SaaS Brief

MemberClicks Reforecasts for COVID-19 in Just 2.5 Weeks with Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning

When the COVID-19 pandemic upended financial forecasts for 2020 and beyond, MemberClicks was ready.

The software vendor had adopted Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning in mid-2019 to replace Excel-based budgeting, and it put its powerful new software to work to reforecast the business across dozens of revenue and cost scenarios.

“When COVID-19 hit, Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning gave us the ability to model in real time and reforecast the entire business in just two and a half weeks,” as Brent Stringer, senior director of finance and accounting, says in our new MemberClicks customer success story.

“It was invaluable,” Stringer added. “I couldn’t have done it in Excel, even if I worked 12 hours a day.”

Scenario Modeling for Informed Decisions

Robust scenario modeling and what-if analysis in Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning were instrumental for business adaptation at MemberClicks, which provides software to more than 3,000 professional and trade associations, chambers of commerce, nonprofits, and other member-based groups across North America.

Using both Budgeting and Planning and core Sage Intacct accounting, the Atlanta-based SaaS vendor had accurate, timely data for informed decisions. For example, it put certain initiatives on a temporary hold. When the reforecast was finalized, MemberClicks had actually forecast an increase in EBITDA.

MemberClicks’ reforecasting presentation at a board meeting was “very well received” in terms of both the package presented and the ability to address questions based on trusted data. “We were able to present a conservative forecast based on reasonably expected scenarios,” Stringer said.

A 60% Reduction in Budgeting Workload

The rapid reforecasting reflects ease of use and native integration between Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning and the core GL platform that Stringer first experienced when putting together the 2020 budget beginning in October 2019.

Stringer estimates he eliminated 60% of his previous Excel-based budget preparation workload with Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning. For example, automated currency conversions in Sage Intacct relieved Stringer of the chore of manually converting between Canadian and U.S. dollars for a Canadian subsidiary.

“Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning has allowed me to move more quickly, be more efficient with my time, and turn around deliverables much faster,” Stringer said. “I’m able to put my time to use within the analytical functions of the organization, helping to make sure we’re making the right decisions and driving the best results we can.

That’s a sea change from past burdens of Excel-based budgeting. As Stringer tells it, he had to spend most of an 8-hour drive from Atlanta to Florida for a Thanksgiving getaway a few years back reworking an Excel budget file to accommodate late changes and still make a Monday deadline.

“If I’d had Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning, I could have enjoyed my ride in the car rather than working in Excel,” Stringer said. “That’s one of those things that you never forget.”

In his first budget season with Sage Intacct, Stringer didn’t need to spend four to six weeks preparing an Excel template file before kicking off the budget process. With improved efficiency, Stringer had roughly twice as many meetings with function leads to fine-tune the budget to a degree not possible in the Excel days.

Bridging the Gap Between Finance and Operations

MemberClicks uses the headcount feature in Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning to more precisely calculate costs, salary increases, bonuses, and more based on an employee’s date of hiring — a critical detail that’s impractical to incorporate into Excel. “It’s more than just time savings — it’s also greater accuracy,” Stringer said.

And the company has gained new insights into the operational value of its spend. For example, Stringer worked closely with MemberClicks’ VP of engineering on cost line items such as third-party vendor software and services. Now MemberClicks can better assess cost vs. benefits of a given software application, identify cost trends, and potentially explore more cost-effective options.

“It’s helping us bridge the operational part of the business and the financial impact of those operations,” Stringer said. “If a cost is increasing 10% a month, we can identify that trend and size up whether we’re getting 10% more operational benefit from that vendor.”

A $200,000 Annual Savings with Sage Intacct Accounting

MemberClicks’ new budgeting system builds on its success with the main Sage Intacct cloud financial management platform, which in 2018 replaced an unwieldy hodgepodge of six disparate systems, several of them the result of acquisitions.

With Sage Intacct, MemberClicks eliminated tedious, error-prone manual work on consolidations, revenue recognition, bank reconciliations, and currency conversions. The company cut its monthly close time from up to 20 days to just four, freeing time for higher-value analytics and reporting. And it’s saving in the neighborhood of $200,000 annually in time, effort, and resources.

“Sage Intacct has opened up a whole new world for us and we’re saving over $200,000 a year in overhead as a result,” Stringer said. “We've been able to reinvest that money, effort, and energy into revenue generation and growing our business.”

Learn more about how MemberClicks has benefited from Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning in the full customer success story.

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