One of the most gratifying things we hear from Sage Intacct customers is how they have more time for their personal and family lives after abandoning entry-level accounting applications and heavy use of Excel.
Manual accounting work can be a never-ending treadmill that means long hours and high stress. For some accounting and finance professionals, it can mean pizza dinners at the office and working on Sundays. Vacations are skipped, and quality time with the family suffers.
Pam Bakker, the controller at Laird Management, one of the largest Burger King franchisees in Arizona, has put that manual grind behind her. Laird’s upgrade from QuickBooks to Sage Intacct is delivering breakthrough efficiencies for the business — and that translates into a much better work-life balance for Bakker and her team.
“It’s been a huge time savings for me personally — I work a lot of hours, but not nearly as many as I did before Sage Intacct,” as Bakker says in our new Laird Management customer success story. “Time savings through Sage Intacct have definitely helped as far as family time.”
Time for Vacations, Volleyball, and Football
In the past, it took Bakker’s three-person team up to 20 days to close the monthly books. Now the job is complete in nine or 10 days. Producing two basic monthly reports took up to 10 hours. Now, Laird accountants generate five monthly reports in as little as two hours. Those and other time savings have freed her from the ball and chain of endless hours in Excel.
“I’ve been able to use my time savings to actually schedule and take vacations,” said Bakker, a 13-year veteran at Laird Management. “I’ve become more involved with my two children, a football player and a volleyball player. So now I’m able to go to practices and see their games on a weekly basis.”
It’s not just more freedom for family life. Though automation and ease of use in Sage Intacct, Bakker has newfound time to better focus on her dual role as Laird’s director of HR. She’s been able to analyze telecommunications, trash removal, and other contracts to identify cost savings for the business.
And she’s had more time to document procedures, train personnel, and provide analyses for decision-making. That’s especially important as Laird Management adds about one new Burger King location each year, and expands into a new line of business as a franchisee of Anytime Fitness, a global chain with more than 4,000 gym locations.
More Speed and Confidence in Data
One major problem that Laird’s accounting team faced in the past was that it had 17 separate QuickBooks instances to manage 17 entities that comprised 28 Burger King locations. That meant a lot of imports and exports between QuickBooks and Excel, and lots of error-prone manual data entry.
“It was very cumbersome to do accounting in the old days,” Bakker said. “You couldn’t easily consolidate or reconcile ‘due to’ and ‘due from’ transactions, and reporting was a nightmare. And it was a question of, ‘OK, is this truly accurate? Can we trust those formulas?’”
Now, Laird Management has a single chart of accounts and easy multi-entity consolidation across what’s now 32 Burger Kings, with about one new restaurant added each year. The accounting team is also better able to work within a restructured business model under an umbrella management company.
“The ability to run reports any way we like has been a major improvement,” Bakker said. “We couldn’t easily do a year-over-year comparison with QuickBooks. Now that’s a press of the button in Sage Intacct.”