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Helping Bard on the Beach resolve financial inefficiencies

Leadership frustrated with financial inefficiencies but also afraid of toppling fragile existing system.

“We know that there’s a problem but we're afraid to make things worse."

Bard on the Beach (Bard), Western Canada’s largest professional Shakespeare festival, was struggling with financial inefficiencies and an inability to meet current and future transactional and strategic financial management needs. Realize was asked to help Bard identify, manage, and respond to existing and upcoming financial and operational risks.

March 16, 2024
The client
Bard on the Beach

The challenge

Critical financial inefficiencies were hindering Bard’s growth, but leadership afraid of toppling the fragile existing system

Bard’s recent growth had exposed critical weaknesses in their existing financial system and processes’ ability to support current and future transactional and strategic financial management needs. Financial inefficiencies including inaccurate and late reports, reconciliation errors, and more left leadership frustrated and unable to make accurate strategic decisions.

The solution

Comprehensive financial audit and organizational review with actionable roadmap to financial stability

Realize recognized that Bard needed support in 1) identifying and responding to the true scope of financial inefficiencies; and 2) reviewing and restructuring the financial department to mitigate risk exposures.

Our approach and methodology

Realize conducted a comprehensive financial risk audit to identify the true scope of Bard’s financial inefficiencies (e.g., reporting and reconciliation errors, inability to meet current and future transactional and strategic financial management needs) and resolve said inefficiencies. The audit also identified current and future critical risks and structural gaps in five key areas within existing financial systems, processes, department design, and capacity. The financial department was restructured to address the identified risk exposures and gaps, with roles and processes clarified, standardized, and documented. A new scalable accounting system capable of meeting current and future transactional and strategic financial management needs was also implemented. To activate the recommendations, Realize conducted a health check three years later to assess Bard’s financial structural health and assess if there were any remaining unaddressed gaps.

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About Bard on the Beach

Bard on the Beach is Western Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festival. Presented in Vancouver’s Sen̓ákw/Vanier Park, the Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas, and special events from June through September, with an average attendance of 100,000 local and international visitors. More than 2 million patrons have enjoyed the Bard experience over its thirty-three seasons and the Festival currently offers a minimum of four plays and over 200 performances each season.

About us

Realize Solutions is an award-winning B Corp-certified team that designs practical solutions for organizations with complex problems in the areas of board governance, organizational development, and people.

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