Education consultancy AphaPlus scales with Deltek Maconomy

17 May 2024 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

Following years of strong growth, AlphaPlus faced the need to support the scaling of its business with a modern ERP solution.

Founded in 2003, AlphaPlus is a UK-based consultancy specialised in standards and assessments for all levels of education – covering everything from school-level certifications to qualifications for professional trades. 

“We help our clients design, develop, deploy and evaluate qualifications and their underpinning assessments. Our work spans the public and private sectors, schools, colleges, vocational and professional learning,” explained Gavin Busuttil-Reynaud, Director of Operations.

Education consultancy AphaPlus scales with Deltek Maconomy

Over the past decade, AlphaPlus has grown strongly, more than tripling its revenue. It was back in 2016 the firm’s management team felt it needed a more comprehensive approach to project management, and a more financial approach to scaling and investments.

“Up until then, we were relying on complex spreadsheets to track every project,” recalled Busuttil-Reynaud, who has been with the business since the very early days.

From Excel to ERP

When looking for an ERP solution, AlphaPlus wanted to find a platform that could offer clear, accurate tracking of every project that came in.

“Each project has to make a financial contribution to the organization. We need completely attributable tracking and cost counting of all our time – as well as subcontract costs – on a per-project basis,” said Busuttil-Reynaud. “Previously, we set up a huge tower of spreadsheets, as most small organizations do, but that’s only suitable up to a certain size.”

Sarah Hetherington, Director of Legal and Finance and on board since 2017, recalled that the consultancy needed a system that could provide more than just simple accounting capabilities and, instead, offer an in-depth approach to project management.

And then there was the requirement for a cloud-based solution that could be used internationally, and support different currencies and regulations. “Around half our work is overseas, so we operate in different currencies. And the education sector has some of the most difficult VAT rules you'll ever encounter,” said Busuttil-Reynaud.

“I love the projects side of the platform. We can do a detailed analysis across our projects and understand the costs.”
– AphaPlus leaders

Maconomy

A vendor selection review led AlphaPlus to implement Maconomy, a solution from Deltek. “Maconomy stood out because it tightly integrates accounting and project management and focuses on ensuring projects are done well – and done profitably.”

“I love the projects side of the platform,” added Hetherington. “We can do a detailed analysis of the differences across our projects and understand where all our costs are.”

Maconomy also helps AlphaPlus teams maintain a comprehensive audit trail throughout the business – something that’s essential in a sector as tightly regulated as education.

A crucial point for AlphaPlus is that Maconomy works well alongside its existing infrastructure and cloud-based approach to working. Busuttil-Reynaud: “We're also a dynamic business with pressures always changing. Being able to easily rip data out and match it with other sources in our organization is really helpful.”

The team has also adapted the platform to meet its specific needs – choosing individual components that work well with the rest of the organization’s technology stack.

“We center our business on a relatively small number of critical platforms and work out how to integrate them together and share data between them,” Busuttil-Reynaud explained. “For example, we use a standalone CRM system, but when a project becomes a real job for us, we can easily drop it into Maconomy, and it works – the integration is really effective.”

Moving forward, Busuttil-Reynaud and Hetherington said they are exploring how their team can start automating more tasks and gaining deeper insights with Maconomy, including through the use of the exciting opportunities that come with Dela (Deltek’s AI companion). “We’re really excited by what's possible.”