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MYOB helping Are-able better support its clients

16 July 2024

Since 1989, not-for-profit Are-able (previously known as Wdea Works) has been helping people of all abilities find work and achieve employment goals — so they can lead their best lives.  


Are-able, previously known as Wdea Works, runs several of its own social enterprises, including lawnmowing and gardening, eWaste and retail. These businesses mean people with a disability — or other disadvantage — can go to work every day and feel good about contributing to their community. 

The organisation also runs a Foundation supporting those living with a disability, is a Registering Training Organisation and a registered National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS) provider, and runs a professional counselling service for job seekers. Are-able supports communities in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

Finance manager Liz McCulloch has been with the organisation for over 10 years and has witnessed its astronomical growth first-hand. While helping more people is a great achievement, growth didn’t come without its challenges. Liz says there’s no way they'd have been able to do what they do, if they hadn't upgraded their accounting system.  

Too much data overloading system 

Saving transactions at snail’s pace 

For a long time, Are-able had been making do with an older system. And that didn’t just mean more manual processes — the overloaded system itself was slowing things down even more.  

“When it came to entering transactions, it could take two minutes just to save one transaction – what we had was no longer a workable solution”

 - Liz McCulloch, Finance Manager | Are-able

The other issue was how easily transactions could be deleted, which was less than ideal come audit time.  

“We needed something that was quick, didn’t hold up our staff, provided a clear number trail and could easily reverse transactions if required,” says Liz. 

Even though the organisation knew what they needed, it took them a while to find the right solution. Liz says the options felt limited.  

“We either shifted to a ‘band-aid fix’ solution, which might have seen us through for a bit, or the alternatives were highly complex solutions that were more money than we were willing to pay,” she says.   

However, when Liz and the team discovered MYOB Advanced Business, everything changed.

New system that can handle volume

Easy to access and plays well with others 

When it came down to it, MYOB Advanced Business had what Liz was looking for.  For a start, it’s cloud-based, which is crucial for the widely spread team.  

“Head office is where all the finance staff are, but we also have site managers and regional managers spread out across our other sites that need access,” explains Liz. 

The platform also works seamlessly with Are-able's other software for client management, point of sale in the social enterprises, and NDIS support. Liz saw that it could also make light work of sub-account level reports, with the help of a reporting add-on Velixo.  

“MYOB Advanced is more intuitive than our last system. You can save documents as transactions, write notes – it’s working a lot better for us”

 - Liz McCulloch, Finance Manager | Are-able 

500 clients, 100 bills a day – not a problem 

Streamline and automate to free up staff 

As an NDIS provider, Are-able pays bills on behalf of clients. With 500 clients on the books, any one day could see them paying upwards of 100 bills.

“Before we implemented MYOB Advanced, one of my team members was manually typing in NDIS support-related data. At the time our client numbers were small, but within 12-18 months, our numbers skyrocketed from 30 to 500,” explains Liz. 

MYOB Advanced Business didn’t just take that pain away — it also set the organisation up to be able to help even more people.   

“MYOB Advanced has essentially put more money in us by helping us branch out and provide the service to more areas.”  

 - Liz McCulloch, Finance Manager | Are-able 

With the new system, Are-able has simplified business processes and automated tasks, which means employees can now focus on other things.  

“We benefit from seamless invoice processing and data import functionality because MYOB Advanced and our client management software are integrated,” says Liz. “It wouldn’t have been possible to continue that manually.” 

Systems for Are-able's social enterprises are better connected now too, and easier to use. Liz says they’ll continue to add more integrations so they can become even more efficient. 

“We’re in the process of completing other integration projects, like adding a service module for our lawnmowing business to help keep track of jobs and automatically invoice when a job is complete.  

“Our primary business is employment, so the next step is to bring in an integration that imports our income for our clients automatically,” Liz adds.  

And how are Are-able staff handling the change? "Overall, they’ve embraced the change,” Liz says.  

After implementing MYOB Advanced Business: 

  • No more manual data entry 

  • More transactions processed for more clients 

  • Point of sale (POS) data visible across all social enterprises 

  • Sub-account level reporting available 

  • Seamless invoice processing and data import functionality 

  • Scalable and extensible, with more integrations being added. 


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