Following many years working in fundraising, Jo Garner founded Strategic Grants in 2009 after identifying an opportunity to help non-profit organisations build their capacity to and deliver vital projects to achieve their mission. To quote one of her colleagues, “being witness to the passion, integrity and dedication of individuals in the sector is truly inspiring.”
Recently we spent some time with Jo to discover more about her relationship with Arabon, how we have helped the business to re-calibrate and how she’s finally able to refocus on the most important parts of her role.
What was it like before you were working with Arabon?
As a small, growing business, our bookkeeping and accounting processes were fragmented and not working effectively. Upon learning that Arabon offered a fully outsourced integrated service, we realised that they ticked all the boxes for Strategic Grants’ financial management needs. We have gone from disjointed and inefficient, to streamlined and efficient accounting processes.
Why were you looking for a new accountant?
Previously, we had different agencies doing the bookkeeping and accounting who did not know Xero well and as such the financial data was not as organised as it should have been. I needed our systems be cleaned up and streamlined, which Arabon has done.
Where did you start your search?
Word of mouth – a personal friend referred us to Arabon. They knew I would like the small business culture and the fact that Michelle was herself someone who had grown a small business into the successful enterprise that Arabon is today. This resonates with me as a small business owner wanting to grow.
What made Arabon stand out from other options?
The fact that Michelle herself is a small business growth role model and expert. Clearly, she knows about running and growing small-to-medium businesses, as does her team. The personal attention and support offered as a complete outsource option was the solution I was seeking.
What has made you happiest when working with Arabon?
The fact that all my bookkeeping and higher-level accounting needs are met by the one expert team. I love the opportunity for the monthly financial analytic meetings to keep me on track and accountable with constant checks on how we are performing against budget. The team are all very responsive, especially in the onboarding phases.
What have you been able to achieve since working with Arabon?
More efficient systems. The staff are loving the ease at which they can now upload expenses and receipts. The invoicing process and using Xero is much easier (and cleaner!). This means more time for me to work on the business rather than in it!
What has exceeded your expectations?
100% confidence in the best accounting advice and processes, personal service and quick response times.
What is the main reason you would recommend their services?
For all the above plus it is much more cost efficient and effective to outsource to a team of experts rather than employing people in house.