Mingara Leisure Group


PA Product


  • Mingara Leisure Group is a not-for-profit operating registered clubs with the purpose of providing a significant contribution to community life.
  • Their previous reporting solution was a custom-built, internally supported solution that hindered future development.
  • Alongside Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Professional Advantage, they implemented Solver.
  • The organisation has experienced significant improvement in their reporting and budgeting processes thanks to the wealth and diversity of the pre-built reports and templates.
  • Mingara Leisure Group are looking at how Solver can progress with them into the future, including utilising integration solutions such as Power BI to create dashboards.

“Solver has so much within it already. Whenever we need a report or template, we look there first. It is fantastic.”

Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

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The Organisation:

Mingara Leisure Group is a not-for-profit organisation that operates five registered clubs within New South Wales, comprising Port Macquarie, The Entrance, Roselands, Blue Mountains, and the original club of Mingara on the Central Coast. Mingara began life in 1971 when a meeting of locals identified the need for a community club. The purpose they specified, which still stands true today, was:

To provide a significant contribution to the quality of community life.

Through this statement, Mingara Leisure Group work to give back to the community through the facilities they have available, inviting in and reaching out to the community, and providing resources to support the community.

Mingara Leisure Group has over 400 employees, 90% of whom are the front facing staff in the various clubs. Whilst all the clubs operate independently with their own general managers and teams, Mingara Leisure Group resides across the top of the groups, bringing them all together and providing support services, finance, group marketing, high level property services, and ICT.



The Need:

For more than a decade, Mingara Leisure Group had been using an internally built reporting system, designed, updated, and maintained internally. Whilst this solution was purpose-built to suit, the group identified that there were risks with using a bespoke system.

“We wanted to move to something that was externally supported. As part of this system upgrade, we also wanted a new and flexible budgeting solution that was available in the cloud.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

The upgrade to their reporting system was part of a larger project to migrate their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.

You can read our case study about Mingara Leisure Group’s move from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central here.



The Solution:

The reporting solution that was available to Mingara Leisure Group as part of their migration to Business Central was Jet Reports. However, this solution did not meet the organisation’s needs or objectives for their long-term reporting. It was agreed with Professional Advantage (PA) that this would be a short-term solution whilst research for an alternative was completed.

To ensure the needs of the project were managed and met, but also to provide an outline to PA in the early stages of what their reporting solution needed to offer, Mingara Leisure Group identified the following project objectives:

  • Integrate seamlessly with Business Central.
  • Provide real flexibility.
  • Accommodate the structure of the clubs, including reporting on multiple levels.
  • Customisable P&L, with ability to write commentary against lines.
  • Drill-down functionalities.
  • Supported by a partner that could write reports, easily provide customisations, and support the finance team.

Fortunately, before Jet Reports even went live, PA identified an alternative.

“Our Client Management Team (CMT) at PA knew that we were not happy with Jet Reports, and that it was only a temporary solution. Therefore, when Solver was added to PA’s solution portfolio, our CMT immediately presented it to us. As soon as we saw it, we knew it could meet our needs.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

Solver Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software is a cloud-based solution that automates reporting, consolidations, budgeting, and forecasting processes. Solver’s out-of-the-box pre-built integrations allow organisations to connect with their business systems such as the Microsoft suite including Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, Business Central, Dynamics GP, and Power BI.

You can read our case study about Mingara Leisure Group and how their Dynamics 365 Business Central and Solver solutions work together and benefit the organisation here.



The Results:

Once Solver was decided upon, everything moved quickly, and Business Central and Solver went live on the same date. Mingara Leisure Group began by utilising the templates within Solver, something that has been a significant improvement for their processes.

“Solver has so many templates already written: that is a real plus. They have every imaginable financial report. Whenever we need a report, we look in Solver first.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

Previously the organisation would have had to design and create the templates needed, but they can now simply modify a pre-built template to suit their needs. These templates are also present when looking into budget functionality.

“The budget functionality was a pleasant surprise: we came back to look into this and found the templates we would need already done.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

The ability to modify aspects of the solution as and when needed has given new levels of freedom to the team.

“We have so much more flexibility than before. To make changes, the process is simple enough for internal people—you just need to understand how the data is structured—or we can reach out to PA for more complex requests.”

Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

The drill-down functionality, allowing managers to explore the information more deeply rather than asking the finance team, has also provided time and cost efficiencies.

“Each manager has saved 2 hours a month with the ability to drill-down themselves. With 30 managers, this is a saving of 60 hours a month for the organisation.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

The reaction internally to the system has been incredibly positive. There are approximately 50 users across the clubs ranging from high level admin to department managers, providing everyone with planning access so they can effectively report, drill down, and view relevant P&Ls.

“The solution is easy for people to understand which is a win. Users can drill-down and refer back to an invoice which is amazing. They also know the solution well enough to suggest changes to reports to suit their needs, something that we can easily deliver on.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

The freedom of Solver being in the cloud has also improved how users access it.

“We can access Solver anywhere: our managers can connect from everywhere in a club or in the field, rather than having to travel to an office.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

A final welcome benefit of the project was the cost.

“By the end of the project, we were 10% under budget, and significantly under time as well.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

When discussing the overall significance of the project, Cathy stated that “it has met all of our project objectives, and provided far more scope than expected”.



The Future:

Mingara Leisure Group have a clear view over how Solver can enhance their processes in the future, and how they plan to progress with the solution.

“We want to develop new reports, explore cash flow, and extend P&Ls. We are also interested in Microsoft Power BI, which links straight to Solver. This could be really beneficial.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

The team may want to add in data from additional systems in the future, and subsequently create dashboards and reports, but they have no worry about how this will work in partnership with Solver.

“We know that Solver can do that, that it has the integration, and provides us security.”
Cathy Studte, Project Accountant, Mingara Leisure Group.

The implementation of Solver with Professional Advantage was brought about by the organisation migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. You can read their Business Central case study here.

You can also learn about how Solver and Business Central work together in this case study, and the relationship between Mingara Leisure Group and Professional Advantage in this client story