The Gezinsbond is the biggest independent family association in the country. It defends the interests of every family in Flanders and Brussels. In addition to the 240,000 who are members, some 13,000 volunteers and 200 staff work there.
The demo was simply a 'wow'
“Together with EASI, we embarked on two projects, in fact,” says Paul Demaerschalk, head of the Financial Department. “We combined our two separate accounting packages so that we could work in a more analytical manner, and we proceeded to digitize the way we work. After the demo, we were immediately sold. There were various ‘wow’ moments for us."
Kristine Van Aken, Leo Van Hecke and Wim Merckx, accountants in Paul’s team confirm. “The programme is very flexible,” says Leo. “You can click on every account until you arrive at the right document.” “We did not know this form of online consultation,” says Kristine. “The reporting possibilities to Excel are fantastic also. The export tool is present on nearly every screen. “You felt immediately that the consultant was able to answer the ICT questions of our department properly,” says Wim. “I then knew at once, that we could count on them to help us 200%, and that is how things turned out too.”
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Go for it! It has been a very positive experience for us
“The consultants were able to get good insight in the way we work,” Paul explains. “We have quite a lot of systems that are running outside accounting, where money is involved. I am thinking of activity management, the webshop for departments, but also our loyalty system. There is a database with more than 20 million discounts given. Furthermore, one of our accounting systems ran on an AS400 System. So a migration to another package was not self-evident from the technical perspective, because of the migration of certain data and specific items for certain globalization entries.”
Analytical step forward
“A major advantage compared with our previous partner is that at EASI consultants are more than just sales representatives of programmers,” Wim says. “They think along with you. That meant added value for us because we knew what we did not want any more.” Kristine add: “Going from one to four analytical axes requires a well-thought-out structure where cost items are defined in optimal fashion. The logical structure ensures that the reporting is carried out to everyone’s liking.”
Paul continues: “Thanks to these adaptations, we are no longer bound to two separate accounting systems for our subsidy file. We can also be more on the ball. The reporting possibilities enable us to make sound estimates that help management to make decisions or adjustments in due course.”
Huge time win
Kristine: “We are working far more efficiently. I used to have to define variables for every account and then create them in Excel. Such work could take more than two hours for one report. Now, I have those figures immediately through an export to Excel. This saves an unbelievable amount of time.”
Wim: “Every invoice is scanned when it comes in. From that moment, we are working in a fully digital form. As a result, we are less dependent on other services which earlier sent in their invoices themselves. We now have a far more accurate overview because we know better which invoices there are.
“A great deal has been done on the automation front too,” says Paul. “Reimbursement for volunteers or guides which is requested via a web platform can be paid automatically via approval flows. Entries for the webshop and the loyalty system have also been automated. We work with external partners and a lot of members on that. Adfinity relies on payment information to link payments, membership fees or discounts received or given with the right transactions. You notice that the programme offers integration with different software platforms.”
“In addition, you can also set up ‘models’ in the programme,” Leo adds. It is a form of automation that you set up once and can then carry out similar entries in a jiffy.”
User-friendly for everyone
“There are some 15 key users in all, but in practice, we also work with ‘approvers’, Paul says. “Whoever is responsible for a service, checks the invoices digitally now and then informs our departments immediately. This is very convenient and works out well because the programme is so user-friendly. The same applies to whoever consults or approves documents exclusively.”