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School's In: TPL hits the books for the Waldorf Academy

Ah, September.

That smell in the air as the leaves slowly start to change, the days get shorter and the air a bit more on the crisp side. It also triggers back to school excitement for children administrators and teachers, especially this year after two challenging years with Covid disruptions.

For Matthew Denton, the Business Operations Manager at Waldorf Academy in Toronto, there is much to be done behind the scenes to keep the school running smoothly. Hiring great staff, recruiting motivated students and managing the high expectations of parents; not to mention the financial aspects of the business.

Fortunately for Matthew, he has the support of The Profit Line, helping him manage the accounting piece of the pie so he can focus on delivering the best overall experience to his school community and stakeholders.

Matthew shares a bit about his role, his accounting needs and how TPL has become an integral part of the Waldorf Academy Team.

How long have you been with the Waldorf Academy?

I was a 30 year old working in a traditional banking role that was changing fast. At the same time, I had the opportunity to stay home to raise my children, in order to support the career trajectory of my wife. The kids attend Waldorf Academy (currently grade 6 and 8). I decided to join the board, then moved into a part time support role. Now here I am, a full time member of the staff in the role of Business Operations Manager. It is the best of all worlds for me; it’s meaningful work and I am present for my kids. It’s pretty great actually.

Describe your role.

I manage the day to day operations of the school. We have 40 staff, 170 students, childcare through grade eight. Covid presented some real challenges for our school, in that by nature we follow a fairly low tech curriculum and culture. Yes, we lost some students and our child care group was greatly affected. But we are back with strong, engaged enrolment and are very optimistic about the future.

What business challenge arose for you when you needed an outsourced accounting firm?

Around nine years ago, the bookkeeper quit, and the school needed help.

The outgoing bookkeeper used very manual processes, and took all of that knowledge with them. The transition was not easy and took some time. Although Waldorf Academy is a relatively small business, it presents some unique complexities.

How were you introduced to The Profit Line?

The Profit Line was actually part of the business before my time. They have been an integrated accounting partner for 7+ years. Through word of mouth Fern and TPL were brought in to assess and pitch for the business. They were hired and got right to work. Right away, many thousands of dollars in errors were discovered. There have been a 2-3 different TPL account managers assigned to the Waldorf account over the years, but the turnover each time has been seamless. We experienced total continuity of the coverage of our business.

What has been the benefit of working with TPL?

Other than the efficiency and accuracy, I like how TPL has a prevue to other companies and can share best practices with us. We have access to the collective knowledge gained by working with a variety of different businesses. I have a finance background, so I understand what we need, but the speed of accounting innovation and technology , and frankly the value of my own time lines up to having TPL manage our accounting to our absolute benefit.

What new tools have you adopted?

We (begrudgingly at first) have adopted several tech forward tools at Fern’s suggestion. We had two painful months where Fern continued to say :”Trust us”….then it was amazing.

The tech solutions that we now use, under the guidance of our TPL account team are:

  • Plooto: although onboarding took some time, we no longer lose cheques!

  • Quickbooks: Desktop to online access for me to stay top of things.

  • Receipt Bank: great back up for our auditors

  • Ceridian: made payroll much easier and more efficient.

Based on our own experience and the case studies of other businesses, TPL delivers the right custom built solutions and results which gives me total confidence, trust and validation. I love that I can outsource the stress and thinking and I don’t have to overthink about our accounting.

I can focus on growing and improving our business and make Waldorf Academy the best decision our families have ever made.


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