CPA Provincial Associations

Regulatory, Professional
BSI worked closely with several provincial CPA associations to implement iMIS for CPAs.  This introduced significant transformative improvements to their processes and member service levels.
Canadian provinces are represented by a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) not-for-profit association that protects the public through rigorous educational and certification programs and ensures its members uphold the highest professional and ethics standards.

Each organization includes individuals (members, candidates, and students), firms, corporations. The membership is supported by staff member and business units within each provincial organization.

The Challenge

Several individual provincial CPA organizations (CPA Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island) were in a situation where their legacy association management system (Aptify) solution no longer met their business requirements and needs.

There was the need for modernization and process improvement to provide both staff with more software functionality, automation, and all necessary tools to improve business decisions and provide members with better services by utilizing innovative digital online platforms.

Some key challenges included:

  • Preparation and execution of individual member billings was a very arduous and labor-intensive process. The process involved running custom scripts and took months to prepare.  The effort association with individual members then caused a downstream effort whereby Firm renewals could not be processed in a timely basis.
  • CPD reporting and management was arduous and not member friendly.
  • Various processes (CPD, member renewals, events, etc) were managed in numerous supplemental spreadsheets (in addition to the Aptify database). Numerous manual processes were being executed outside of the legacy system.
  • Hands were somewhat tied when it came to making process/system changes as they were part of and reliant on a Nationally hosted/shared central system. They did not have the flexibility to make the necessary changes to modernize their processes and supporting systems to meet the changing expectations of their membership.
  • The quality of the data in the legacy database impacted database performance, process workflow and reporting.

Solution

Several CPA organizations selected iMIS EMS as their preferred solution to move away from Aptify.  This included CPA Saskatchewan, CPA Manitoba, CPA Newfoundland, CPA New Brunswick, and CPA Prince Edward Island. 

Leadership within each province viewed this as an opportunity to make some significant transformative improvements to their processes and member service levels.  

Bursting Silver was selected as their implementation partner of choice.  Given that each of the provincial organizations were governed varying by-laws, procedures, and governance, a decision was made that new business solution would be rolled out to each individually.  A base configuration of common elements (such as pre-configurations, dashboards, reports, process flows, website elements) of the organizations were shared with each organization.

Some of the key project highlights in which BSI and the various CPA staff worked closely together include:

  • Major processes and online forms for Members and Firms were redesigned and improved for online Admission, Renewal, Suspension, Termination, Reinstatement, Readmission along with their supporting review processes:
  • Robust, member-friendly online portals were created and tailored for individuals and firms by leveraging the iMIS RiSE content management system. The new sites provided an easy-to-use, intuitive way for members to renew their dues, update their CPD, register for events, and update the profiles.
  • BSI introduced an intuitive Progress Tracker that walks member through an easy-to-understand billing renewal and member declaration process. Dynamic business logic and intuitive online forms were configured to simplify the numerous billing options. Working closely with our clients, a billing fee calculator was designed to ensure the accuracy of the fee schedule for members and firms.  Overall, there was a dramatic reduction in the manual preparation / execution of member billings for CPA staff and represented a major simplification for members. 
  • A mass suspension / termination iPart was developed to dramatically reduce the time and effort to administer this process – resulting in more timely member communications and staff time savings.
  • The iMIS Events module was implemented and configured to accommodate the CPA CPD Passport program. This is a way for individuals to register for courses, pay in bulk, receive applicable discounts, and then use their “passport” for online or in-person courses.  This was all handled with the iMIS Events module without the need for any customization. 
  • BSI developed a special “Multi-Ticket” Event Module for CPA’s unique event management needs for certain events. This functionality allows designated members to register their colleagues/guests for events.  This is especially useful for events such as convocations and where table assignments are required.  This functionality was configured using out-of-the-box cloud-friendly tools and without the need for custom-code that would compromise the upgrade path.
  • The iMIS Fundraising module was implemented to support the CPA Manitoba Foundation.
  • BSI’s Case Management module was implemented to track its conduct and disciplinary matters. Cases are no tracked outside the core CRM solution as in the past.  iMIS Security was leveraged to ensure that access to this information was limited.
  • Other processes and modules that were fully implemented included the iMIS Finance, Committees, and Advanced eMail Marketing. The solution was also configured to manage the complaints process.
  • WebScribble was implemented to support CPA Manitoba’s job board requirements and integrated via SSO with iMIS EMS, allowing members to use the service to upload a resume and apply for the job and employers to post jobs without reaching out to CPA Manitoba Staff, which made the entire process fully automated and improved member experience but also eliminated manual processes previously completed by Staff.
  • Dashboards were configured for events, dues/billing, and fundraising.
  • Data from Aptify and numerous Excel-based spreadsheets were migrated to iMIS. The team went through several iterations to normalize, clean and map the data to the new data structure that supported CPA data requirements and supporting processes. Member types were consolidated, and duplicate accounts were removed.
  • Public site were transitioned to iMIS RiSE simplifying the technology footprint and maintenance of the sites. The “Find a CPA” feature on the new website was supported by complex IQA’s that defined/extracted the valid results (based on license, etc)
  • A full-training program was rolled out over the course of the project. Users were involved throughout the implementation process where they learned about iMIS via Design workshops, individual and group training sessions, and the iMIS Learning Hib.

Benefits

  • Dramatic reduction of billing cycle preparation and execution – from months to just a few hours.
  • Provided an ability to pull out critical data and reports within a matter of minutes
  • CPD processes simplified for members and have reduced time to manage the program. Members can self-declare CPD credits throughout the year and request exceptions.
  • Eliminated silos of Information from various sources (Aptify, Excel) into one source of truth and supported by common processes.
  • No longer reliant on a central system that served several tenants – CPA organizations now has the flexibility to make configuration changes based on their requirements and processes to serve their members.
  • Hosted in a secure, stable, and managed Microsoft Azure infrastructure
  • Over 95% of the solution leveraged the iMIS EMS platform without the need for custom development effort.

 

BSI continues to work with these clients to support their day-to-day business operations.  We are also working closely with several new CPA organizations that have joined the fold in their journey to transition to the iMIS for CPAs solution.

Timeline

The timeline of each of the provincial projects ranged from 6-10 months.  Several the projects overlapped and required advanced planning and complex coordination.  This is a testament to BSI’s deep bench strength and skill.  Each of the solutions were launched and successfully supported the upcoming dues renewal season.

Next Steps

To learn more about how Bursting Silver can help your company, please contact us here.