The latest initiative of the Digital Public Library of America, Inc. (DPLA), a long-time Supporting Strategies client, was recently featured on the official White House blog.
The article discusses the Open eBooks project, a partnership of DPLA, First Book and The New York Public Library offering students free access to $250 million worth of reading material. More than one million students have already received access codes providing them entry into the project.
Since my first days working with DPLA, I've known they were headed for big things. Referred to Supporting Strategies by one of our clients, DPLA brought us on board at the time of their incorporation in 2013, so I've been able to watch them progress and expand — and to grow our services with them.
DPLA is a not-for-profit entity, so much of their work is dependent on grants. Their rapid growth means they have continuously added funding sources that are managed independently of the others, each bringing their own audit requirements and accounting challenges.
Impressing the CPAs
Working with DPLA's audit teams and tax preparers from the outset has given me a window into their changing needs and allowed me to recommend effective documentation systems in conjunction with the DPLA Financial Manager. The CPAs performing those audits have been so impressed with the resulting systems and practices — e.g. having documentation electronically available so they can perform audit functions from their own offices — that they have referred clients to Supporting Strategies themselves.
DPLA has expanded from four employees to 16 in the time I've worked with them. My role includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, expense allocations by grant, and processing their growing payroll and benefits payments. The controls we've built into the process from the ground up provide extra security and confidence as the client's bookkeeping needs have grown more complicated.
DPLA is a virtual company, with employees who work and live remotely. Because they've included me in events and gatherings, I've met nearly every employee in person and truly feel like part of their team. I've been honored to have such a strong and involved partnership with a client committed to doing so much good. They have many more exciting projects ahead of them, and I'm happy to know Supporting Strategies will get to play a role.