OPENhouse enables young people and vulnerable individuals in the Stroud district and across Gloucestershire to discover their potential through building a community where they can live, relate, learn, work, get support and find their next step in life.  This is achieved by providing housing, enhanced support, development and learning opportunities and links to volunteering and employment experiences. Through a strong community based model OPENhouse provides each individual with a tailor made, flexible programme that directly meets their specific needs.

“By using BookCheck we now have a more cost-effective way of producing Management Accounts and running payroll”


Before BookCheck - in summary

  • Not certain that the information from the bookkeeper was sound
  • Reporting was often not in time for Trustees meetings
  • Profit and Loss was not split by department
  • Budgets were not incorporated into the reporting
  • A substantial amount of time was being spent on bookkeeping
  • Sage was not set up correctly for reporting needs
  • Everything was over complicated
  • There were errors in the payroll and bookkeeping


With BookCheck - in summary

  • Costs have been reduced
  • The sales ledger is now easy to understand
  • Monthly accounts are prepared promptly and without hassle
  • The flexibility of reporting has meant that the Trustees report is now much more useful and understandable
  • Payroll runs efficiently and without error


Before BookCheck - the problems

OPENhouse needed to cut outgoings due to funding cuts. They had a Finance Manager who left and they needed a more cost-effective way of handling the management accounts and payroll. There were inconsistencies and mistakes in the bookkeeping and payroll, and the information was complicated and confusing to understand. The trustees found that the reporting did not meet their requirements.

OPENhouse wanted to split the P&L reporting between: education, housing support and enhanced support and incorporate budgets so that they could focus on spending.

The time spent within the organisation on bookkeeping was substantial. The system was overcomplicated and overall, difficult to understand. There were terms in the reporting that were misleading and this added to the frustration.


With BookCheck - the solutions

  • Within days BookCheck appointed a qualified accountant New Client Manager with a supervisor and bookkeeper
  • The New Client Manager performed a 30-point book-keeping Sage HealthCheck to identify what needed fixing. That was reported to OPENhouse
  • There was communication with the external accountant as required
  • BookCheck resolved the problems they discovered and handled the backlog
  • Once the system was up and running the work was transferred to the ongoing bookkeeper
  • They progressed quickly to produce the first set of management accounts


“BookCheck resolved the issues with reporting and payroll. They are totally sound and work as a Team and have the strength to handle rigorous requirements. BookCheck share the Sage with OPENhouse, it’s not ‘their’ system. The most important word for BookCheck is ‘reconciliation’. They are hugely experienced with Sage so are a safe pair of hands.”

Everything BookCheck does is fully reconciled. Every month end is both thoroughly checked and then personally issued by a qualified accountant. They guarantee the quality of the Management Information.

“Outsourcing helps a small organisation if someone is ill, as it doesn't mean that the payroll won't run as BookCheck will cover this. We were finding that our management accounts weren’t what the Trustees needed. Instead of me having that headache I went to BookCheck who adjusted the accounts to meet the Trustee requirements. It's really important that in the governance Trustees are 'on it'. I pushed it back to BookCheck. Normally the finance person would produce it their way, now I have wonderful flexibility. I can have a bespoke service both for myself as CEO and more importantly for our Trustees.”

“We would not hesitate to recommend BookCheck. Often charities or a business of our size wouldn't think to use an outsourced service as they would assume it was more expensive whereas BookCheck has been cost effective. It was really important that BookCheck provided total fee transparency so we were able to settle on what was affordable. High quality staff, staff cover - it's really hard to put a price on that.”

Claire Mould, ex-CEO, Shire Training Workshops Ltd – OPENhouse


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