Nonprofit Streamlines Financial Management & Reporting [CASE STUDY]
A cloud-based financial management system offers an efficient and accurate solution for a non-profit organization to accelerate accounts payable, expense management, and reporting.
Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) is a national nonprofit leading the force to find a cure for Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that affects 1 in every 3,000 people. The foundation is based in New York and since 1978 has been solely dedicated to helping families around the world affected by NF.
With rapid growth and inefficient accounting software that couldn’t keep up, CTF partnered with JMT Consulting Group to find a more modern, efficient, user and web-friendly financial management solution.
The Challenges of a Growing Nonprofit
The finance team of CTF had been facing several challenges with their existing nonprofit accounting system for quite some time.
“We were forced to do a lot of things manually. We couldn’t automate anything or get the reports we needed. It was causing a lot of problems as the foundation, and our employees and events, grew very quickly,” explains Sarah Bourne, CTF’s Director of Finance.
One of the major issues was trying to produce reports on events because the coding in their Financial Edge system was too generic so numbers wouldn’t match up from Raiser’s Edge.
“We spent so much time building reports in Excel and had so many requests, it was frustrating for everyone,” Sarah adds.
Accounts payable was another huge issue. Staff had to manually enter more than 70 invoices each week, often taking them home over the weekend to get through them all. Additionally, managing 400-500 employee expense transactions per month was a multi-step manual process that would sometimes take months to get approvals and complete.
The entire process was time-consuming for traveling employees, their supervisors, and the finance team. It involved a lot of paper, a lot of emails and a lot of waiting.
Inaccurate coding between systems was the root of an inefficient monthly close process.
“It would take me an entire week just to get the revenue portion of the month from Raiser’s Edge into Financial Edge. Getting the numbers to match up meant manually adding them to the batch because they either wouldn’t come over at all or we would have to manually change them,” Sarah said.
The CTF data team had decided to replace Raiser’s Edge with Salesforce, prompting the finance team to upgrade their technology as well to allow for seamless integration.
“We needed something more user-friendly, web friendly and flexible,” says Sarah. Ready to make the move, she immediately thought of JMT.
A Modern, Integrated Solution for Nonprofits
Sarah had been invited to attend a JMT seminar years ago where she was first introduced to Intacct. She then went to JMT’s Innovate conference and had the chance to meet several JMT staff and learn even more about Intacct.
She was impressed by the experience.
“Everyone at JMT is so knowledgeable and friendly. You can tell they enjoy working with each other and helping you as a team, which is how we are at CTF. When I walked away, I felt like I had known everybody for years. I knew that they were the partner for the job.”
The decision to work with JMT and move from Financial Edge to Intacct’s cloud-based ERP system and Nexonia for expense management was an easy one for CTF’s finance team. JMT proposed different options that enabled CTF to work within their budget constraints.
Through deep analysis of the nonprofit’s reports and interviews with the finance team, JMT consultants designed a plan for improvements to the Chart of Accounts and reporting that would greatly improve efficiency and accuracy. Everyone then worked together to help CTF migrate several years of data into Intacct.
“They were super involved right from the beginning. I had to call a lot with questions and every consultant through the project was very patient and responsive so we were able to get things done quickly,” said Sarah.
Once the implementation was complete, JMT also provided thorough training to the CTF team.
“They went through every setting and discussed specifically what would work best and showed us how to do it on our own. It was very helpful.”
Empowerment through Efficiency
With Intacct and Nexonia, financial and expense management has improved greatly at CTF. The staff is realizing several new advantages, such as:
- Streamlined Accounts Payable & Expense Management
- Self-service Reporting:
- Accelerated monthly close
- Anytime, anywhere convenience
Streamlined Accounts Payable & Expense Management
Nexonia solved all the problems CTF was having with a mobile-friendly way for traveling employees to instantly capture receipts and enter expenses. Approvals are automatically routed to the appropriate supervisor who can approve them on any device from any location.
This alone is saving the finance team at least two days a week of downloading transactions and manually entering invoices and expenses, not to mention the time tracking down information and approvals. Employees are being reimbursed much faster now and an added bonus is having all receipt images stored in Intacct for easier auditing.
With Intacct, reports are simple to design and can be run directly from the system without redundant entry or coding in Excel. Staff can create and print their own reports on any event without issues or delays. The finance team can also distribute reports by placing them directly on staff dashboards for instant viewing or printing.
Accelerated Monthly Close
With a revamped Chart of Accounts, automated journal entries, and a streamlined electronic approval process, CTF has drastically accelerated the entire monthly close process.
Anytime, Anywhere Convenience
Having a cloud-based solution allows employees to access the system on their devices from any location. With several employees either working from home or traveling extensively, it has increased productivity and expedited the approval process.
“It was such a great experience working with JMT. They make you feel like family and were willing to help us even when it probably wasn’t their job to do so. I would highly recommend them as an excellent partner for the nonprofit community,” adds Sarah.
Is your nonprofit looking for a more efficient and accurate financial management solution to handle the challenges of a growing organization? Get the free guide to for nonprofit CFOs: 21 Questions Every Nonprofit CFO Must Ask When Evaluating Financial Management Solutions.