Case study

A modern membership and finance management solution for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Discover how Xpedition implemented a modern membership and finance management solution for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Project Summary:

Fee processing for different billing cycles and membership levels

Partial VAT accounting

Out-of-pocket expenses app for 250+ employees

Rapid adoption of intuitive reporting and tools by users

Automatic compliance with flexible amortisation rules


The Challenge

Managing memberships and delivering charity financial compliance

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award had outgrown the capability of its existing accounts system. They wanted to move to a Cloud-based solution that provided all-in-one functionality, to replace a selection of spreadsheets and separate systems, modules and workarounds that all contributed to manual paper-based processes.

With over 3,000 licensed organisations subscribing to a range of different annual memberships, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award needed a system that could handle the billing and accounting. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award also wanted to provide an out-of-pocket expenses app for employees and its network of volunteers.

Rommel Pepple, Group Management Accountant, explains:

“The finance team also needed to be able to calculate and account for partial charity VAT, deferred income and invoice amortisation. Our requirements were for a blend of membership organisation and charity finance management and reporting.”


The Solution

A comprehensive Financial Management Solution that goes beyond just core finance

Xpedition delivered a solution that goes beyond financial management by giving The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award extra functionality for expenses and membership administration. Business Central is a modern, all-in-one system that can handle Making Tax Digital as well as automating the charity-specific billing, processing and reporting functions that The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award specified.

As a charity, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award had a stringent budget for this project. With over three decades’ experience in this sector, the Xpedition team knows only too well how important it is to define and deliver the scope within budget. We understand how important value is in the NFP and charities sectors and are always focused on providing a realistic initial estimate, to reassure customers that additional costs won’t emerge further down the line.


The Results

Efficient, accurate and time-saving finance and membership information management

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award now has around 30 Business Central users, plus around 250 employees who can use the expenses app. Training was quick and easy for the Finance team, who found the Microsoft interface intuitive and familiar, based on experience of their established Microsoft Office applications.

Using the all-in-one cloud-based Dynamics 365 Business Central solution has enabled The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to reduce its carbon footprint, in contrast to its former paper-based systems.

The project ran throughout the national UK lockdown, with Xpedition switching to remote deployment using their well-established methodology and technology leveraging on Microsoft Teams for seamless collaboration.


The future

Cost-effective integration and a single, expert support partner

Xpedition was already working with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to support Dynamics CRM and the charity recognised the benefit of having a financial management system that would work in harmony with Dynamics CRM, all supported by Xpedition. Future integrations will take a matter of hours or days rather than weeks or months.

By deploying Dynamics Business Central, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has one partner and one platform to develop its future roadmap of process automation, as the organisation continues to evolve to meet the needs of young people in a fast-changing world.

Rommel Pepple says:

 “We’re planning a full review of every member organisation to deepen our insight into what our customers and partners need. We’ll need both financial and CRM information: now that we have Business Central, we’ll be able to access and analyse it all efficiently and accurately from within our team.”

Rommel Pepple, Group Management Accountant, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Xpedition’s experience in the charity sector and proven expertise in providing exactly the right functions and processes with Microsoft Dynamics Business Central gave us confidence that they could deliver on time and on budget. The team understood the demands of our membership model and worked with us to build a solution that will fulfil our current and future needs.”

Kate Emmas / Financial Controller, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

About The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity works with organisations across the UK to help young people aged 14-24 gain essential skills, experience, confidence and resilience to successfully navigate adult life.

The charity licenses and supports schools, colleges, youth groups and young offender institutions to run The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programmes for their young people.

Millions have transformed their lives through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award since its launch in 1956. Award programmes demand participation in four areas: Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition, with an additional Residential section at Gold level.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award wants every young person in the UK to be able to access its benefits. Around 300,000 young people enrol on a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme annually – the charity is working to increase this number by 50,000 and achieve at least 20% participation from young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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About Xpedition

With 20 years’ experience as a Microsoft Solutions Partner and more than 630 Dynamics 365 projects successfully delivered, Xpedition is one of the UK’s leading and trusted Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation partners serving the charity sector.

Our Microsoft certified consultants have deep experience of implementing Dynamics 365 across a range of different charity organisations: helping ambitious organisations reimagine their digital strategies with modern cloud technologies.

To find out more about Xpedition and how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can benefit your organisation, contact one of our experts today.

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