplied to 79 councils, and alongside strict governance requirements, make this small company surprisingly complex. MYOB Advanced offered the right mix of small-business simplicity with the big-business controls and reporting they desperately needed.
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Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is an independent body providing support services to Victorian Councils. These wide-ranging services include:
1. Providing public liability and professional indemnity insurance through MAV Insurance
2. Providing workers compensation insurance through a licensed self-insurer, MAV WorkCare
3. Facilitating the local government employee health plan
4. Providing procurement services, including contract tendering and procurement training for Councils through MAV Procurement
5. Management of grants and projects for the local government sector
6. Holding conferences, seminars and events for the sector
7. Liaising with and lobbying Government on behalf of Councils
Although MAV is small, the work it does requires auditing and governance at the level of a publicly-listed company. That’s where issues arose. Previously, MAV was using MYOB AccountRight, which had worked reasonably well for many aspects of the
business. MAV’s Financial Consultant Allan Holmes explains: “All our business units used MYOB AccountRight and we found it quite simple to use. But, with more audits, we were coming under more scrutiny.” He continues, “We’re an SME, but with the audit requirements of a publicly listed company. The ramifications were that we couldn’t fulfill our obligations to the audit committee in the way that was required.
We kept getting recommendations to do certain things that we just couldn’t do.” Detailed reporting of purchases wasn’t tracked, which meant information about suppliers, vendors and the tender process wasn’t available to auditors. Not only that, but day to day, using the system became slow – the team had to log in and out whenever they wanted to use a different chart of accounts or update data.
“We couldn’t fulfill our obligations to the audit committee in the way they wanted.”
After using MYOB AccountRight for many years, the MAV team made the decision to implement a new ERP system. Because the business operates seven separate divisions – MAV Insurance (Liability Mutual insurance and Commercial Crime fund), MAV WorkCare, Grants, MAV Projects, Local Government Employee Health Plan and the MAV – the solution needed to be flexible, consolidate financial reporting, and meet audit requirements across the organisation.
They looked at several options, which they thought didn’t offer the financial controls or reporting functions they needed. In the end they chose MYOB Advanced, with the help of MYOB Platinum Partner Cloud Factory.
As Cloud Factory’s MYOB Advanced Product Manager Jonathan Keogh explains,
“They needed a complete financial solution where one package met all requirements. Advanced’s consolidation functionalities lead to easy and accurate reporting for their board.”
Implementation was a steep learning curve for the team at MAV. The new software was very different from MYOB AccountRight, which meant users needed to learn to use a whole new system.
Cloud Factory worked with the team to implement the system, train users and build a custom reporting module that allows MAV to separate out various elements for the financial reports. Although the implementation process wasn’t always easy, Allan Holmes explains that Cloud Factory helped it run as smoothly as possible. “Cloud Factory has been really good. They’ve been here and been really accessible. We couldn’t speak more highly of them.” Simon Bishop,Cloud Factory Director responded: “The Cloud Factory team are delighted to be a strategic partner to the
Municipal Association of Victoria. Following the change to their systems, we are excited to be putting access to MYOB Advanced into the hands of more users especially with the very latest releases being showcased for reporting and KPIs!”
“Advanced’s consolidation functionalities lead to easy and accurate reporting for their board.”
Although the new system has only been in place for a short time, it has already changed the way the MAV team works – especially when it comes to creating a consolidated set of financial statements. This is in sharp contrast to the previous system of lookup tables and spreadsheets. It’s all part of consolidating the seven main areas of the business and being able to access data from every chart of accounts, without losing the ability to separate out the strands when necessary.
The custom report writer, built by Cloud Factory, means that the business can now easily generate detailed, accurate financial reports. MAV’s Finance Manager Candice Ong says that being able to generate different reports for different business areas is a significant gain for the business. Allan Holmes agrees:
“We’re a complex little business. We have to separate out elements to report on. That part has become easier, I’ve got a lot more confidence in that, now.”
Audits were the major triggers for change, and MYOB has delivered in this area as well. Although an external audit hasn’t been completed since the changeover, Allan Holmes explains that the management team is optimistic.
“We’re definitely delivering the internal audit data they’re looking for.” Although MAV delivers a wide, complex range of programmes, it’s still a small-to-medium enterprise, so switching over to MYOB Advanced was a significant leap forward for the organisation. MYOB Advanced offers wide-ranging functionality, and Allan Holmes estimates that the business is only using 20-30% of its capacity at this stage. But this isn’t a negative. Because the new system is designed for larger businesses, it sets MAV up for significant growth and should help it avoid the need for upgrades in the future..
“We’re definitely delivering the internal audit data they’re looking for.”
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