Circus Starr are a touring circus troupe that provide entertainment for thousands of disadvantaged, disabled and vulnerable children. As a not for profit organisation, they ask businesses to donate the price of tickets for their shows, enabling thousands of children to enjoy the fun of the circus.
Managing cash flow is an important part of the business and Fundraising Director – Michelle Crossley is responsible for the day-to-day accounts. Previously they used Sage 50 Accounts alongside a separate ticketing programme, but with the generous number of tickets and donations, they often found they were doing things twice and came to realise they needed a solution that would meet more complex business requirements.
When Circus Starr approached us and explained their issues it was apparent they needed to upgrade to Sage 200. All their pain points were classic signs of a business that had outgrown the functionality of Sage 50 and needed a system with greater flexibility, functionality and capacity.
Having moved to Sage 200 Online, Michelle says: “Sage cut our workload significantly. We used to have to work out the VAT on ticket sales in the ticketing system and then add it to Sage.
“Now we just click a few buttons and it is all done in one go. We can’t believe the difference it has made. And, of course, having one system instead of two is cheaper and that’s important to us.”
Having a cloud based solution allows Circus Starr to access data on the move and the flexible nature of Sage 200 Online means they can scale up or down their modules and users depending on their business needs. Already being familiar with Sage software helped make the transition easy, but Michelle says she’s now finding she can do more than ever.
“I’m using things like prepayments and accruals, without really thinking about it.” And she’s confident Circus Starr will continue to discover new benefits as they continue to learn more about the power of Sage 200 Online: “I’m sure we’ll keep finding new things that we can do with it that will save us time and work”.
Part of Circus Starr’s success is down to the fact that they make it easy for small businesses to give back to their community through small donations. This means that they deal with hundreds of thousands of small transactions and payments, so need a simple to use and robust way to manage these donations. Their confidence that the system could deal with the many thousands of invoices and 40,000 customers was their primary reason for choosing Sage 200 Online.
“Sage 200 Online’s advanced reports have been customised especially to fit our needs and have been invaluable, as we are unique in what we do and the way we operate. Being able to access Sage 200 Online via a browser means that updates are automatic so we can see exactly where the sales are at any point in time.”
Sage Business Partner, Solutions for Accounting helped Circus Starr with the consultation, implementation and training of Sage 200 and continues to support them. Michelle says, “The support team are excellent. If there is anything I don’t understand I know I can email them and they will get straight back to me with any advice I might need.”
Although initially nervous about making the change from an established software system, Circus Starr are glad they took the plunge as it has helped to reduce costs and streamline systems, to ensure the smooth running of their business.