Construction Consulting Firm Boosts Budget Reporting Frequency 3x and Gains Incisive Business Insights
When a company is growing an average of 35% annually for a decade, it’s tough for the finance team to keep budgets on point and up to date using Excel.
That was the case at Aegis Project Controls, a construction industry consulting firm delivering services and technology that have helped control costs, ensure quality, and minimize risk at more than 4,000 projects since its founding in 2006.
The Maryland-based Aegis, with five offices in the U.S. and one in Ireland, solved its challenges with Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning. The company has dramatically improved its budgeting, forecasting, and reporting beyond what was possible with Excel.
“Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning gives us great flexibility to expand our reporting and forecasting and increase visibility much more efficiently than we could have if we stuck with Excel,” as Kyle MacDonald, director of finance and operations, says in our new customer success story.
Budget Detail Grows 2x, with 25% Less Time
Aegis, with nearly 150 employees, has realized the following results since deploying Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning in 2019:
- Reduced budget creation time by 25%
- Saves up to five days in budget vs. actuals reporting preparation
- Accelerated budget vs. actuals reporting 3x, from quarterly to monthly
- Increased scope and depth of budget data 2x
- Improved decision-making capabilities for executives and managers
Aegis made its budgeting move after implementing the Sage Intacct accounting platform to replace a combination of QuickBooks for its general ledger and BillQuick for billing, time, and project accounting.
Though Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning was still new when Aegis licensed the accounting platform in 2018, its continued evolution prompted Aegis to assess and adopt the budgeting solution in 2019, giving it the unified finance platform it wanted.
“I liked the flexibility of Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning, and how we could build a model, update numbers, and have it flow into the budget without making changes to a hundred different line items,” MacDonald said. “Integration was a key factor as we wanted everything in one finance platform, so we could just click a button and sync data.”
Better Headcount Planning with Budget Analytics
Compared to Excel, MacDonald Aegis is spending one-quarter less time on budget creation with Sage Intacct, while incorporating information of greater scope and detail.
“I cut down time to build the budget by at least 25%, and we’ve got double the data in it with line-item detail that wasn’t possible with Excel," he said.
For example, MacDonald has created employee profiles that account for salary, bonuses, and benefits, and can easily filter by profit center locations, client types, business units, and departments. That’s delivering new data and insights for headcount planning that would have taken hours of reworking in Excel.
“There’s a lot more detail you can get, and it takes almost no time because it’s already built into Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning,” MacDonald said. “What's really stood out for me is the ability to sync with dimensions in Sage Intacct accounting, and then add different dimensions or groups that filter through the budget.”
MacDonald also has new ability to allocate shared services expenses by profit center locations, saving two days of manual work during budget creation and four hours a month on budget updates. It’s also far easier to keep track of employees if they split time among different profit centers.
Saving Up to Five Days in Budget vs. Actuals Reporting
Aegis has increased the frequency of budget vs. actuals reporting 3x, from quarterly to monthly, thanks to ease of use in Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning. Reporting that took four or five days a quarter is now done in a half-hour each month.
“It takes about 30 minutes of just reviewing data, and we can expand our reporting beyond just a high-level rollup,” MacDonald said. “We can see how each profit center is performing vs. budget each month, and we couldn’t ever do that accurately before."
Profit center budget managers now have access via Sage Intacct dashboards to timely and accurate data, improving collaboration across the company and supporting data-driven business decisions.
At the same time, Aegis has increased reforecasting frequency from quarterly to bi-weekly and has benefited from sophisticated scenario modeling capabilities. That proved especially valuable for cash flow planning when COVID-19 struck in March 2020.
"We had a slow-down period with COVID, and I used Sage Intacct to create and update scenarios to get a read on cash flow and big expense items that we could control,” MacDonald said. "We were able to gain a lot more visibility and confidence in our cash flow because of the budget platform.”
With those insights, Aegis had a foundation for decisions on issues such as deferring or reducing consultant raises and bonuses until the pandemic subsided.
A ‘Huge Turning Point’ with Finance Modernization
The addition of Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning enhances the value of Aegis’s Sage Intacct accounting platform, with the systems working in tandem to deliver groundbreaking efficiency and visibility.
MacDonald estimates overall accounting efficiency has risen 5x, while the company has instituted much more robust monthly close and reporting processes and can readily handle bank reconciliations and intercompany settlements that were problematic with its previous duo of QuickBooks/BillQuick.
“We can do monthly reporting on so many different levels now,” MacDonald said. “I’m putting out 30 additional reports a month with Sage Intacct that I never could have run out of the old system. The move to Sage Intacct has been a huge turning point for our organization.”
See our full customer success story to learn more about how Aegis has dramatically improved budgeting and accounting with its move to Sage Intacct.
With 12+ years of global high tech customer marketing experience. Andrew has lead global customer reference team responsibilities for generating awareness, building sales pipeline, creating customer success evidence, and growing revenue. As the Director of Customer Marketing at Sage Intacct, he is responsible for leading the customer reference and advocacy program.
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