Glyndebourne Opera


Glyndebourne Opera is a world famous, not for profit organisation, set up as two separate charities and a trading company. IRIS Financials has helped Glyndebourne manage its finances during a period of change and deal with changing VAT regulations.

Fast and cost effective implementation

IRIS Financials was live at Glyndebourne after just two months. The smooth implementation was followed by a ‘train-the-trainer’ style programme to help staff learn how to use the system. IRIS Financials trained one member of staff who rolled out training across the company to finance and non-finance users. The Finance Manager at Glyndebourne noted, “This worked really well, improving our internal procedures and reducing implementation costs.”

IRIS Financials helps Glyndebourne grow

IRIS Financials has helped Glyndebourne grow in size without having to increase the number of finance staff. This is partly because non-finance users can use IRIS Financials to check their budgets and resolve issues without having to contact the accounts department.

Saving time – and paper!

IRIS Financials gives Glyndebourne’s Finance Department access to ‘real-time’ accounting information and a true picture of financial performance at all times. Its flexibility has also helped save time and money. The Finance Manager explains, “We are proactive with exception reporting now, and we can identify problems in good time for them to be resolved. The ability to instantly email answers to queries is great . We also email all our monthly management reports, so there are savings made on time and paper there too.”
“We produce accounts for each of our venues for the Arts Council, sponsors and other grantmaking bodies. In the past, these accounts have been produced separately, post-audit. By adapting our ledger set-up, we can track all necessary information as soon as the data is in the system. We can then run off Tour accounts in-house with virtually no additional workload, whilst saving the fees we used to pay to external accountants.”

VAT recovery and control made easy

The introduction of VAT Cultural Exemption had huge implications for Glyndebourne. The old accounting system could not cope. With IRIS Financials, partial VAT exemption is dealt with easily as the whole process for calculating total VAT and recoverable VAT can be fully automated.

IRIS Financials works seamlessly with other business software

Glyndebourne are also pleased with the way IRIS Financials works alongside their existing systems, including their payroll and their CRM ‘Tessitura’ tool, which manages marketing, box office and fundraising information. Glyndebourne can track sales and refunds through their box office on a daily basis, in addition to transactions from their membership and fundraising department. The Finance Manager says, “to be able to get that information into the financial system automatically is fantastic.”

Supporting Glyndebourne’s future

Another recent landmark case ruling on VAT will have an impact on Glyndebourne. The Finance Manager concludes: “We will have to rebuild our VAT rules for the second time in less than 2 years, but the flexibility of IRIS Financials will make this a straightforward process.”

IRIS Financials does one day’s work in one hour

“Glyndebourne has a complex pay reporting structure because we report as many costs as possible at a production level by allocating staff to individual shows. We have both monthly and weekly paid staff, many of whom complete very detailed timesheets, allocating their time and extra payments to several different cost centres across a range of different shows. This data can be imported directly from the payroll system into IRIS Financials, and the high level of detail is invaluable when we are assessing variances to budgets.” “Paying Glyndebourne’s tour orchestra used to take one day. Each member received a weekly fee depending on how many shows they have played. The information had to be input from a spreadsheet. This task now takes an hour as the payment information is taken directly from the spreadsheet into IRIS Financials.”

If you’d like to see how IRIS Financials can help your charity or not-for-profit organisation, contact us today.