Jill Vogin, the CFO of specialized staffing agency TrainingPros, was looking for more than out-of-the-box finance functionality when her firm decided to move off QuickBooks.
Vogin wanted the ability to customize a new financial management platform to TrainingPros’ unique needs. The forward-thinking CFO got that capability in Sage Intacct — and it’s paying off innovative customizations that have improved productivity, margins, and business insights.
Today, TrainingPros has extensively customized Sage Intacct to handle payroll, sales commissions, billing, and personalized dashboards accessible to about 225 users, as outlined in our new TrainingPros customer success story.
Better yet, the professional services firm hasn’t needed to rely on expensive third-party consultants for every change. Vogin has developed knowledge and skills to support a hands-on approach to customization at TrainingPros, which provides learning and development consultants to Fortune 1000 businesses including The Home Depot, The Kraft Heinz Company, and Newell Rubbermaid.
“Sage Intacct offers a wealth of user-driven customization and we’ve been able to use that very successfully as our business changes,” said Vogin, an eight-year company veteran with a background in public accounting. “We've been very creative with our use of Sage Intacct, and for a relatively small company, it's been a huge cost savings."
Eliminating Dozens of Hours of Manual Work
Vogin got a jumpstart on Sage Intacct customizations when Sage Intacct was implemented in 2016 by Massey Consulting (since merged with Dean Dorton, a Sage Intacct partner).
“Massey showed me all the things we could do with custom fields and dashboards in Sage Intacct, and we’ve been using those capabilities like crazy,” Vogin said. “The entire Massey team was very responsive to my concerns of both budget and timeline.”
The results have been remarkable. Since its upgrade to Sage Intacct, TrainingPros has:
- Reduced payroll runs from a week to three hours
- Cut time for commissions management from days to hours
- Grown margin 11% with the help of Sage Intacct dashboards
- Improved cash management and visibility
In one customization, TrainingPros contractors enter hours directly into the Sage Intacct timesheets module. From there, TrainingPros can both bill clients and pay contractors, who can number up to over 200 on client assignments at any given time.
Through customization, time sheets, accounts payable, and vendor payments all link to Sage Intacct — automating what had been a difficult and time-consuming manual task involving individual invoices. "I can push out payroll in a couple of hours if there’s not a major problem, instead of a week like I used to,” Vogin said.
Dashboards Help Incent Account Manager Performance
In another innovation, TrainingPros added custom fields and custom reports to Sage Intacct to calculate, manage, and pay complex commissions for sales personnel. That replaced a manual process by which data was downloaded from QuickBooks to calculate commissions in Excel.
Time spent on commissions management fell from several days to a few hours a month, and accuracy improved through verification checks and exception management. Plus, TrainingPros built a variable commission model based on revenue vs. margin to more fairly compensate account managers.
With Sage Intacct, TrainingPros provides each account manager with a personalized dashboard for visibility into bonuses and commissions, not possible in the QuickBooks-Excel days. Along with more generous compensation, that visibility serves to incent account managers and helped trigger an 11% growth in margin between 2016-19.
“Account managers can go to their dashboards and see how far away they are from the next bonus, how commissions compare over time, and look at their outstanding invoices,” Vogin said. “It’s 100 times better than it was, with a whole bunch of data they didn’t have before.”
Real-Time Insights into Cash and Other Metrics
But Sage Intacct dashboards aren’t just for account managers — TrainingPros has made them available to about 225 users, from independent contractors up to the company president. The president, a 13-year TrainingPros veteran who assumed her new role in 2020, uses a personalized dashboard showing cash balances updated daily, along with P&L statements and key metrics.
“She can go in any time of the day or night and, in real time, see where we are with cash and the financial metrics that she's interested in,” Vogin said. “We were able to build that dashboard very quickly — we didn't need a team of consultants to come in and reprogram everything from what the previous president wanted to what the new president wants. That’s huge, being able to be that nimble.”
The move to Sage Intacct has provided new agility and scale to TrainingPros, which more than doubled its revenue between 2012-19.
“The difference with Sage Intacct is that now we’re in front of the eight ball, instead of always being behind it,” Vogin said. “We’re able to provide real-time information to management, invoice our customers more quickly, and pay our contractors more accurately.”
See the full customer success story to learn more about how TrainingPros has transformed its business through innovative use of Sage Intacct.