Since its founding in 2003, JumpStart Inc. has been a catalyst for economic growth across Ohio. The Cleveland-based nonprofit has distributed $50 million in investment capital into more than 100 startup companies, nearly half of them with diverse ownership or leadership, to help turn their innovative ideas into high-growth companies.

And thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses have received other forms of assistance from JumpStart and its network of partners, generating $5.6 billion in economic impact and creating 10,000 jobs. It’s a terrific success story — but that success and growth imposed a burden on the finance team.

A key issue was an aging Microsoft Dynamics SL accounting system poorly suited for complex multi-entity, intercompany financials and in-depth reporting. In a new Sage Intacct customer success story, Karen Adame shared that replacing the on-premises system was a top priority when she joined JumpStart as a new managing partner of operations.

“We looked at Oracle NetSuite and Acumatica, but quickly ruled them out,” Adame said. “Given my prior experience, I knew Sage Intacct was the only solution truly designed for finance, and had confidence that its multi-entity capabilities, strong financial controls, and flexible reporting dimensions were the perfect fit for our diverse needs.”

Dramatic Gains in Key Metrics

Since adopting the Sage Intacct nonprofit accounting software, JumpStart has seen dramatic improvements that have made it a more effective, data-driven nonprofit organization:

  • Overall finance team efficiency is up 30%
  • Budget accuracy has increased 90%
  • Invoicing is 80% faster
  • Planning cycles have accelerated 2x
  • Billing cycles for state grant reimbursement are down from 60 to 15 days
  • Monthly close times have been cut 66%

“Thanks to the transparency we have in Sage Intacct, we know where our money is going, and we can reduce our operating costs to optimize the impact of each donation,” Adame said. “Although our revenue budget has grown 60% since we implemented Sage Intacct, our finance staff only grew 25%.”

In one example, JumpStart was able to identify high costs for IT outsourcing that it hadn’t spotted while running Microsoft Dynamics SL. After some analysis, JumpStart did some reprioritization and cut unnecessary expenses in half.

In another case, “I was looking at our numbers in Sage Intacct and caught that we hadn’t invoiced one of our funders for $35,000 that we were owed,” said Adame. “That’s one example of the important visibility we just never had before.”

Better Budgeting and Accountability

JumpStart also uses Sage Intacct to help prepare budgets for each fund and monitors budget-to-actuals across all relevant programs in any line of business — or to track a single program that’s supported by multiple funders. JumpStart’s fundraising team has all the detail it needs within Sage Intacct and can easily show funders how their money is being spent.

As a result, the organization can reforecast when needed and enjoys 90% more accurate budgeting in a three-week window, rather than the previous 60-day cycle. In addition, Sage Intacct makes it easy for JumpStart to track diversity and inclusion metrics across the vendors with which it does business.

With those insights, the finance team monitors how many minority-owned businesses JumpStart is working with and looks at spend across different types of suppliers (those located in HUD zones, female-owned suppliers, etc.). As a result, employees are more thoughtful about diversity, and the organization is shifting more of its spending towards minority-owned vendors.

Such new focus and flexibility are possible when finance teams are relieved of tedious manual work and can zero in on higher-level issues and supply more meaningful insights that help guide an organization’s strategic direction.

“I used to spend 75% of my time checking the accuracy of our financial data and overseeing transactional work,” Adame said. “Thanks to the automation and visibility we’ve gained with Sage Intacct, I can now spend 75% of my energy analyzing our financial information and making operational decisions that impact the business.”

Learn more about the transformational benefits that JumpStart has realized with Sage Intacct in the JumpStart customer success story.