Ex-offenders' charity St Giles Trust moves financials to the cloud with Exchequer

St Giles Trust, a UK charity that helps rehabilitate offenders into society, will use cloud-based Advanced Exchequer to improve its management reporting and visibility.

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St Giles Trust, a UK charity that helps rehabilitate offenders into society, will use cloud-based Advanced Exchequer to improve its management reporting and visibility. 

The charity, which has a turnover of £7 million, needed a robust finance system that offered better control and visibility of its multiple teams and costs centres.

St Giles Trust employs 160 staff and 85 volunteers in London, Leeds, Ipswich and Cardiff that offer advice in prisons, housing support and career assistance. They helped 15,000 ex-offenders last year alone.

The charity also runs the capital’s largest gangs intervention scheme, the SOS Gangs Project which has a team of 33.

The necessity for small, localised teams on the ground across the UK mean St Giles Trust’s finance reports had fallen into silos. It is hoped that the new finance software will allow better analysis of the charity’s progress as a whole, as well as improve financial and resource control.

Malcolm Walker, assistant CEO at St Giles Trust, said, “We employ small teams who can be running up to 50 projects simultaneously, each with their own cost centre. As we have grown, our finance system has become increasingly restrictive in providing swift management reports and reliable project costing information, wasting valuable time and resources.

“Of the four suppliers we evaluated, Advanced stood out based on the knowledge of its team, the advanced reporting capabilities of its software and its strong reputation in the charity sector.”

Additionally, the depth of the reporting tool will help employees analyse financial data and produce customised reports for stakeholders, auditors and senior management.

Walker added: “The system is also easy to use, particularly for non-finance users, which will help them to better monitor budgets and costs so that funds continue to be invested wisely.

“Furthermore, the system will help to reduce the volume of queries into the finance team so we can continuously enhance our services.”

Another firm, Homeless link is helping UK charities get people off the streets with a cloud-based CRM application.

Homeless Link, a not-for-profit that works with charities and local authorities including Cambridge and Brighton, hopes that by digitising many of the UK's homeless charities' data, it will be able to spot patterns on where care is working, or failing.

Image: London riots were a target for gang crime. Credit: Flickr/hughepaul

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