We love working with

Community Money Advice

Community Money Advice (CMA) is a national charity committed to supporting churches and community groups who have a passion to help people overcome their money problems. We have worked with CMA for over 9 years now, initially supporting their Case Management Software before being asked to rebuild their website.

With us for a long time

9+ years of partnership


Many projects undergone & ongoing

Several bespoke & custom build projects


See for yourself


Money Advice for those who need it the most

Community Money Advice (CMA) is a national charity who are dedicated to helping people overcome debt problems. They have hundreds of centres across the UK which every year helps thousands of people from all walks of life, by providing free debt advice and support. Their debt advisors also assist people with their ongoing budgeting plans, to ensure they have the resources and advice they need to remain debt-free in the future.

The challenge of this website was the number of audiences it had to cater for – from people looking for financial advice, to those wanting to get trained at providing it, with potential investors and funders in-between.

The site is structured around meeting the unique needs of those audiences.

We developed a bespoke booking system for their event management.

Alongside this, we also provided a shop facility for the products and publications CMA produces.

We have also made a custom search facility where users can easily locate their nearest centre.

We met the 3 weeks deadline at the end of the project, and are very proud of the functionality we achieved in this time.


Catalyst is CMA’s debt management tool, enabling them to support the many thousands of people they work with, to help them manage their debts.

We took over this project in 2015 and have added lots of features and developments.

And launched in Q1 of 2024 is the ground up rebuild of the Catalyst project. This rebuild includes a new UX design, strategic planning and an entirely new back end (PHP with Yii) and front end (React.js), both communicating with each other via an Api interface, allowing staff & volunteers to help people faster.

Training Test 

CMA needed an online training test and certification system for debt advisors who complete CMA training days. As a result, we created a solution that allows CMA staff to manage multiple-choice based tests, manage training days, associate tests to training days, and subsequently assign debt advisors to training days so that they can take the test most relevant to them.

Because tests, questions and multiple-choice options can change at any time, each one keeps a full version history of changes, and every test attempted by a debt advisor maintains a complete audit trail of answers and results. This way we can be sure that we are accurately representing which tests, questions, and answers were presented to the debt advisor and how they responded to each question.

Under the Hood

As part of the 2024 update project:

  • Needed to run on PHP 8+
  • Move away from CakePHP to use the Yii framework
  • Large historic development list, to be incorporated wherever possible
  • Make new developments a lot easier to implement
  • Improve developer experience
  • New UX and workflows
  • Added automated testing
  • Migrated all the legacy data across to the new system, with as little downtime as possible

Why we think

This project is sexy

Catalyst comprises a large codebase and database system which contains lots of complex processes – however these are presented in a simple-to-use system for CMA’s advisers who just need something that’s quick, reliable & with an easy to use interface.

It’s very much an ongoing project, with updates & new elements being added all the time.

However, from our perspective, one of the best things about the Catalyst project is that all the development work is for those people who are struggling with debt issues… and by us working in partnership with CMA, in a some small way we’re hopefully helping them see a brighter future

What is it like to work day-to-day with the team?

“They are excellent at out of the box and solution focused thinking with a real ‘can-do’ approach and a determination to find a way to get the job done as requested.”

Heather Keates – CMA’s founder and CEO

“Working with Practically.io has been so easy and unstressful.”

Anything to add?

“[Practically] are always very efficient, excellent at communicating in non-tech speak and able to ask the right questions to get to the solution. The quality of work is always high and are always genuinely interested in what we are doing. They get involved at more than simply a development level which has grown and strengthened our working relationship over the years.”