Improved Financial Reporting and Visibility for Housing Action Illinois

Background

Housing Action Illinois is a statewide coalition that has been leading the movement to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing in Illinois for more than 30 years. Our client’s 160+ member organizations include housing counseling agencies, homeless service providers, developers of affordable housing and policymakers. Our client brings everyone together that is needed to work towards the goal where everyone in Illinois has a stable housing situation. They empower communities to thrive through three programs: Policy Advocacy, Public Education and Organizing and Capacity Building.
Over the years, our client has had many successes, and now they are working to protect those accomplishments and build upon them for future growth and success.

The Challenge

As Housing Action Illinois was rapidly growing, they found that their administrative burden was also increasing and they also wanted higher returns on liquid cash and a line of credit to protect against slow payments coming from HUD. HAI had outgrown its current accounting software, which did not allow for functional budgeting and a better allocation system for charging HUD projects. Additionally, they were looking for subject matter expertise to ensure the quality of their government reports so that HAI would be best positioned to expand their government contracts and services. In order to effectively handle the increasingly complex accounting requirements, Housing Action Illinois met with Quatrro Business Support Services to discuss their requirements and ultimately decided to outsource many of their accounting activities.

Our Solution

When HAI chose to partner with Quatrro Business Support Services, The first step was for Quatrro to ensure an understanding of their needs and why they were identified as being need. HAI wanted to gain access to the robust and timely financial information that would facilitate effective decision making, improve the revenue capture and lower their operating expenses. Quatrro helped them with a complete conversion from Quick books to Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains. They implemented a new chart of accounts which allowed for functional budgeting and a better allocation system for charging HUD projects. Quatrro also introduced them to a new bank which brought higher returns on liquid cash held and a line of credit to protect against slow payments from HUD. Quatrro successfully got HAI’s auditors to amend their management letter by addressing items that could negatively affect HAI’s ability to expand their government contracts and services. Quatrro was able to work quickly on their implementation of services while keeping disruptions to the business to a minimum. In addition, when HAI’s bookkeeper quit, Quatrro was able to fill that role almost immediately allowing for even more efficiencies and streamlined processes to be developed that resulted in salary savings for HAI.

Benefits

Quatrro has been able to meet all of HAI’s requirements which further allowed them to focus their time on the strategic aspects of running their organization rather than the transactional back-office accounting work. Since the initial transition, Quatrro has initiated various quality improvement projects to ensure faster turnaround times and achievement, or in some cases even surpassing, the original agreed upon Service Level Agreements (SLA’s).

Key values delivered to the client includes:
  • Completed conversion from QuickBooks to Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains
  • Accurate, consistent, timely financials that are standardized across the organization
  • Quick, actionable insights into the financial health of the organization
  • Introduced new bank which brought higher returns on liquid cash

Quatrro continues to work as a finance and accounting partner for HAI, enabling them to grow their organization according to their goals.