Canadian Seed Growers’ Association Reduces its Manual Practices – “Our Processes Are Almost Entirely Electronic”
August 9, 2021
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes
The Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) is the designated regulatory authority for the Canadian seed crop certification system. The non-profit organization is committed to supporting a competitive Canadian agriculture sector as a respected global leader in seed quality assurance and genetic traceability. CSGA brings together seed growers, plant breeders and seed sector stakeholders to reliably deliver a national seed crop certification program through the assurance of genetic identity of pedigreed seed.
“I wasn’t happy with our manual process for AP. We had already automated several of our other processes, so the natural next step was to move AP that way as well.” Pam Coles, Managing Director, Finance and Administration, CSGA
In its 2017-2023 Strategic Plan, the Association reaffirmed its commitment to organizational efficiency and effectiveness. And as the Managing Director of Finance and Administration, Pam Coles was looking for new ways to improve their existing processes.
“I was attracted to the idea of Accounts Payable (AP) automation right away,” admits Coles. “I wasn’t happy with our manual process for AP. We had already automated several of our other processes, so the natural next step was to move AP that way as well.”
While CSGA certifies over a million acres of more than 2,000 varieties of 40 different crop kinds for nearly 3,000 Canadian producers, it is a smaller organization with only 13 full-time staff. However, Coles and her team have the same AP pain points as any large-scale corporation.
“Before automating, I was making a lot of manual corrections,” said Coles. “If something was coded to the wrong general ledger account, for instance, it was already processed, and a check would have been already issued by the time I saw it, making amendments much more challenging.”
“We’ve gone from having an entire filing cabinet for just our vendor invoices and expense claims to just one file folder for everything. It has streamlined things for us, and I’m happy that we have a more secure process than ever.”
The age-old issue of piles of paper in AP was another hindrance to efficiency, which CSGA happily rectified with automation.
“We have very little paper now,” said Coles. “We’ve gone from having an entire filing cabinet for just our vendor invoices and expense claims to just one file folder for everything. It has streamlined things for us, and I’m happy that we have a more secure process than ever,” said Coles.
As for the pandemic and the transition to remote working, Coles admits that the automation with Beanworks software was key to bettering its organizational capacity and financial system infrastructure.
“The automation allowed us to maintain efficiency during the pandemic.”
“Doing our AP remotely was not possible before implementing Beanworks. It had to be done in the office,” said Coles. “And with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, that became a logistical challenge. Plus, a check needed to be manually signed by two different people. The automation allowed us to maintain efficiency during the pandemic.”
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