Christi Conner is the Controller for Spendthrift Farm, a leader in thoroughbred breeding based in Lexington, Kentucky, known for its champion stallions, exceptional breeding programs, and racing experience. Spendthrift Farm was formerly using Microsoft Great Plains for its accounting needs but found that access to data was getting increasingly difficult as an international organization.
Christi recently chatted with me to discuss the global accounting needs of Spendthrift Farm, how Sage Intacct helped eliminate the cumbersome process around producing financials, and how their forecasting capabilities have changed.
Andrew Sevillia: Christi, can you tell me a little bit about your experience with Great Plains and what made Spendthrift Farms decide it was time to switch?
Christi Conner: Of course, Andrew. We have a farm in Australia, and Great Plains is server-based, so in order to access my accountant's information, I had to log into his computer and then log into his remote server to get to his accounting information. That was quite difficult given the time differences and being able to pull that data together with ours was quite cumbersome. Having Sage Intacct helped us to consolidate all of our financial information into one concise location, and access it in real time, versus the issues we were having before with different remote servers.
I would say that is one of my favorite things about Sage Intacct - the accessibility into all of my companies. I can log on from anywhere and access any of my companies, at any time, and that is something I did not have before at all.
Andrew: That’s great to hear. Spendthrift Farm has partnered with Dean Dorton, a Sage Intacct value added reseller, for nearly 15 years. Can you talk about your experience with them?
Christi: Yes, we have partnered with the Dean Dorton for a very long time now. They are one of the premier CPA firms in the equine industry and have always been very reliable. The information that they've given us has been excellent, and they’ve brought a lot of solutions to the table, like Sage Intacct, that have helped improve our business.
Andrew: Wonderful! Can you tell me what life was like on Great Plains and how that affected your role day to day?
Christi: Previously, we spent quite a few hours each month trying to do our financial reporting, and with Sage Intacct our goal is to have it seamless and be a very quick process.
Our chart of accounts was over 20,000 account numbers and it was quite cumbersome to handle and to pull into financial reporting. Our process for producing financials involved pulling reports out of our accounting software, pulling reports from my international entities, putting those all into an Excel spreadsheet and then pivot tables. This was just to get them to work the way we needed and to be able to present them to management in a way that was understandable. It was a ridiculously awful process to have to go through.
Now, with Sage Intacct, that's going to be a very simple process for us, just being able to pull it all together and present it in a manner that is concise, quick, and time sensitive. Now we can do almost all of our financial reporting within Sage Intacct itself and not have to export it all and configure it.
Also, before Sage Intacct it was very difficult to try to do forecasting and budgeting in a timely manner for those that needed it. Switching to Sage Intacct has allowed us to provide information to those in management positions in a real-time fashion so they can actually make decisions based upon those numbers immediately and not have to wait until we get financials out a month later.
As a finance professional, Sage Intacct allows me to focus on other things that are needed. It allows me to look at our finances almost immediately and make decisions based upon those numbers in a way that was simply not possible before.