OdooTec Provides Solutions for the Charity's Work Cycle


OdooTec aspires to provide professional solutions to improve businesses' efficiency, effectiveness and profitability in various fields and industries. Therefore, the OdotoTec team is always quick to offer innovative solutions, especially in those sectors that are dealt with for the first time. For this reason, OdooTec agreed to be the first to implement the Odoo application in one of the most significant charities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after the charity trusted it as one of the best providers of Odoo systems in the region.

Through this article, we will present one of the solutions provided by OdooTec to a non-profit charitable organization that specializes in some charitable work through collecting donations and establishing charitable projects. We will also present the requirements of the charity and the solutions provided by OdooTec to these requirements.

Via this article, we will focus only on solutions related to the charity 's activity of collecting donations and delivering them to those who deserve them and the mechanisms necessary. As for other solutions, such as those related to human and operational resources management, etc., we may be exposed to them in different use cases.

About the Charity

The charity is considered one of the largest charities specializing in collecting donations for specific services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The charity has been operating since 1989. It is a non-profit charity that collects donations to deliver them to the beneficiaries through financial or in-kind donations, issuing coupons for the beneficiaries to obtain discounts, or renting some supplies for nominal amounts or for free, which the beneficiaries cannot purchase. Some of these donations are subsequently redeemed using the methodology of soft loans under Islamic Sharia's provisions.

Over the past thirty years, before using Odoo systems, the charity used many local systems, which did not satisfy the charity's desire to automate all the charity's activities consistently and harmoniously through a single system.

After the charity studied the existing programs in the market, it concluded that it had to choose between the following two methodologies:

  • Relying on several multiple systems for all the charity's activities and bearing the technical consequences related to integrating these systems with each other.

  • Or adopting another global system at a very high cost.

After a year of investigation, consultation and defining the basic requirements in the system to be chosen, the charity concluded that Odoo Systems is a candidate to fulfill all the charity's purposes by automating all the charity's multiple procedures. Therefore it is worth the risk and a try.

Below we will discuss the requirements of the charity, how OdooTec handled these requirements using Odoo systems, the solutions provided by Odootec to facilitate the work of the charity and the most significant difficulties that faced the charity during the development process, and how they were overcome.

General requirements of the charity's system

At the beginning and before choosing the system to work on, the most important goal of the charity was to reach a clear vision to automate the work cycle of collecting donations, transferring funds and distributing them to the beneficiaries to choose a well-defined system that includes all the main requirements of the charity, which finally crystallized in the following points:

  • The possibility of accessing the database and using the system from anywhere outside the headquarters of the charity and not being restricted to a specific spatial destination.

  • The ability to deal with the system through any communication device, such as tablets, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc., and not be limited to traditional computers.

  • The ability of customers and recipients of donations to deal with the system, communicate with the charity remotely, and then automate the donation process and deliver donations to the beneficiaries.

  • Dealing with a single system in which all the administrative and operational activities of the charity are integrated, such as managing human resources, bank transfers, and those related to collecting and disbursing donations, etc., and then not needing integration between several different systems.

  • The charity is donor-based, so the cost factor was one of the essential considerations in the search for the appropriate system. The charity aspired to adopt a global system at a reasonable licensing cost, as the charity was not able at that time to adopt a system with a very high licensing cost, such as Oracle or SAP systems.

Odoo is the most appropriate choice for the objectives of the charity

Odoo met all their general requirements, such as:

  • All systems, such as human resources, sales, purchases, accounts and bank transfers, are consistently integrated through a single user interface so that each user, according to his powers, can deal with the system, enter data and extract the required information.

  • Odoo solutions are directed at customers (Customer Oriented Solutions). The donors can donate through the charity's website through an elegant user interface and directly influence the required accounts. Also, beneficiaries can inquire about the facilities granted to them through the site. In addition, the charity's ability, through Odoo systems, to launch advertising campaigns for the charity's services through social media.

  • Odoo systems are based on cloud computing methodology, and then users can transact through any device and from anywhere, according to the powers of each user.

  • The licensing cost is somewhat low compared to other international systems such as Oracle and SAP.

Charity services, in general

The charity supervises many charitable activities, as the charity provides the following services:

  • Financial services, which are either a soft loan with a guarantor or a non-refundable sum of money that is disbursed from zakat funds.

  • In-kind grants such as furniture, electrical appliances, etc.

  • Holding training courses for the beneficiaries, through which the beneficiary learns about his rights and duties towards the charity as a prerequisite for benefiting from the loan.

  • Providing discounts on some supplies and procedures.

  • Organizing group weddings for young people to save on expenses.

Charity's Internal Departments

OdooTec needed to get acquainted with all the charity's departments to provide solutions for each department and then prepare the linking course between the different departments. The charity contains the following departments:

Donations Department:  It is the most important section and the charity's work area, which delivers donations to eligible applicants after fulfilling the conditions, as it handles the disbursement of donations for each applicant, whether these donations are financial amounts, in-kind donations or even Discounts offered by the charity to facilitate the purchases of the beneficiaries:

Stores Department: It is responsible for receiving in-kind donations and the charity's purchases and then disbursing them to the beneficiaries.

Collection Department:  which in turn collects money, whether material or in-kind, from donors, in addition to collecting installments from beneficiaries and the subsequent procedures such as rescheduling installments for any reason and so on.

Human Resources Department: related to staff employment, salaries, penalties, bonuses, vacations, attendance and dismissal, advances, end of service, employee entitlements, etc.

Finance Department: It is responsible for the general budget of the charity, receipts and expenditures, tracking bank transfers, and so on.

Maintenance Department:   It is allocated to maintain the charity's buildings, devices and equipment.

Rental Department:   It is responsible for leasing items for the beneficiaries instead of incurring the cost of purchasing them.

Communication Department:   It is responsible for incoming and outgoing records, such as checks arriving by mail, directing them to the treasury, keeping all incoming and outgoing documents, and scanning them for storage on the computer.

Rights Department:   It is responsible for making the necessary decisions when installments are unpaid and for taking legal action if necessary.

The charity's work cycle before automation using Odoo

Before launching the system and dealing automatically with the charity's operations, the charity was somewhat dependent on manual roads alongside one of the old local programs. The quality of the work cycle was largely related to the extent of the commitment of employees to implement and track the tasks assigned to them, taking into account the inevitability of error or Forgetting sometimes, which results in delayed jobs related to the donors or beneficiaries. In addition to that, the primitive methods in correspondence by regular mail, which may cost a lot of time.

The charity's work cycle can be summarized as follows:

  • The donations are received either by bank transfers or in-kind donations with warehouses.

  • Incoming checks, whether related to donors or loan deductions, are received. Declarations and documents are also received.

  • All documents are kept on paper and scanned to be controlled electronically.

  • The requests of beneficiaries are received, as the beneficiary fulfills the data required to verify it afterward.

  • Beneficiaries are asked to provide the required papers that prove their eligibility for the loan or grant, such as having a salary less than a specified amount, in addition to a salary statement from the employer in order to deduct the monthly installment from the salary. They are also asked to have a guarantor who works for a government agency.

  • After fulfilling the required conditions, a training course is given to the eligible ones.

  • After passing this course, an interview is scheduled with the charity's advisor so that the eligible person can choose the required service, whether it is a monetary or in-kind value.  

  • Financial and in-kind services are delivered in addition to rental services and discount coupons to those who have met all the required conditions.

  • The charity then follows up on the loan installments from the beneficiaries.

The negatives and disadvantages of the work cycle before using Odoo

After OdooTec was chosen to provide the appropriate solution, OdooTec consultants first had to identify the shortcomings in the previous work cycle.

  OdooTec consultants found that the work cycle mechanisms randomly take place, meaning that they are not consistent with each other in a large way. Following are some negatives and disadvantages of the charity work cycle:

  • The charity's correspondence to and from the bank is carried out in a primitive manner by mail, and payment notices are received from the dealing parties by fax or email. The charity's accounts are not directly affected once payment movements or transfers are issued.

  • Dealing between the different departments is often done by oral and usual methods, as there is no clear mechanism between the different departments. The effect of paying installments, for example, does not appear directly to the rest of the departments’ managers, and then the debt status of each beneficiary is not known instantly.

  • There is no prior agreement on the start date of collecting the installments; therefore, it is impossible to expect the debt repayment date and know the expected cash flows.

  • Late payment settlements are issued manually at the charity's premises, and there is no automated way to pay them remotely.

  • There is no mechanism through the previous system for transferring loans to the guarantor if the beneficiary does not pay the installments due.

  • When sorting the debts from the outputs of the previous public accounts system, the indebtedness of each borrower is viewed separately. Hence, there are no aggregate reports to identify the overall flow of payment operations and to identify employee indebtedness in an aggregated manner.

  • The payment follow-up process is carried out by four employees, each according to his duties, which reflects the extent of the cost incurred by the charity with the lack of a mature system that saves effort and time.

  • There is no instantaneous correlation between the warehouses (which contain in-kind donations) and the administration. Therefore there is no instantaneous data on the types that have been disbursed and the rest of the available balance for each type in each warehouse.
  • The charity's policies and strategies guide can only be accessed through paper documents and cannot be viewed electronically through the system.

  • The lack of a mechanism within the system for notifications between employees and between different departments.

  •  The installment payments are recorded in a primitive manner, where the bank account statement is first viewed, then the amounts collected from the installments are determined, and then the fund is notified to send a statement of the collected payments so that the fund then makes collection vouchers for the amounts so that a payment entry is then issued. All these steps and the revisions they require take up a lot of effort.

All these steps and the revisions they require take up a lot of effort. 

Solutions provided by OdooTec

OdooTec provided solutions to all the defects of the previous work cycle, which exhausted the users of the old system, whether data entry, storekeepers, collection agents, or even administrators. Of course, it is not enough space to list all the solutions provided by OdooTec, but below we will review some of the solutions provided by OdooTec to automate and enhance the work cycle.

An online store to display the charity's services

OdooTec has simplified the process of choosing the method of donation and the service to be subscribed to by displaying these services through an elegant online store that facilitates the process of identifying the charity's activity and the services provided and then facilitating the donation process in a few clicks. The donor can choose any of the types of donations offered.

When choosing any of the types of donations in the store, the system will lead the donor to a path of more options until the donation value is paid, displaying the target value that has been donated so far and other information that helps the donor to choose the payment method and amount.

A special mechanism for applying to benefit from the services of the charity

Any of the beneficiaries can enter the charity's website to fill out the form, where the system displays the terms and conditions for acceptance or rejection, where a summary of the charity's methodology and required procedures are displayed so that the applicant can see them before filling out the application form. The applicant can complete the application form and wait for a response from the charity.

Pay the installments online via the charity’s website

The system allows the payment of installments for the beneficiary according to the options that have been agreed upon, where the value of the installment can be deducted from his salary automatically and transferred directly to his account in the charity. The beneficiary can also periodically pay the installment's value through the charity's website on the information network so that the balance is transferred from his account in the bank to his account in the charity. The following figure shows this.

Charity's documents

Instead of the paper system and its defects, all documents and documents of the charity sent to it can be accessed through the document management system with the highest level of organization and confidentiality.

Odoo notification system

Many procedures before automating the charity's work cycle using Odoo required instant communication between users with each other; for example, the warehouse department should inform officials of the completion of service provision to the beneficiary. Another example is when the in-kind donor arrives at the warehouse, the warehouse keeper must notify the warehouse supervisor of the donor's truck's arrival. Before using Odoo, these notifications were being sent by primitive methods or by phone as there was no specific methodology for notifying the completion of any job in the work cycle; therefore, tracking the communication between users to evaluate work progress or identify deficiencies is impossible. Using Odoo notification systems, users can communicate with each other through the system, and managers can track the progress of the work cycle through system messages or log notes.

Improvements in the Warehouse management  

The charity’s warehouses had to coordinate with the other departments before using OdooTec for warehouse management. The upper management could not easily check the inventory of each item in any of the charity’s warehouses.

OdooTec handled this by creating a warehouse record for each warehouse in the charity and entering the opening quantities for each item.

Warehouse officials can supply, issue and transfer samples at any time, according to their powers, so that the system can instantly affect the balance of any warehouse items.

Through the system reports, it is possible to view the available and unavailable items and those that have reached the demand limit, and then the following results have been achieved:

  • Reduce warehouse management costs.

  • Management's knowledge of the stocks and qualities available in the warehouse.

  • Clearer visibility and better control of warehouse management.

  • As far as possible, delivering the in-kind donations to the beneficiaries on time as agreed upon.

  • Better expectations by following the flow of varieties in different seasons.

  • The ability to make quick decisions for incoming and outgoing customers through monitoring the balance of each item in each warehouse.

  • Processing a methodology for damaged or defective samples by issuing scrap orders and supplying them in their own warehouse.

  • Through one of the system's procedures, purchase orders can be issued for all samples that have reached the demand limit.

Below is an image showing the stock exchange vouchers issued through the system.

Many special inventory reports have been designed for inventory movement, actual inventory value, etc., as shown in the corresponding figure:

A mechanism has been developed to issue purchase orders for all items that have reached the demand limit, as follows:     

The quantities of in-kind donations in each warehouse are shown in the report that follows:

Create a management system for sales

The charity’s services related to receiving donations have been simplified so that they are closer to the sales cycle to facilitate dealing with them on the part of each user, donor, and beneficiary. The services are also displayed in the store to select one of them, which ultimately leads to the issuance of a sale offer and then a sales invoice payable, which is then dealt with and tracked for payment and included in the various system reports, which facilitates the work cycle of receiving donations and stripping them to be a sales cycle.

Below is a sales quotation for one of the donors' in-kind donations.

The quotation can be sent to the client for confirmation through one of two methods:

  • If the client has Portal Access through the "Send Email" button, a copy of the quotation can be sent so that the donor may approve the document and enters the portal to pay the donation value mentioned in the sales quotation, and then the system issues a sales order and finally generate a sales invoice paid to this client (donor). The following figure shows the window for sending the sales quotation to the donor.

  • If the client (the donor) cannot access the website portal, through the (Actions) menu, via the (Generate a Payment Link) command, a payment link can be sent to the customer to pay the invoice value through this link. The system allows sending this link either by postal message or by SMS text message. 

Once the client (donor) uses this link, the client will be transferred to the payment window through the charity's website so that the system issues a paid sales invoice to this client as soon as completing the payment process. See the following payment window::

The importance of the sales payments solution provided by OdooTec

By using this solution, the charity no longer has to send an agent to the bank to receive the value that the customer has deposited or deposited in the charity's account, which costs a lot of effort and time; instead, the sale offer link is sent to the donor. As soon as the client pays the sales offer, the system generates the sale order, pays the donation value, and generates a sales invoice with just a few clicks.

Recording bank donations that were not linked to an invoice previously

Before applying the Odoo system, the charity used to record these bank transactions in the system. The charity used to receive the bank statement as an Excel sheet. This Excel sheet may include hundreds of donors' transactions. Each bank transaction represents a line in the Excel file.​ The data entry had to enter these transactions into the local system one by one and then review these inputs. This process costs a lot of effort and time (days or maybe a week).

OdooTec's solution to import bank transactions to the system in a few clicks    

OdooTec has presented the methodology for importing a payment group (Batch of Payments) as the bank transactions in an Excel sheet. Then entries are issued in the system for the total of these transactions (60 thousand riyals, For example), which were supplied to the bank over the past six months, for example.


Financial supplies transactions

Through the (Money In) module, which OdooTec developed, all these bank transfers are recorded and eventually linked to a sales invoice to end their cycle.

All financial transactions can be viewed in detail by issuing reports on sales orders and using aggregation and filtering tools to review orders related to a specific period or entity, for example. The following figure shows financial supplies for a particular period. You can open any of them for more details. 

Real-time monitoring of the charity's revenues

Mechanisms have been developed to identify, in detail and total, the charity’s revenues related to it at any time through the following tool.

Current revenue dashboard

A data dashboard has been developed to display the charity's revenues. This way, the charity knows the total value of received amounts and in-kind donations, facilitating planning and decision-making.

Challenges encountered by the charity while building the system

An accounting system for the nature of the charity's work

Non-profit charities usually lack digital expertise at the level of senior management. Therefore it isn't easy to select effective cadres in the IT field, whether with accounting or technical knowledge.

On the other hand, preparing the accounting system for charities is entirely different from its counterpart related to commercial, industrial and service activities. Equipping and automating the accounting system with non-profit charities (charities) requires accountants with skills and experience in this type of work. This is a problem that charities may face in appointing professional accountants who can draw up an accounting system that tracks the sources of grants, when and how to operate them, and so on, and then they can transfer the full picture to OdooTec to prepare the chart of accounts optimally.

OdooTec has overcome this problem by accurately tracking the charity's work cycle and ensuring that the chart of accounts effectively serves the financial transactions related to donors (creditors) and service recipients (debtors). OdooTec has also equipped the system so that cash flows are managed by creating accurate financial reports that show the sources of the charity's income and the methods of disbursing funds so that the financial situation can be reported to the Board of Directors, donors, and governmental and regulatory agencies at any time. These reports can also be displayed in dedicated dashboards for instant visual viewing of these flows.

Arabic language support

The charity addresses Arab Muslim citizens; therefore, it was necessary to implement the system's procedures in Arabic, whether by users or beneficiaries or donating customers when dealing with the system through the website portal.
This problem was overcome by upgrading to version 13, which supports the Arabic language, and this version was a major leap for the charity's work.

Users gaining sufficient experience to deal with Odoo

Odoo systems have a new nature that is very different from the local systems, as it is based on the cloud computing methodology and is directed mainly to deal with clients easily, in addition to other mechanisms that differ from the traditional systems. Hence, despite the ease of Odoo systems in dealing with, its new methodology requires professional training to transfer the culture of users to new mechanisms in dealing.

OdooTec overcame this by giving users a sufficient period for training on the various mechanisms of the system, starting with an experimental database for training, testing the system, and following up on user inquiries and clarifications until the system was launched for actual work. The charity is now proud that it has highly professional users and has reached a level of experience in dealing with the system that allows it to assist in developing other charities' systems through Odoo systems.

Presenting the Odoo interface to the charity's customers in a simple way

Likewise, the charity's clients did not have sufficient experience to deal with the charity's new system, as each of the donors and beneficiaries would have to deal with the charity through the charity's portal developed with the Odoo system.

OdooTec, through Odoo systems, has provided an elegant user interface along with a particular portal for the charity’s customers, whether from beneficiaries by filling out the application form in an easy way or from donors by displaying all the charity’s services as icons illustrated in expressive forms to choose the appropriate service that the donor wants to participate in. As soon as the donor selects the icon, the system enters the details related to it, such as the value of the share, how to donate, and so on. Finally, after several confirmation mechanisms, the donor transfers the amount of the donation from his account to the charity's account.