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Online accounting software and education success at Khanyisela College

Khanyisela College is a leading business in the Education, Training and Development industry, in the Eastern Cape South Africa. The College is celebrating its 11-year anniversary in the month of June 2018. The College does much more than just training people as it is known for its excellent service and attention to personal and organisational development.

Khanyisela College a 'Diamond Arrow Award' Winner

Khanyisela College was earlier this year announced as a winner of the coveted Diamond Arrow Award for the second year running, under the leadership of its influential owner and managing director Mrs. Tanya Kisten. The College was ranked above many other competitors regionally for enhancing growth in the Eastern Cape, great managerial expertise, corporate governance, brand awareness and levels of innovation excelling.

The College is registered with the Department of Education as an FET college, and fully accredited with the Services SETA for several full qualifications.

How the leader of a growing small business responded

My business relationship with Khanyisela College started in June 2012 when I was approached by Tanya Kisten to assist with record keeping challenges the College faced. The College although very successful was facing challenges in its finance department. Tanya as CEO was responsible for many aspects of the business, ranging from sales, human resources, finances to manage the premises. This overwhelming experienced by a leader is not new for me as all growing businesses and its leader will face in its business cycle. How the leader responds to this challenge will determine the future of the business. From the results obtained by the College, it is evident that Tanya responded in the correct manner.

My approach as accountant and business consultant is to address the origin of the problem and not only to fix the symptoms. When the business leader I work with is motivated, to establish a well managed sustainable business, excellent results are being achieved. Tanya had the right mind frame, optimism and drive to fix the challenges in her finance department once-and-for-all and we developed a plan together that would set up the College’s finance department for the future and increase the College’s ability to achieve its goals.

The 13-point plan implemented at the College

We developed a 13-point plan to achieve education success and implemented the plan with the central integrated tools: sage business cloud accounting.

  1. The desktop accounting package was not the ideal solution for the college. The traditional system had problems with data-loss (back-ups), access by different users, defining user roles and restrictions, remote access problems and difficulty in understanding the accounting terminology by the staff.
  2. By implementing sage we provided remote access to different users whereby we could split the sales function from the purchases and payment cycle. The sage interface was logic and simple to understand by personnel who were not trained accountants.
  3. We immediately focused our attention on the sales cycle and customer management to ensure that all customer balances are correct and recoverable. All customer transactions were verified for correctness by using the customer transaction reports in sage.
  4. We commence the sending of statements electronically from sage and embarked on an effort to recover outstanding debt as soon as possible. This led to improved cash flow and a long list of outstanding debtors was reduced to a manageable accurate and valid list which was diligently managed by designated staff members.
  5. We implemented the sage quote system and gave access on sage to the sales staff. The sales team was now able to log in from wherever they were and provide quotes to clients timeously.
  6. We set-up service code items in sage to reduce the time spend in capturing course information and to reduce clerical errors.
  7. We assigned fixed pricing to service items in sage to ensure that the correct fees were charged. The fee structure of the College was entered once in the masterfile and could not be changed without the manager’s consent. This led to improved budgeting and control over the income of the College.
  8. We opened different cash books for each bank and cash account in sage, which was reconciled at least monthly.
  9. We implemented the sage purchase order system whereby purchases was electronically approved by Tanya before the purchase was made. This function reduced wasteful spending at the College.
  10. The supplier balance reports were used to reconcile creditors and the payment cycle was optimized by Tanya only paying suppliers per supplier balance reports. Tanya was now able to reduce ad-hoc payments to the bare minimum thereby ensuring efficiency. She was also more confident in the balances that she pays. The drill-down function within sage also gives Tanya the ability to drill=down to the original document should she wish to query a payment before it is made.
  11. Sage online payroll was implemented and the College started to integrate their payroll with the rest of its business. Integration reduces time spent on unnecessary administrative functions and increases the accuracy of transactions.
  12. We formalised monthly reports that were generated by sage and presented to the CEO at regular intervals. Tanya was now more informed and up-to-date with the status, financial performance and financial position of her company. This enabled her to forecast more accurately and lead to better management decisions.
  13. The College formalised their budget to be managed with the assistance of the sage accounting system.

My accounting firm is still involved with the College when we provide advanced sage support to the College’s users. On an annual basis, I chair the shareholder’s meeting of Khanyisela College. During this meeting, sage is being used as reference point to answer questions where I am able to access their accounting system from where-ever the meeting are being held.

During the 6 years, I have been involved with the College I was thanked on numerous occasions by Tanya for suggesting sage to her and her business. Tanya has great plans for the future of Khanyisela College and with sage as not only an accounting system but a business tool she is confident in her abilities and the future of her business.