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Running Services Club finances is no picnic.

Not a Gamble: How Kedron-Wavell Took Financial Control

Running Services Club finances is no picnic.

But using the right systems—and with help for a smooth transition—you can use technology to make it a piece of cake.

At Kedron-Wavell—one of Brisbane’s iconic Services Clubs—Finance Manager Brayden Young saw an opportunity to leverage technology to simplify the complex—and in the process help make his small finance team punch well above their weight.

In October 2020, Brayden saw the chance to make an early mark—even in the wake of COVID-related challenges -he was determined to make improvements to the industry and club finance departments.

“Layers of compliance and high cash volumes in clubs make people think complexity is inevitable” says Brayden, “but when you break it down to its bare bones it can be simple—and that’s what I believed we could achieve”.

The business of breakthrough.

Joining Kedron-Wavell, Brayden was impressed with some innovative thinking. “The big community grants program and panel, the community outreach and harm minimisation—it was all progressive and very clever” says Brayden.

“I thought our finance should match our social innovation” Brayden says, and moving systems onto the cloud would be a clear breakthrough”.

But there were challenges. “With gaming there’s a layer of reporting and compliance that’s expected—I had to make the case that moving to Xero would be future-proofed and give the oversight needed”.

The obvious benefits were the time savings and control—freeing Kedron-Wavell from systems that left doors open to error or were slow or impossible to evolve. “We were trapped with systems that needed an outside SQL developer to adapt or change”, says Brayden.

Clever collaboration.

Brayden had the vision of a better financial system—now he needed collaborators to guarantee visibility on the journey. He also needed them fast—with guaranteed results, fixed price, and tight timeframes.

Having worked with SRJ Walker Wayland in his own career ,Brayden knew just who to ask for help.

“When a CFO approaches a provider for help they’re often squeezed into a cookie-cutter” says Brayden, “But I knew first-hand the culture of collaboration at SRJ WalkerWayland”.

SRJ doesn’t just work with a huge number of clubs in Queensland—but collaborate with clients to share best practice knowledge and bring insights to the table.

“I think the SRJ confidence meant they could really listen to my needs in particular” says Brayden. “I really was the architect as much as the client, and their help slotted in where I needed it—which also left more space for my managers to get on board, which I hadn’t expected was possible”.

Imagine better tech.

When Brayden and SRJ teamed up to design the ‘software stack’ to best fit Kedron-Wavell’s needs, Xero was the clear winner. “Xero plugs into something like 800 apps across countless industries” says Tracy. “We chose ApprovalMax and DEXT for example, to streamline internal purchasing systems and free up staff time for more valuable work”.

“With inventory, point of sales, and gaming—we needed one system to tie all our financial administration together” says Brayden. With Xero delivering a simpler reporting narrative, Brayden found that Kedron-Wavell could lock in simple and understandable oversight by the Board, and then focus on using tech for better productivity and a more strategic development.

Support when it counts.

Apart from having seen SRJ from the inside, Brayden heard great things on the industry grapevine. “The support and knowledge were the draw cards”, he says. “I heard Greenbank talking about SRJ—how they’d stayed on track”.

“It starts with people and their goals' ', says SRJ’s Tracy Johnson—who led the engagement with Kedron-Wavell. “We did initial training onsite, then put some real data in a sandbox—so that’s relevant but carries no risk. Then using bite-sized chunks to train people at an ideal pace”.

So from payroll and pay runs, SRJ first showed, then trained, and then supported Kedron-Wavell staff at every step—including go-live.

The tight time pressure meant little room for error. “We needed it all to be running pretty much immediately”, he says. “From discovery meetings, to clear implementation goals—and even massive support during the Christmas period—when we switched it all on for Jan 1st, I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t do—and could answer my stakeholders very clearly”.

“SRJ helped verify and then pull in 24 months of data with zero errors—so we had a clean slate—then they followed it all up with responsive and monthly support”, says Brayden.

Beyond the numbers.

The bottom line business case for the transition has been an obvious winner, says Brayden. “We’re not just better at oversight—we’ve gone down from 3.0 EFT in finance to just 1.5 EFT. Plus we're more accurate, our visibility is basically real-time, and our staff are engaged and working on accountability like we’d only dreamed”.

In fact the Kedron-Wavell transformation is set to continue, says Brayden.

“With so much value from Xero and SRJ, there’s now pressure on all our other systems—like POS and inventory software—to perform at our new level”.

For a confidential conversation with an SRJ Walker Wayland partner, contact us today.

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