Haida Gwaii Society for Community Peace

August 25, 2021

“Our organization is a non-profit agency that runs a variety of social services programs, including counselling, life skills support, and emergency shelter. We originally began in 1998 with one program, and have added additional programs along the way. We had grown quite a lot over the past decade, and were finding that our Sage 50 accounting system was no longer meeting our needs for tracking expenses. Payroll, and revenues in an organized fashion that reflected our complexity with multiple programs and special projects running concurrently. Our Finance and Payroll department was groaning under the inefficiency and lack of departmentalization in our old Sage 50 system, and we were wasting time maintaining multiple spreadsheets outside of the accounting system to try and keep track of things according to program and department. During the pandemic it became even more clear that we needed to move to a fully departmentalized system, in order to create clarity as well as reduce our workload and increase efficiency.

Enter Lin James and Datalink Office Solutions! When we explained our needs to Lin, she got right to work. She was able to create a fully departmentalized Sage 50 system for us, assist us with creating a new Chart of Accounts to replace our outdated and disorganized version, and she guided us through the process of mapping our old system over to the new one so that the transition would be seamless from an accounting perspective. The process was a lot of work, but Lin’s attention to detail and expertise saw us through, and we have been happily using our new system ever since.

The overall result has been a dramatic increase in the quality of information we are able to retrieve from our system, as well as greatly increased efficiency and time-savings. We are now able to view each program or special project individually in the system, which gives us great control and oversight over our budgets and financial management. We have also been able to leave many of our cumbersome spreadsheets behind, since the new system is tracking expenses, payroll, and revenues in a much more accurate and detailed way. We now have much greater confidence when making spending decisions for our programs, and can justify and evaluate our complex program planning with solid numbers.

The main thing we learned from our Sage 50 reconfiguration process with DataLink Office Solutions was the value of calling on an expert to help us. Although we knew the project would be a big job, there were many accounting and bookkeeping details that Lin with her years of experience was able to sort out, beyond all our anticipations. We are now confident we have the best possible system for moving forward as an organization, and we could not have done this without Lin and DataLink Office Solutions. The system should last us for years to come, particularly since it now allows us to add in a modular way when we start a new program or project. We are also very happy to know that Lin is available, on an ongoing basis per-hour, to provide advice or guidance if we encounter any tricky bookkeeping issues.

Thank you Lin! You have truly made it possible for the HGSCP to be a thriving and effective non-profit supporting vulnerable people in our community.”

Brie Altrogge, (she/her)
Executive Director,
Haida Gwaii Society for Community Peace