Created in 1999, Pathway Lending is a private, economic development agency certified by the US Treasury to provide lending solutions and educational services to small businesses. This organization is dedicated to developing and strengthening economic opportunity in underserved communities throughout Tennessee and Alabama.
In order to help underserved communities thrive, Pathway Lending provides loans and educational services for small business owners. Headquartered in Nashville and serving businesses throughout Tennessee and Alabama, the organization offers loans and resources to businesses that might not qualify for traditional financing.
Barbara Harris, the CFO of Pathway Lending, and her team prepare month-end reports and unfortunately, their prior accounting software, Microsoft Solomon, did not allow them to access financial insights or present reports the way they wanted.
Describing her team’s difficulties with Microsoft SL, Harris recalled, “It wasn't robust at all. It was very antiquated. I had to manipulate the reports that came from it in an Excel spreadsheet in order to make them presentable to the board...You shouldn’t have to do that. You should be able to customize reports for internal employees and external stakeholders.”
Pathway Lending worked with LBMC Technology Solutions, their technology partner of more than 20 years, to find a solution that offered a better fit. Barbara wanted a financial management solution with flexible, user-friendly reporting and a chart of accounts that could be divided into dimensions to reflect the organization’s business segments. The CEO requested dashboards that would enable him to see real-time financial information as well as statistical metrics about the organization’s mission, such as how many loans were originated, the total amount of loans, the number of clients served, and the number of hours of educational services delivered.
Pathway Lending reviewed Sage Intacct, NetSuite, and Acumatica before choosing Sage Intacct. Barbara felt that NetSuite didn’t offer the user friendliness she hoped for, nor dimensions in the chart of accounts that she needed.
“Sage Intacct was so strong and I was able to create the dashboards, which was what the CEO wanted badly. With it being in the cloud, it kept us from having to worry about a new server,” said Barbara. “Anytime you go through a change in accounting systems it can be very stressful and scary. LBMC Technology Solutions brought their historical knowledge of our company and they were awesome. They guided us, they pushed us, they kept us on timeline.”
Pathway Lending makes extensive use of dashboards to provide real-time financial and statistical information to all its employees and executives. The organization’s innovative use of dashboards played a key role in it winning a 2018 Sage Intacct Customer Success Award.
User-friendly reporting and dashboards made it easy for Pathway Lending to get an accurate, up-to-date view into financial management. Sage Intacct also enables the organization to budget and track statistical accounts for things like educational hours and loan originations.
“It’s important to our CEO to have access to current financial data about net assets, total assets, and cash flow,” she said. “But he also needs to know the number of loans we're making, the dollar amount of the loans, the hours of educational services we delivered, and whether we are meeting our goals and budgets in those areas.”
The month-end close for Pathway Lending now takes only two days, compared to five days with their prior software. In accounts payable, auto-population of fields when paying vendor invoices saves time and reduces errors. The controller has been able to build dimensions and create custom reports easily. With simple drop-down menus inside time sheets, employees find it easier to report billable hours to the correct project.
Sage Intacct has also delivered personal benefits for Barbara, enabling her to grow professionally and spend more time on strategic priorities. She explained that during a period of uncommon growth, “We’ve doubled our assets, so the role I play has changed significantly. Sage Intacct frees me up to be a better partner to the C-Suite. I'm able to get into analysis for strategic planning rather than doing processes because the team can handle it now without me. And that's been a tremendous burden off of me.”