An update from Nick Robinson.
I thought that a few (probably very few!) fans might find it interesting to know what is going on in the unseen parts of Morton’s setup behind the scenes. On being appointed to the Morton board, a number of challenges became apparent. Firstly, communication was a bit of an issue in that we had the staff based at Cappielow whilst accounting was undertaken by Golden Casket staff based at Fort Matilda and finally I was arriving on the scene based in Wemyss Bay. Computer systems were basic and elderly and many systems not even computer based at all, relying on good old pen and paper. Add to that the propensity for the bit of information needed not being where it was wanted and it was crystal clear change was needed.
Another issue is that the turnstiles are very old comprise two types, the youngest of which was installed in the 1930s.
Implementing change was going to be a ground up operation and further, one of the objects was to bring bookkeeping wholly back in house as the continuing success of Golden Casket Group meant that their accounting staff were under pressure and not really able to devote the time required to implement such change.
We have recently recruited our own bookkeeper, Nicola Lunney, who will take responsibility for the basic bookkeeping of both the club and the Community Trust, reporting to me as finance director. The main areas we are changing are as follows:
- We are implementing a new cloud based accounting system called “Kashflow” This means that our accounts are available 24 hours a day to anyone with an internet connected device and the appropriate log on credentials.
- We intend to implement a new Customer Relationship Management system, linked to the accounts system which will enable us to better monitor what our clients want and service those needs
- Implement a full budgetary control system which has involved building a full financial model of the club
- New bespoke systems for match day reporting including automated links into the main accounting system have been built, vastly speeding the timeframes for knowing the financial outturn of individual matches.
- We have implemented an internet based document management system and all important pieces of paper are scanned and stored online. If a director needs access to a player’s contract or an invoice from another club or wants to know how many places for hospitality have been sold for next Saturday, its all available from any internet connected device including his smartphone!
Whilst the above is only of limited interest to most fans, amongst the changes people will see in due course are:
- If someone phones to, for example, book hospitality, an invoice can be raised by our systems as the telephone conversation proceeds and be emailed to the client before it ends.
- Such emailed invoices will shortly have a “pay now” button linking to a credit card/PayPal payment page on our website
- Details of your purchase will be recorded in the CRM system
- Staff who are “on the road” dealing with Lottery sales etc., will be able to take payments there and then and arrange instant emailed invoices
- We will be implementing the new matchday ticketing system which involves us bringing in our own ticket printing system rather than outsourcing to a printer. These will have the capability of barcoding tickets with a view to using barcode scanners at the turnstiles in due course.
- We will look to implement online ticket purchasing with the option for fans to print tickets or download a QR code to mobile phones. There are, however, a number of security concerns to be overcome here plus a fair bit of research into what can be combined with our existing elderly gate systems.
All of this is aimed at moving the club towards self sustainability and, of course, a key plank of this is to have a firm grip on finances and financial reporting to better inform decision about strategy. There’s a lot to do and we will not get everything right first time but no journey starts without taking the first steps!