“Using GoCardless has halved the time I spend doing the accounts, which means I can spend more time doing what I joined to do - coaching my son’s team.”
Paul Swift, Treasurer, Amaranth FC
Find out more about Amaranth FC
When he’s not running his own accountancy practice, Paul Swift is a coach for his son’s football club in Cross Gates Leeds. Amaranth FC has around 200 members and 12 teams, with players ranging from three years old in their soccer school, to 62 in the veterans' team.
After coaching there for a year, Paul was given the opportunity to put his accounting skills to use to help the club.
“Someone found out that I was an accountant and I was asked to take on the treasurer's role!” says Paul.
Almost a decade later and Paul is still managing the club’s finances - with one major difference. Now, 95% of the club’s members pay their fees through Direct Debit with GoCardless for Sage50.
Before moving to GoCardless, the club collected subscriptions through team managers, who would bring cash to the monthly meetings.
“The problem was relying on the managers to collect cash,” says Paul. “It wasn’t ideal, so we tried standing order. Even then, we were reliant on getting the customer to sign the paper form and submit it to their bank.”
And there were often mistakes in the form such as missing digits, says Paul, or the date on the standing order would expire before the bank received the form. “We wouldn’t find out about these errors until we received a bank statement the next month, at which point that member had missed another month’s subscription.”
GoCardless for Sage50 has given Paul greater control and visibility over payment collection.
More time to focus on coaching
At the start of the football season, members pay a £15 registration fee to join the club and £20 a month thereafter for the duration of the season (May to September). Collecting these fees by Direct Debit means that Paul no longer has to manually reconcile payments with the club’s accounts.
“It’s a massive transformation,” says Paul. “I no longer have to manually check off 200 separate payments a month. GoCardless collects the lot together and posts the funds to Sage50, where the receipts are all allocated.
Simple set-up for new members
New members wanting to join the club are asked to do three things as part of the registration process: provide ID, send a photo and authorise the set-up of a Direct Debit mandate through GoCardless.
“Until the latter is in place, we don’t register the members,” explains Paul, “which gives us a lot more control. We no longer have plays getting registered and saying ‘I’ll give you the cash later’ which used to happen a fair bit.”
Cash flow boost
As a busy football club, Amaranth FC needs membership funds to pay for facilities, coaches and equipment. In 2018, the club has two fewer teams than it did in 2017, yet the club is “collecting more money” says Paul.
As well as collecting standard monthly fees by Direct Debit, Paul has been able to settle historical debts by setting up members to pay off debts in monthly instalments through GoCardless.
“Our debts have reduced by around 95%, which means we have the funds we need to run the club effectively and the extra monies we are now earning can be re-invested back into the club,” says Paul.