Women Against Abuse
“Our financial knowledge is in two places….”
Women Against Abuse is Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence advocate and service provider and one of the largest domestic violence agencies in the U.S. Founded in 1976, Women Against Abuse operates Philadelphia’s only emergency safe havens and Legal Center for victims of domestic violence. Its continuum of direct services also includes: transitional housing for families; community-based case management services and relocation assistance; a 24-hour hotline for crisis counseling, safety planning and referrals; and community education and training to help professionals, survivors and community members intervene in the cycle of abuse and avoid unhealthy relationships. Nearly 14,000 individuals are served annually through direct services, education, outreach, and advocacy.
YPTC was already providing services to Women Against Abuse when Jeannine Lisitski was named Executive Director and President in 2009. Under her leadership, the organization has grown exponentially to meet increasing demands for emergency and transitional housing, attorney representation, and services for high-risk victims. Its financial operations have accordingly become more complex. Lisitski relies heavily on the teamwork that has been established between YPTC and her small department of four finance staff.
“It helps that our financial knowledge is in two places,” she says. When their Vice President for Finance left in 2017, there was a recruiting gap of several months before a replacement was hired. During the transition, the organization was faced with not only its own regular audit but also a surprise federal audit that was examining five government contracts. “Thank God we had Your Part-Time Controller!” Lisitski exclaims. “Between Your Part-Time Controller Associate Elizabeth Williams and our own internal team we made sure that everything was taken care of and that there were no issues.
“I don’t think that I’d ever be without this redundancy, and Your Part-Time Controller in particular,” she adds. “It’s such a value for small to mid-sized nonprofits like us who don’t have depth in our finance departments. Staff transitions are keenly felt by our four-member finance team, so having Your Part-Time Controller’s added capacity ensures we can continue to succeed during seasons of change.”
Lisitski is especially effusive in her praise of Williams. “I can’t even begin to find words to describe how great she is. She comes in early, stays late, works on weekends, and does whatever we need to make sure we’re OK.”
Lisitski also praises YPTC’s managers as being incredibly helpful in making sure the organization’s finances are stellar. She has often used them as a resource, as when she asked YPTC to administer accounting tests to prospective finance employees. “We don’t have that finance capacity in-house so we went to them.”
Women Against Abuse finds YPTC’s services to be truly valuable. “I haven’t heard of any other company that can hold a candle to Your Part-Time Controller. I talk to a lot of other nonprofits that use them, and I’ve never heard anything negative.”