SaaS Brief

Investment Firm Saves 100+ Hours a Month and Creates Exponential Efficiencies

Many companies get stuck in a routine of “we’ve always done it this way.” It often seems easier to stick with a tried-and-true approach, even though it may limit any given business process.

A fresh set of eyes can help a company spot opportunity for improvements by re-evaluating current processes and integrating the latest technology innovations. That was the case at Callan LLC, a San Francisco-based institutional investment firm that was looking to inject digital transformations across the finance function.

A new controller and SVP hired in 2018, Shalaka Kachare, saw that, while Callan adopted the Sage Intacct solution in 2011, they were not making full use of its robust capabilities. For example, the firm ran reports on cash forecasting and Accounts Receivable (A/R) aging in Excel, rather than using multidimensional reporting available in Sage Intacct. Paper documentation was used extensively, instead of attaching electronic records within Sage Intacct.

“We weren't using Sage Intacct to its full capacity,” as Kachare says in our new Callan customer success story. “We needed to change our paper-based financial processes to a more automated and streamlined system.”

It wasn’t a straightforward change. Kachare had taken over work previously handled by two finance leaders, the CFO and controller, who left Callan after 30 years. As Kachare puts it, “The processes were set and change doesn’t come easily, but we needed to move to how things should be done, not how they used to be done.”

Streamlining Close the Books Process

The original move in 2011 from an outdated legacy system to Sage Intacct had already paid off with dramatically improved financial management at Callan, which provides investment consulting and management services on 401K retirement plans, pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other vehicles.

Kachare, who heads a four-person accounting team, built on those successes by incorporating more of Sage Intacct’s latest innovations to optimize accounting and financial management. Callan can:

  • Close the books in 12 days versus 20
  • Prepare RFP reports in one day versus five
  • Eliminate 100+ hours of manual data entry every month

Preparing reports for requests for proposals (RFPs) from prospects are now complete in just one day (versus five) because Callan has created standard and custom RFP reports in Sage Intacct that can be readily customized as needed.

“By tagging data with Sage Intacct dimensions, it’s much easier to put an RFP report together,” Kachare said. "That’s definitely saving us a lot of time."

Eliminating 100+ Hours of Manual Data Entry

Callan has cut out six hours a month of manual Excel work by using the Sage Intacct prepaid expenses module, and its improved cash forecasting efficiency by 40% by moving that task from Excel to Sage Intacct. Previously, the finance team had exported Sage Intacct GL data into Excel for forecasting.

Plus, a whopping 100 hours a month of manual data entry has been eliminated by integrating Sage Intacct with an SAP expense management application. “We saved a ton of time with that integration, and the process is much cleaner in terms of receipts and duplicates,” said Kathleen Mascarenhas, Callan accounting manager.

Kachare credits intuitive ease-of-use throughout the Sage Intacct platform with helping her implement improvements that are generating new efficiencies and insights across finance and the company as a whole.

“We have a more robust, yet, very easy-to-use financial management system,” Kachare said. "I don't know if it would have been possible for me to take on the work of two people who had been here for 30 years if we didn’t have Sage Intacct in place.”

Rich Reporting for More Informed Decisions

Kachare’s initiatives to take advantage of Sage Intacct reporting is paying off with greater visibility and more timely, accurate data for informed decisions by management and department heads.

“One thing lacking here was running reports to look at numbers from various angles,” Kachare said. “What specifically impresses me about Sage Intacct is its reporting capability and how you can get the data in any form you need and look at it any way you like.”

Instead of ad hoc reporting, Kachare’s team generates consistent core reports covering month-over-month and year-over-year revenue by business unit, as well as net income, fixed and variable costs, cash, debt-to-cash ratios, and more. With sound data, Kachare began delivering new presentations on financials at quarterly management meetings.

“I'm able to produce reports very easily with Sage Intacct for more visibility across the business," Kachare said. “Sage Intacct’s capability to drill down into every single transaction helps a lot when you need further information.”

View our full Callan customer success story to learn more about how the investment firm is capitalizing on automation and reporting capabilities in Sage Intacct.

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