'Amp'ed up accounting system generates benefits

In 2019, Westcana Electric received a $17,000 grant from Northern Development through the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program towards this $34,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development

All Photo Credit: Westcana Electric

Westcana Electric successfully plugs in to Sage 100

Since 1991, Westcana Electric has been providing quality electrical expertise to people throughout British Columbia. In 2018 they realized an opportunity to increase operational efficiency and cost savings by implementing a new accounting system.

In March 2019, Westcana successfully applied to Northern Development’s Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program for a $17,000 rebate to help with the costs of hiring an external consultant to ensure a smooth transition from their previous accounting system to a new model. This shift was completed in a timely manner and on June 1, 2019 the new software was fully adopted by the company.

“We had a great experience with our consultant,” said Scott Sherba, owner of Westcana Electric. “She was very knowledgeable in Sage 100 and did a great job in answering all our questions. She provided us with all the resources we need to operate efficiently. She was a big help in the data transfer from our old program to our new program as there was a significant amount of financial information to transfer over.”

The consultant worked with Westcana staff over a period of 90 days. During this time, the consultant trained all relevant staff on each module and provided procedural documents to ensure knowledge learned is maintained and can be easily shared with new staff. Westcana employees find these documents exceptionally helpful and rarely have questions that cannot be answered by the resources.

“Already, we’ve seen many benefits from this project,” Sherba continued. “We’re saving costs on paper, approvals are done faster and our accounts payable department can take on additional tasks because they’re saving so much time. We’ve also reduced our risk of missed billings because all work orders and projects can be easily and accurately tracked in the new system.”

Westcana continues to grow and having an advanced accounting system supports this progress. Since the project was completed in June, the company has welcomed three new people, a project manager, estimator and administrator, to their team.

“Northern Development is so pleased that its investment into Westcana Electric through the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program enabled the company to quickly experience positive change,” said Felicia Magee, director of business development with the Trust. “By advancing their accounting software, Westcana was able to create and fill three positions. Now, Westcana is a stronger, more resilient business and their future is bright!”

Northern Development’s Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program provides up to $30,000 to eligible businesses for the costs of hiring an external consultant for projects that increase productivity, increase revenues, create jobs or increase profitability. Common projects in this program include accounting system upgrades, business plan development and updated health and safety plans.

Competitiveness Consulting Rebate

The Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program provides a rebate to small and medium sized businesses engaged in specified industries for external business consulting projects. Projects must focus on increased productivity, new or incremental revenues, profitability and/or job creation.

View Funding Program

Internship programs generates myriad of benefits

View Story