DIVVY CASE STUDY
Helping The Life Link help others with Bill.com and Divvy
with Christy Oneil
The Life Link is a nonprofit founded in 1988 based in Santa Fe, New Mexico that provides programming for housing, mental health, substance abuse, addiction and human trafficking.
STARTED USING DIVVY
STARTED USING BILL.COM
“I’m really glad that Bill.com and Divvy can handle our complexity. We’re special, but Bill.com and Divvy give us what we need.”
- All expenses and AP management on paper
- No budgeting or way to control where spending was happening
- 10 days for month-end close
- Fully digital organization
- Set budgets and GL codes for every transaction
- One day to close every month
Founded in 1988, The Life Link is a nonprofit serving the Santa Fe, New Mexico area that provides programming for housing, mental health, substance abuse, addiction, and human trafficking. “We actually go out under the bridges and into homeless encampments and say to our clients, ‘let us help you.’” Christy ONeil is the Chief Financial Officer at The Life Link and loves that her career in accounting has brought her more meaning and purpose. “I love doing accounting work for nonprofit companies, because there’s more of a heart and meaning when you work for a nonprofit.”
“I love doing accounting work for nonprofit companies, because there’s more of a heart and meaning when you work for a nonprofit.”
From housing vouchers, to substance abuse, anti-human trafficking, and mental health services, the care and support The Life Link provides their community is truly invaluable. But as their needs grow, so does the budget to provide all these resources. “When I started, we were at a $3 million budget. Now, we’re about right now, we’re on a $7 million budget. So we have grown a lot.”
With an increased budget, the complexity of their financial needs also increased. That’s when The Life Link needed a little help of their own. That’s when they turned to Bill.com and Divvy.
When Christy joined The Life Link nearly six years ago, she said everything was done on paper. The same director that founded the non-profit back in 1988 was also their CFO and still running things in a manual way. “I have paper anxiety!” says Christy. “We had paper flowing through our operations everywhere and I was doing everything myself. With 70 people on staff, everything was on paper. I couldn’t keep up with the filing. It was horrible.”
Christy was spending so much time on manual accounting processes that she had little time to focus on the strategic part of the job she loves. Then the pandemic hit in 2020 and the necessity to work remote while still getting work done was what finally made The Life Link make the switch to digital.
At the time, they were already using another expense management system. Christy knew it was going to be too hard to try and switch solutions and train her staff. But she was quick to change her mind. “I realized in a lot of ways [Divvy] is better than [the other system].” Before Divvy, everyone had access to each other’s cost centers and accounts, which caused problems when her staff didn’t know where to categorize their expenses.
“With Divvy, I cut down the choices. I set up our budgets and gave people less choice. Which is really great.”
The process became even more difficult when she would have to rename the different GL codes for her employees to know which ones to select and then change them back when it was time to export the month’s expenses. “With Divvy, I cut down the choices. I set up our budgets and gave people less choice. Which is really great.”
Now The Life Link has 15 Divvy cardholders and Christy can see exactly where and how their money is being spent. “When we used paper statements and receipts, I had to be very careful with who had access to the credit card, because I had to make sure they kept receipts,” said Christy. “With Divvy, I have a record of every transaction, so everyone who needs a card gets one. Which allows us to help more of our clients at a moment’s notice.”
And with mobile receipt upload, Christy no longer has to chase down paper receipts or manually send out reminder emails. “I like the fact that Divvy emails them once a week and tells them to attach a receipt.” Since then, she has cut her expense reporting and reconciling down to less than an hour a week.
Christy is even more grateful to save time and labor on other AP processes with the help of Bill.com. Her month-end close went from 10 days down to one day. Best of all, Christy and her team are also saving time on their approvals. Before, it took approvers an hour and a half to sign them all, now they can just quickly click through and sign off. “I initially was concerned that Bill.com wouldn’t be able to handle the complexity of our business — especially our check volume. But it can.”
Her month-end close went from 10 days down to one day.
And the integration with QuickBooks Desktop is a lifesaver for a complex nonprofit like The Life Link “Fortunately the integration between QuickBooks Desktop and Bill.com is seamless. You just click a button and data goes right in QuickBooks.”
Christy’s “paper anxiety” has nearly disappeared. “My desk was the most disgusting thing with paper up to here. Now my auditors come and I don’t have to stay up all night wondering what happened to one bill or receipt.”
By making the switch to digital solutions like Bill.com and Divvy, Christy is now free to focus on what is most important: the community. “I’m really glad that Bill.com and Divvy can handle our complexity. We’re special, but Bill.com and Divvy give us what we need.”