1) Homogenization of accounting data
Before the implementation of the project, each Province used its own criteria for the management of accounting, therefore having an overview of the Congregation was almost impossible. It was necessary to study the needs of the individual units and to structure a plan of accounts that was easy to use, but above all inclusive of all the different realities. In this way a common language was created with which the Generalate could understand the accounting facts of the individual Province, but above all could have a clear idea of the progress of the Congregation in its entirety.
2) Process Standardization
Many provinces used excel prospectuses to process their accounting data. This meant that there was a great possibility of errors, not only technical errors (errors in the reporting of formulas), but also in the links between the items of the income statement and those of the balance sheet. Different accounting software were then evaluated and, among these, Quickbooks was selected as to be implemented in the different Provinces in order to standardize the keeping of the accounts.
3) Change management
In parallel with the implementation of the plan of accounts and the implementation of the accounting software best suited to the needs of the Congregation, it was necessary to restructure the role of the administrative manager, not only to learn the new features introduced, but above all to become aware of the importance of the role. Training courses, round tables, sharing of manuals and best practices have been held around the world. We worked on creating the conditions to improve the nature of the data entered through the training of internal resources.
4) Completeness and accuracy of consolidated data
Once achieved more accurate information and received standardised files from all the Provinces, it was possible to consolidate the accounting data. In order to present the economic and financial results of the Congregation in an increasingly complete and accurate manner, we proceeded to select a software that would allow the construction of a consolidated balance sheet clear and easy to read, so as to be able to analyze the trend, also by comparing with different years and with the budgets of different years
5) Implementation of a management control system
The FMS project has really revolutionized the approach to accounting. It does not just consist of data entry. The numbers are not only the list of entries and exits, but provide the Province and the Congregation with the key to better understand what is happening and what can be planned. (such as opening a new school in this Province, or creating a humanitarian mission in this Province). Moreover, an orderly accounting system makes it easy to report the donations received, even for each single project.