Sage Intacct Receives 2020 Humentum NGO Industry Operational Excellence Award
Humentum is a global membership association that partners with the global development community to be an equitable, accountable, resilient force for social good. Humentum provides training, convening, and consulting support for member NGO organizations and clients working in global relief and development by strengthening operations functions: compliance and risk, financial management, program management, and HR/learning.
Each year Humentum opens up their nomination process for their Operational Excellence Awards to recognize and celebrate the examples of operational excellence and those who contribute to positive impact. This year, they especially focused on how individuals and teams work together to build, strengthen, and succeed with mutual support.
I'm very excited to share that this year, Sage Intacct is the proud recipient of Humentum’s 2020 Industry Operational Excellence Award! Our organization was nominated by Shari Freedman, CFO at Room to Read, and Kote Lomidze, CFO at World Learning.
I had the pleasure of accepting the award (virtually) on Tuesday at the launch event for OpEx365, Humentum’s year-long series of virtual learning events. Watch our acceptance video below.
Sage Intacct provides nonprofit accounting software to all sectors of the nonprofit industry including international nonprofits. To learn more about why Sage Intacct was nominated for this award, read what Shari and Kote had to say about how Sage Intacct is helping their organizations achieve mission success in their nomination forms:
Shari Freedman, CFO, Room to Read
Room to Read, is a global nonprofit transforming the lives of millions of children around the world through its focus on children’s literacy and gender equality through education.
When I first came to Room to Read, we were using Epicor, which is a server-based software package. We were behind several versions, and it was very clunky. The connectivity was tough, it was very slow, and created a lot of frustrations around the globe. We lost hundreds of hours of man time; and worse, created the kinds of frustrations that people would just take shortcuts to try and do whatever they could do to get the books closed. Oftentimes, a 15 minutes task would take three hours.
We had no standardized process and as a result, every country would sometimes make it up as they went along. When I arrived, we had 56,000 accounts in our chart of accounts. I met with all of the accounting and finance managers around the globe and everyone said, "We just can't work with Epicor. It's just so hard. We can't close the books."
Prior to Sage Intacct, we couldn't close the books and consolidate on anything less than just a quarterly basis. Now, we close on a monthly basis. We've taken at least a week out of the close process and we've given people back a lot of time. In the streamlining of our chart of accounts with the dimensions and our variance, we've been able to really get deeper into the detail. Not to mention, the idea that Sage Intacct could help us to reduce our chart of accounts from 56,000 to 100, is a dream for me.
We're able to pull data out around our donor reporting that we could never touch before, it was super exciting. The number of donors has grown, and the number of complex projects that they're funding has grown. Their request for information has really deepened, and our team has not grown. We can pull data out of Sage Intacct on a regular basis without any difficulties.
I think the reporting is probably the sweet spot for us in terms of where we think that we were able to leverage early some of the real benefits from our implementation and the power of what Sage Intacct brought to the table. Our management team is looking at the financials for the first time and thinking, “Wow, they're not six months old. This information is from last week.”
On a team level, this idea of being the trusted advisor to the business has become sort of our mantra when it comes to the finance and accounting team; they have risen in their own sense of empowerment. Our accounting team is no longer also just closing the books and finishing the audit – we’re able to do more.
Kote Lomidze, CFAO, World Learning
World Learning is focused on building a better future for all people through their education, development, and exchange programs. They work with individuals, communities, and institutions to find comprehensive solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as poverty, conflict, and inequality.
In the seven years since World Learning first implemented Sage Intacct, the platform has dramatically increased organization-wide visibility into financial and operational management. The dimensional chart of accounts makes it easy for our finance team to tag and analyze contextual information about projects and programs, so World Learning can compare its costs and income by grant, department, school term, project, employee, user, fund, customer, and vendor. This insight is critical to our organization.
Sage Intacct has always been very easy to work with. Our organization feels like we have a true partnership with them versus a sterile vendor/customer relationship. Sage Intacct also offers hands on and virtual training opportunities all throughout the year so that customers have the chance to ask their questions live, meet other customers and learn about their experiences with Sage Intacct, and hear about offerings and integrations from Sage Intacct partners.
Within the Sage Intacct Community portal, customers have access to knowledge base content and Sage Intacct sales engineers provide written tips and tutorials on new release features and upcoming enhancements on their product roadmap. It’s a great way to stay informed of new enhancements that can improve your accounting processes.
It’s widely known that Sage Intacct has an extensive partnership marketplace that is accessible to any Sage Intacct customer. As an intrepid coder and somewhat of an app fanatic, when I joined World Learning I was very eager to collaborate with Sage Intacct partners that could extend our use of Sage Intacct. We quickly discovered the power of platform services inside of Sage Intacct.
With the help of Sage Intacct consulting partner CliftonLarsonAllen, today World Learning has designed more than ten custom applications using Sage Intacct’s platform services. These replaced paper-based workflows surrounding new hire onboarding, budgeting and planning, and vendor management. With the resulting efficiencies, Sage Intacct saves 900+ World Learning staff members thousands of hours each year.
Our first application was tracking stop time of requests and time balances, so that way when people do timesheets, they can simultaneously see how many vacation balances they have, or sick times they have left. That made the timesheet system a well-rounded system.
Through that process, we learned how to do some more complex things. We had the problem of collecting files from vendors. We have several thousand vendors every year. Collecting W-9s and banking information was a challenge. We have maybe 500 employees, and they were all collecting vendor information. I didn't want confidential data to be lingering on people's emails.
We created an application inside of Sage Intacct that sends a portal link to the vendor's Sage Intacct portal, where the vendor can go in, enter their banking information, upload the W-9 and submit it. It gets routed to our finance users, and the finance user click a button, and create a vendor.
We also built a self-service new vendor setup portal that took that process from 30 minutes to 30 seconds, and onboarding automation that revamped time-consuming tasks across IT, facilities, and payroll. This slashed our onboarding cycle by 65%, so we can get new hires productive from day one and accelerate their ramp time by weeks.
These are just a few examples of how World Learning has been able to leverage our relationship with Sage Intacct to partner with other innovative organizations and extend the value we receive from these cloud-based solutions.
To learn more about how Sage Intacct helps nonprofit organizations working for social good pursue their mission more efficiently, please visit our nonprofit accounting software web page.
A native Texan, Joan has over 25 years of experience in the accounting, technology, publishing, and nonprofit fields. Bringing her experience as a nonprofit financial leader to Sage Intacct, Joan has been instrumental in creating solutions, and providing support and best practices that help ensure nonprofits achieve their mission.
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