The National Childbirth Trust has introduced a new internet-based accounting system to simplify the accounting of its 330 branches, whose volunteer treasurers are mostly mothers with young children.
Users of the system need have no knowledge of standard accounting packages, and NCT head office has automatic access to accounts, giving it better control.
Belinda Philipps, chief executive of the trust, said the system would provide the organisation with accurate and up-to-date financial information.
"We were looking for ways to make life simpler for our volunteers," said Philipps. "The role of treasurer is a difficult one - it's quite a lot of responsibility and you have to have a committed volunteer to do it, especially as most of our volunteers have young children.
"Most of our income comes from branches, and a large part of our income is in the hands of volunteers who are really quite stressed. With the new system, anybody who can enter data and access the web can do the accounts at any time of the day or night, which is quite useful when you have a small baby."
The system was developed by the web-based management start-up Intrabiz.
Managing director Marcus de Frettes said: "NCT is our first client. We believe charities should be moving this way because it allows them to control their accounts. At the moment, it's a major problem that money that should be going to the centre is still sitting in branches. There is also a major shortage of accounting and book-keeping skills."
Intrabiz is managing the process for an initial five-year period. De Frettes said that, in addition to centralising control of finances and reducing costs, the system would ensure conformity with Charity Commission requirements on financial reporting.