WITHOUT systems in place to effectively manage spending and donations, many of Australia’s 600,000-odd charities can be left vulnerable to the potential misappropriation of funds.
Now, new research reveals 90 per cent of Australians believe that charities need an expense management system in place to identify and prevent fraud, and 61 per cent would donate more to charities if they had such a system in place.
The findings were derived from a survey of an independent panel of 1000 Australians, commissioned by DiviPay (divipay.com), Australia’s first virtual corporate card and expense management platform.
From the survey, DiviPay also discovered that a greater proportion of young Australians would donate more to charities if they had expense management systems in place: 74 per cent of 18-30-year-olds said they would donate more, compared with 47 per cent of over-50s. More ACT residents (71 per cent) would also be more willing to increase donations to charities with an expense management system in place, compared with 63 per cent of South Australians and 58 per cent of Victorians.
Daniel Kniaz, CEO and Co-Founder of DiviPay, says: “Charities often use a petty cash system and other unreliable methods to distribute donor funds, opening them up to risks, including the misuse of funds. Having a system in place that increases the visibility and transparency of an organisation’s finances can safeguard vital funds. It also gives peace of mind to the public, corporate donors, and Government agencies that funds are being used appropriately. Our findings show that many Australians are already willing to donate more to charities that have these systems in place. Any boost in financial support can go a long to help charities continue delivering effective services.”
Since its inception in 2019, co-founders Daniel Kniaz and Russell Martin have been passionate about supporting the not-for-profit sector. The unique platform partners with charities, solving a common pain point around distributing and managing expenses and donor funds, allowing them to continue effectively delivering services to those in need.
The Autism Association of Western Australia (AAWA), an organisation providing care to Australians living with autism, is one such charity that has greatly benefitted from the platform. It uses DiviPay’s corporate card distribution, expense tracking and budget creation functions, allowing it to redirect much-needed resources to providing critical care to clients across Western Australia.
The AAWA uses the platform to instantly issue virtual cards to more than 70 caregivers, through its mobile app and online platform, for use in-store and online. Using DiviPay’s easy-to-use pre-approved budget and spending rules, AAWA can restrict merchants and transaction amounts, and gain real-time visibility over spending. This has enabled the organisation to prevent the misuse of funds and automate its expense reporting, saving its team 60 hours each month on manual expense management.
Previously, similar to many other charities, AAWA used unreliable, manual methods to distribute funds and manage expenses. A number of its employees would withdraw cash from ATMs and deliver it by car to caregivers across more than 60 houses in Perth every week. Caregivers were then required to collect receipts and manually complete hard-copy expense reports before mailing them to the head office each week. This system lacked visibility and required a high level of trust that funds would not be misappropriated by staff. The time-consuming process also created room for human error, resulting in missed receipts and reports containing incorrect information.
Keval Shah, a Senior Accountant at the Autism Association of Western Australia, says: “Before working with DiviPay, our manual system had become a headache for our caregivers and finance team. Caregivers spent countless hours reporting expenses, which took crucial time away from supporting our clients.
“After all, their expertise lies in caring for those living with autism across the community. The platform has been a gamechanger for our expense process. We now have greater visibility over the use of funds, and our finance staff can work on forecasting and budgeting rather than chasing receipts and rectifying expense reports. Our caregivers have benefitted the most, as they have been able to direct their focus back to delivering quality services to clients.”