In the beautiful Fraser River Valley, just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, lies the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), a fully accredited, public university enrolling approximately 15,000 each year. UFV is consistency ranked as one of the top universities in Canada by the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report.
In addition to its main campus, the University supports four satellite campuses throughout the region and has a growing presence in Chandigarh, India. UFV implemented CaseWare Working Papers and ASPE Financials as part of an effort to automate and streamline its financial reporting.
University Enrolls CaseWare
UFV first saw Working Papers demonstrated at a finance conference, where CaseWare consultants F.H. Black & Company Incorporated were highlighting the success of another university’s experience with the solution. “We had heard of CaseWare, of course,” says Nicole Adams, CGA, the Associate Director of Finance for UFV. “As an accountant, I know its reputation well. Many Canadian accountancy firms use CaseWare. Until then, though, we hadn’t really thought of its application to a university like ours. It’s actually a good fit for us.”
Style and Substance
Like many institutions, UFV relied on spreadsheets and text documents to produce its financial statements. And like many institutions, it struggled to ensure that the reports produced in this way were accurate and properly formatted. Adams says the university has seen a huge improvement in the professionalism of its financial statements. “There is consistency in fonts, columns, spacing, and tables that was very hard to maintain in Word® and Excel®. The statements truly look great.” While the overall appearance of the financial statements is important, accuracy is the critical factor, and using Working Papers gives the university even greater confidence in the quality of its statements.
“Adjustments are simple to complete and flow automatically through the statements so we’re assured everything is updated correctly,” explains Adams. “Our schedules and working papers are linked to the statements which efficiently organizes the statements and supporting documentation in one place.”
PSAB Compliance Simplified
In addition to the university’s desire to automate and streamline its financial reporting tasks, it was facing a required transition to the Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAS), necessitating significant changes to the way it had been presenting its financial statements. In order to meet transition deadlines, UFV engaged F.H. Black & Company Incorporated to assist with the implementation of Working Papers and to customize the templates to accommodate the university’s Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) compliant financial statements.
“It went very smoothly,” Adams recalls. “F.H. Black & Company Incorporated understood our goals and objectives and got us operational very quickly. We continue to receive excellent support from them. They go above and beyond to assist us.”
In addition to the annual financial statements, UFV has leveraged its investment in and knowledge of the solution to help produce quarterly reports as well. The university downloads trial balance data from its SCT Banner® accounting system and uploads that data into Working Papers.
“We can then produce a quarterly balance sheet and statement of operations,” says Adams. “CaseWare is proving to also be a great tool for interim reporting and being able to use it in this way streamline quarterly reporting requirements.”
With the efficiencies provided by CaseWare, UFV is able to quickly respond to auditors’ questions and efficiently make late period adjustments. “We’ve shaved a lot of time off the creation of the statements themselves as well,” says Adams. “We can have draft-ready financial statements in just a couple of days.” Adams concludes, “We consider the implementation of CaseWare for our financial statements and supporting documentation a complete success.”
F.H. Black & Company Incorporated has helped dozens of governments, universities, large corporations and accounting firms automate their financial reporting tasks. Interested in learning more about what CaseWare Working Papers could do for your organization?Take the first step and sign up for a webinar today.