The United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) is a nonprofit working to create lasting change in its community by aligning organizations, efforts, and resources across six counties. The organization’s finance department is helping to demonstrate program impact through fund accounting and grant reporting, but over the years, grew increasingly frustrated with their USL Financials system.
Because the software lacked a digital audit trail, they had to store back up paper copies of all general ledger entries, accounts payable invoices, and more. UWCI’s senior director of finance, Lynn Auffart, remembers, “We wanted to be able to report out to our funders, government agencies, and board in greater detail, but we were constantly behind the eight ball and working up to the last minute to meet deadlines. All of our financial processes were manual, forcing us to be reactive rather than proactive, and limiting our confidence in the data.”
Eventually Auffart and her team went in search of a more comprehensive financial management solution with better report writing capabilities. “We looked at Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), Abila MIP, Oracle Netsuite, and Sage Intacct, which was the most flexible and well-suited to our specific needs,” she said. “I appreciated that Sage Intacct would let me simply push a button to instantly produce comprehensive financial statements, as well as the platform’s ability to easily track expenses for each grant.”
UWCI chose Sage Intacct and brought on its partner AcctTwo to help with the implementation. By setting up Sage Intacct’s dimensions so the organization could apply each transaction to a specific department, project, restricted grant, vendor, and customer as needed, AcctTwo helped UWCI completely rework its chart of accounts and save an enormous amount of time. In the past, the organization only tracked grant restrictions at year-end, and the Excel-based process took at least 20 hours of work. Now, they can see exactly how much they have left to spend on each grant, or how much revenue they've collected on a fundraising campaign, at any point in time with the push of a button.
The organization also benefits from seamless, paperless financial processes. For example, invoice approvals no longer require finance to spend hours each week tracking down and filing individual signatures, since all accounts payables are routed automatically by Sage Intacct. Managers upload and code vendor invoices directly into the system and have full transparency into how everything feeds into their individual budgets.
“By giving us a better handle on our budget, Sage Intacct supports the United Way’s mission,” Auffart said. “We're able to track the dollars going back into our community to see if we're making the right impact. We know how much money we're spending on specific programs and can see the results. If a certain project's not working, we quickly move forward with a different approach to ensure we're investing our resources into the areas of greatest need. Our finance team is no longer just task-oriented; we’re much more forward-thinking, which is wonderful. As a result, collaboration across the organization has increased tenfold.”
Today, nearly the entire organization enjoys access to Sage Intacct dashboards, where they can monitor UWCI’s performance and view all their key community impact metrics in one place. Sage Intacct’s dimensions help the organization track specific expenses going towards various community programs and the organization’s monthly financial statements and grant reports are produced four times faster with Sage Intacct.
“On a personal level for me, Sage Intacct has given me a better understanding of United Way of Central Indiana. I have more time to focus on our impact in the community, connect with volunteers, and talk about our strategic plan,” Auffart says. “As much as I loved our organization before, I love it even more now because I have a deeper understanding of just what we do across all the other departments and have gotten to know them on a more personal level. I can't say enough as to how much Sage Intacct has helped with the professional development of our team.”
To learn more about Sage Intacct's impact on UWCI, please view their case study here.