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Charity invests in Sage Coretime and improves efficiency.

Leeds Advocacy is an expanding charity whose aim is to provide independent advocacy services to adults with learning disabilities in the Leeds area. Leeds Advocacy also has a contract to deliver the IMCA service in Leeds (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate), so that where someone lacks the capacity to make certain decisions, a referral is made for an IMCA and services are delivered through Leeds Advocacy.

Leeds Advocacy operates in an arena where competition for funding is fierce. With a backdrop of cuts in funding, the need for tight financial control has forced many charities including Leeds Advocacy to find ways of increasing efficiency.

Lucinda Dransfield, Finance officer at Leeds Advocacy explains how their response has been to embrace new technology. With this mind-set it is no surprise that, despite a backdrop of ever tightening financial constraint, they decided that investing in new timesheet software would help them save money.

“We realised the potential of having an online system to handle everybody’s timesheets. We needed a system that could deal with large volumes of complex data.“

The problem

Lucinda explains the background to their decision, “We had a growing number of people working on a sessional basis all submitting paper timesheets, it was becoming increasingly difficult to extract information in a timely fashion”. This problem was compounded when Leeds Advocacy established a subsidiary called Articulate Advocacy. She adds, “Some people were now working for both organisations and had to produce two sets of timesheets.”
“We considered a number of systems from various companies but found we were expected to fit our systems to the software. When we met with Onesys we were happy that Sage Coretime could deliver what we were looking for.”

The solution

With up to 30 users, the volume of travel expenses which Leeds Advocacy needed to process was also considerable. Lucinda comments, “Using Coretime saves us a huge amount of time. It helps us to calculate and pay travel expenses accurately and with ease “

Sage Coretime is an easy to use intuitive software which makes entering time and expenses quick and simple. Lucinda comments, “Even our technology-shy users prefer the Coretime system to entering details on paper timesheets.”

Within this people-centred business, staff time and expenses represent the lions’ share of their costs. Lucinda describes how the data within Coretime has helped her in managing the payroll, “We now have the data instantly available in a format that is both quick and easy to work with, we also use Coretime for holiday pay calculation and sales invoicing.”

Although Coretime is an off the shelf software product which makes it very cost-effective, it is also very flexible and allows customisations to suit different business requirements. Lucinda describes their experience of installing Sage Coretime, “Our needs were quite complex because we wanted to be able to handle timesheets for two companies from one place. There were several adaptations to meet our specific requirements and we also had three custom reports written for us.”

To sum up Lucinda says, “Sage Coretime has had a positive impact on our efficiency and as our organisation has grown we have been able to manage the extra workload through Coretime. We are confident in the data that it provides and we now have business data which helps us to become more efficient.“
Spending what seems like a large pot of money on new software may well be a difficult choice for charities and non-profit organisations to make in the current climate of funding cuts and financial constraints, however Lucinda is clear that for them it has been of considerable benefit and confirms, “Coretime has been quick on payback “.

Company background:

Leeds Advocacy is a charity. Articulate Advocacy CIC and Leep1 CIC are wholly owned subsidiaries of Leeds Advocacy.