Women’s Animal Center
"They made it a team effort…."
Founded in 1869 before women even had the right to vote, the Women’s Animal Center has the distinction of being the first animal shelter and the first formal animal adoptions program in the U.S. The humane movement had arrived in the U.S. only three years earlier, and the organization’s founders believed that a system that would decrease the number of animals running in the streets of Philadelphia was critical to building a more caring community. A century-and-a-half later, the society, now located in suburban Bensalem, Pa., offers a shelter and adoption program for homeless animals, a nationally-accredited animal hospital, dog training classes, and community education programs. In the tradition of founder Caroline Earle White, the Board of Directors is 100% comprised of women who are leaders in the community.
When Catherine Malkemes was named CEO in 2012, she was already familiar with Your Part-Time Controller from her years as Executive Director of Member Relations for Philadelphia’s public broadcasting station WHYY. She was also aware of YPTC’s commitment to the community: for many years, YPTC staff have volunteered to man the phone lines during WHYY’S fund drive telethons.
“I have a background in nonprofit management. I identified pretty quickly that Women’s Humane Society had accounting needs,” she recalls. “I was new in my position. I reached out to YPTC to explain the situation, and the rest is history.” She asked YPTC for help in closing out the books each month, preparing for the audit, and updating accounting processes.
YPTC helped the society to restructure its accounting systems, creating a clear chart of accounts across various departments and implementing consistent bookkeeping procedures. An inventory system was established for the veterinary hospital.
“We needed someone with the expertise to help us quickly correct some things that were in place and to create new processes. Your Part-Time Controller was able to do both. They didn’t just crunch numbers: they made it a team effort and put a lot of thought and strategy into what we needed to accomplish,” she says.
Malkemes recommends YPTC as an especially valuable partner for smaller nonprofits that don’t have the resources to hire a full-time bookkeeper or a CFO, or that are challenged in trying to find an individual who can handle both responsibilities. YPTC’s team has multiple layers of expertise to provide whatever services an organization needs.
“As the CEO of a smaller nonprofit, I also have to wear the CFO hat,” she says. “I feel confident in what’s happening in our accounting office because Your Part-Time Controller is backing it up.
“I love Your Part-Time Controller. I view them as a member of our team. They bring the skills and they also make it a point to understand our mission. To them, it’s not just about the numbers: they want to see us succeed.”