Church Organization Discovers That Intacct’s Automated Financial Processes Provide Faster, More Streamlined Reporting
While Southern Baptist-affiliated Potential Church was seeing exponential expansion in terms of membership, facilities and budget, the organization found that QuickBooks was slowing down its accounting processes. The software system previously was used to support the organization’s accounts payable processes, invoices and deposits. Potential Church soon found that QuickBooks was time consuming to use and support. In addition, the program’s IT requirements had become increasingly burdensome.
“Our team was plowing through tons of manual processes, paperwork and data entry, [and] was frequently held up by QuickBooks backups or server maintenance,” claims Reggie Alexis, controller at Potential Church. “As we adopted our leadership’s visionary perspective and looked to the future, it was clear that we needed a cloud accounting solution to stay ahead of strategic changes that were placing new demands on accounting.”
Additionally, it took the organization several days to determine actual donations across each campus. “When it came to weekly revenue recognition, we previously had to wait until Thursday to look at the total donations the church brought in each weekend,” says Alexis. Prior to using Intacct, the team had to export financial data from QuickBooks into Excel in order to match actuals to budget amounts.”
The accounting department wanted to automate as many financial processes as possible, as opposed to tactically processing data and reacting to requests. Potential Church recognized the need for a dependable cloud-based solution that would also minimize downtime as well as remove its IT overhead.
“After evaluating several top financial systems, including Microsoft Dynamics, Intacct was the clear choice for us because of its pure cloud approach and seamless integration with other key business applications,” comments Alexis. “We love Intacct’s user interface, which complements our financial management best practices.”
Faster Processes and Reporting
Just six weeks after Intacct’s implementation, Potential Church saw an immediate improvement in its accounting processes. “We saw the speed and accuracy of our monthly financial close, which now takes half the time that it did with QuickBooks, and is completely trustworthy,” Alexis explains. “Rather than constantly struggling to keep up with incoming requests for data and specific reports, we now consistently report financials in a timely manner and feel confident that we can respond to new requests easily.”
Intacct’s email workflows and intuitive interface helped the accounting team speed processing time for accounts payable by one third. The organization also was able to define precisely how it wanted to record revenues and expenses for each of its 13 locations. As a result, it can now consolidate financials for each location in real time from anywhere.
“With Intacct, it was easy to train staff at each of our campuses to enter donation figures online and we are now able to view 95 percent of our weekly revenue by Sunday evenings,” Alexis reports.
Central Data Bank Enables Real-Time Financial Transparency
Once Potential Church uploaded its budgets to Intacct, all of the information became available in one central place, where uses could immediately pull real-time financials to compare against budget figures when needed. Other benefits include seamless integration with other key business applications, such as Bill.com for paperless e-payments, ADP for payroll, and ExpenseCloud for expense reporting which further streamlines the organization’s financial processes.
Potential Church’s leadership has been blown away by the full transparency Intacct delivers. Customized dashboards not only allow executives to receive monthly financial reports more quickly and with more visual graphs and charts, they can now review real vs. projected spending with the ability to drill down into exact cardholder details from ExpenseCloud regarding how much was spent, by whom and on what.
“These monthly dashboards were easy to create,” Alexis says. “We’re able to include revenue and expenses broken out by departments and locations, enabling local leaders to analyze financial information and make critical decisions for their campuses.”
The organization has been able to make more data-driven decisions based on the immediate access to financial data. For instance, using Intacct, Potential Church was able to make a clear assessment of one particular campus, which had remained in operation despite being cash flow negative. After viewing comprehensive data reporting generated by Intacct, the organization closed that campus and was able to shift valuable resources elsewhere.
Intacct’s project accounting functionality also helps the church’s staff better manage budgets for new programs. For instance, with its annual women’s conference, the program team is able to map costs to actual funds coming in from registrations. This helps the organization track expenses to better plan ahead and avoid overspending on events before funds have been raised.
Considerable Time and Cost Savings Allows Staff To Focus Its Efforts On Other Areas
By eliminating many of the manual processes, the accounting team could take on more of an “auditor” role, rather than data processors. Its leaner staff is able to support more leadership initiatives. Intacct has saved the organization a significant amount of time, resources and costs.
“Because of our streamlined processes, our existing finance staff is in a great position to support Potential Church even as we add another ten campuses or so,” Alexis asserts. “As a matter of fact, we were able to reduce our accounting staff by one and avoid another full-time hire, saving us approximately $80,000 per year with the extreme efficiencies we’ve gained with Intacct.”
- Desired a financial management system that significantly reduced the amount of manual processes required as well as eliminated the need to export information to Excel.
- Needed greater visibility into financial data across all of its campuses.
- Required solution that could integrate financial management with existing business applications (e.g., Bill.com for e-payments, ADP for payroll accounting, etc.)
RESULTS WITH INTACCT
- Reduced time spent on monthly close by half, Accounts Payable processing by one third, and weekly revenue recognition from five days to one, and saved $80,000 annually from reduced staffing needs.
- Gained the ability to easily track, manage and report on 13 different church locations with a system that provides instant access to the precise financial information needed from anywhere
- Increased uptime due to eliminating software maintenance. Also, reduced burden on IT staff.
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