Take Excel Further with Vena

Many nonprofits use Excel spreadsheets to create and track their budgets, and while Excel has many great features and is easy to use, it can be prone to human error mistakes when departments manually pass spreadsheets throughout the organization. That’s where Vena comes in! This powerful tool built for use with Excel empowers you to work smarter, not harder, by supercharging the Excel framework your team already knows and loves.

Learn how you can:

  • Get increased visibility into your finance operations
  • Maximize data integrity across budgets and plans
  • Remove bottlenecks using workflow automation
  • Performing complex budgeting in Excel without linkage issues

Interested in optimizing your organization's financial budgeting and planning with Vena?

JMT Consulting: Thank you everyone for joining us today and taking some time out of your afternoon for our webinar today take excel further with Vena. My name is lauren hogan and i'm a regional marketing coordinator here at JMT.

And we're very excited to have to have our own from JMT joining us today Megan Mendiola and Nick Renfro are two solutions consultants.

Just a couple of housekeeping notes, before I turn it over to them. If you have any questions during the webinar, please go ahead and submit them into the Q&A section, as you think of them.

We’ll save them all until the end of the presentation, but don't hesitate to submit them as they come.

Also, just a reminder that we will send you both the slides and a recording of today's webinar within 24 hours after it has concluded and so let’s go ahead and turn it over to megan to get us started.

Megan Mendiola: Thanks so much lauren and hello to everyone today and we just want to thank you all for joining us.

I know we have a lot of xena that we want to jump into today, but first I just want to take a couple minutes to just explain GMT and our relationship with them, just to lay a good foundation for everyone.

So at JMT your mission really is our business we work only with nonprofit organizations and half so since we're founded, so our entire business is really built on making sure your nonprofit achieve better outcomes to the technology and services that we provide.

We have a team filled with Members with nonprofit experience and expertise and I actually want to tell you a little bit more about our CEO and founder Jackie so.

Jackie served as a CFO herself for numerous nonprofit organizations in the New York area and had a good number of experiences with software transitions herself in those organizations.

After not being satisfied with those transitions that she experienced and implementations with software companies, she started jm T in 1991 with the sole purpose of helping nonprofits go through these software transition.

From their jm T has grown to over 2000 clients from across the country and four different offices located in paterson nashville Austin and, most recently in Melbourne Australia.

Here is just a snapshot of a few of the amazing nonprofits that we work with and just a few more here for you to look at nowhere near all of our amazing nonprofit clients, but just a few to take a look at.

it's important to note that we are not a software publisher we get to choose which software's we partner with and we're constantly evaluating the marketplace, to determine the best software out there for nonprofits to recommend to you.

Here is just a quick snapshot of all the areas in which jm T supports nonprofit organization.

And then here are the software partners that we work with in each of those areas today we're really going to be focusing in on jenna as a budgeting and forecasting tool for nonprofits.

So now moving in to Vienna and Budgeting specifically what has the budget process traditionally it look traditionally look like for nonprofits and still looks like today, in many cases.

Well, it typically involves using a lot of excel spreadsheets into this picture here explains it well.

But expose the tool that almost every finance person knows and loves it's universal and really easy to work with, however, that is not mean excel doesn't come with some problems of its own.

One of the major ones is lack of collaboration ability.

Usually spreadsheets or emailed around to different departments, with new as the finance team in charge of trying to get all the department heads to submit their budgets to you.

And emailing them back and forth, making sure everything looks good before it's up to you, then, to put the budget together.

So this just creates a significant lengthening of the budgeting process and a lot of frustration for you in the finance team excel also is prone to human errors, such as incorrect formula formulas and people editing the wrong cells.

However, studies show that finance teams still see excel as a necessary and irreplaceable tool.

This study shows that most departments still use a reliance on excel for forecasting reporting and budgeting in addition 84% of firms to stated that they keep using.

excel as an extension to a dedicated forecasting and Budgeting tool that they have implemented means they've implemented a budgeting and forecasting tool and they're still using excel On top of that.

And so, this This creates a problem, how do nonprofit finance team find a way to keep the benefits that excel provides while eliminating some pain points and errors that we just discussed.

Well, no problem just because then that has created the perfect solution for that embraces and empowers excel rather than trying to eliminate it like other budgeting and forecasting tools.

It uses the native excel platform that you're familiar with, as its main interface, and just as a plugin that allows for far more robust budgeting and forecasting capabilities.

Within are you get out of collaboration across departments version control workflow automation and more.

But I just I won't let just I won't let you just take my word for it.

I also want you to see more of an A for yourself and i'm going to turn it over to the real than experts here to tell us a little bit more about it and then show us a live demonstration so Nick all turn it over to you to tell us more about bene.

Nick Renfroe: awesome welcome everybody glad to have you join us today as lauren and megan said, my name is Nick renfroe.

Based here in our nashville Tennessee office a little bit about my background been with JMT for about 10 months now.

Before moving into this solutions consultants role, I was actually an implemented for our vendor practice so implemented around 10 to 12 clients so got exposure to different organizations sizes.

Budgeting processes.

I know the power of Vena and what it can do for your organization.

So, want to start with a bit of a case study on our test database forward.org it's a nonprofit organization in this hypothetical universe.

and want you to imagine yourself or see your organization with some of these pain points so.

time spent by the finance department and exporting data for each department, creating different tabs and validating numbers has increased significantly as new.

entities and departments get created, leaving no time for analysis also version and security have been a nightmare as files have been shared to the wrong people multiple times and the CFO is worried that people mistakenly access sensitive data.

excel workbooks aren't expanding and so as the amount of data contains as a result, performance issues are being encountered and files are crashing repeatedly.

And lastly, the limitations of excel do not allow for accurate and granular planning within the constraints of the worksheets This leads the formula error is broken references in too much time spent on template and report maintenance, so I.

would imagine that we are all pretty versed in excel and use it for the different processes of our business and i'm sure, each of us can imagine.

Your work or your organization or your finance team, or even yourself happy to deal with one of those pain points and if that's the case, then a might be a good solution for your organization.

So what Vena is going to do is it's going to build a data integration process and this scenario to pool the actual data from sage intact, where you can analyze that in your template.

it's going to build these templates that are connected to the cloud database, so that you can use one template for all your employees all your departments, but that are leveraged with user permission and workflows.

That grant the right level of access to each of the users.

And then lastly we're just going to build centralized templates and reports that use Vena choose functionality to access the different subsets of the data now i'm going to show you a little bit how we can use supporting tabs to automate the calculation that goes into certain GL.

So i'm going to go ahead and share my screen.

And let's dive right in to the platform.

So Unlike most other FP&A tools, this is not one that is done as executable from your desktop it's not run as application all it requires is that you have Internet access web browser and that you have excel on your local device and, as you can see, on my screen I logged into the database.

Just like I would any other system so i'm just going to choose my.

My login.

click login here.

And now I am in my Vena system So the first thing I want to show you is our process workflow so.

As the manager user I am responsible for setting up this workflow and you can see, I have my start and end nodes and everything that is in the middle, is completely customizable to your organization.

Each of these nodes to these blocks, if you will represent a different part of your unique process.

So whatever the steps are whatever the task are that are required to get your budget from start to finish, we can build in here, and you will be able to have that visibility and approvals every step of the way.

So I started here, you can see, one of the first tasks, I have is my op X input that's isolated by department, and I can see here the.

Employees within my organization that are responsible for that, along with the supporting workers who are going to be providing support to this task as well.

i've got the option to configure the dates on when this is do whether that's a static date or a smart date that automatically generates after a given variable.

And i've got the option to put any instructions in here, so I said, please add comments to all your inputs.

And then i've got the opportunity to add supporting documentation, whether it's a driver sheet rate sheets or any supporting powerpoints or a documentation that you would like to attend to this particular task.

You see here that i've got some red arrows and green arrows and these just signify the different levels of approvals and rejections so after one of the contributor or business users inputs their numbers.

It goes to their manager department head review in that department head or manager whoever's responsible for that review can either kick it.

back to them with comments on what they need to adjust or they can approve it, and then that person will be able to go to the next part of the process and begin that work.

So this is totally customizable to your organization, you know if you need to break this out and have multiple processes, one for your.

Regular expenses and one separate for your personnel it's completely customizable and unique to you, which gives you an additional layer of control and visibility to your budgeting process.

Another cool feature about this is what we call this status tracker and it's simply a dashboard that shows me as the manager or the admin of my budgeting process.

where everything is as of right now so it's showing me what tasks have been reached which have been started, which have already have work done in progress, who the reviewer is.

And when it's due so give me an additional layer of visibility to track how far along my process is going and allow me to tighten up any loose ends within the organization that may be slowing down progress on getting my budget submitted.

Moving here to this contributor tab This is where your employees your business or finance users are going to do, the majority of their work.

So this is broken out into four separate section each color coded So the first is what's overdue, so this is going to Ping me every time I log in and say look my grant revenue it's overdue it was do 11 days ago.

I need to get this completed.

The next the next portion is the blue to do, which is going to tell me all the open items that I have to complete right now and it's also showing me the timeframe in which they are do.

The next portion I am really fond of because it gives me an additional layer of visibility is the coming soon tab so that shows me those tasks and those items in the process that i'm assigned to work on.

But it isn't the prime opportunity for me to start working on them just yet, and then of course down below i've got my Green view only which shows me the different financial and operational reports that are.

associated and that i'm able to view and also any of the inputs that I submit that have been approved i'll be able to come down here and reference them as well, so they don't just disappear after I submit them.

So let's dive right into one of these templates So if I click this one.

it's going to show me, similar to what the manager style in setting up the task i'm going to be able to see the instructions my due date snow supporting documentation.

attached to it, and if I was done with this, I can click the submit submit button and it will tell me that it's currently being reviewed so i'm just going to check this file out.

And you'll see now down at the bottom of my screen that it downloaded as an excel file.

And so, this is the most powerful part of it is that it doesn't create a different interface for you to work in it keeps the excel that we all know, and we love and it just enhances it with the power of an ad in in the cloud technology Center runs upon.

So i'm going to open this as normal.

Sure it's going to pop up on a different screen here.

We are back.

o, as you can see it opened my op X input template in excel but you'll see here at the top of my screen, that there is a new tab so next to my home and insert page layout the normal tabs and controls, I have within excel.

The adding creates a new tab called banner, which gives you additional functions that are connected to the cloud database.

So with most templates when you open it up you're going to be able to choose which segments of your chart of accounts, do you want to budget by or look at.

So I click this choose button this interface is going to pop up, and this is where i'm able to select which department entity location year month if I had it or project or grant I want a budget by so.

Whereas, you might need multiple spreadsheets to do this in basic excel you now only need one template that is.

Enhanced with user permissions and the add in to do your budgeting so one template across all departments that's.

segmented by the permissions and the workflow that we set up, so if I come in here and i'm just going to choose department 100 leave everything else, the same and click OK.

i'm going to see that it's refreshing and pulling the data from the database and now here is all.

The data that is associated with this segment of my chart of accounts populating in my excel sheets so just to show you that this is not in regular excel if I were to take all these numbers hit delete.

I can close this template out I could shut my computer down, but every time I opened it back up or click this refresh button it's going to pull the most accurate information from the database back into this template.

So here, I have my operating expenses my salary's my general operating expense group into my traveling meetings.

And now it's just like entering data on regular excel so I could just enter some numbers in here.

I can drag these across and have them auto populate.

I wanted to put in some formulas.

I could do that.

And so now when i'm ready to save these values back to the database i'm not going to click the green floppy disk controller SAP at we typically want an excel.

i'm going to click this big floppy disk on the vendor ribbon called saved and and what this is going to do it's not going to save these values locally to your computer it's going to save these day of these values back to the database.

So if I were to pull up a report which i'll do in just a few minutes.

I would see for this segment or even at the top level if I were reviewing all departments and all entities, I would be able to drill down and see these numbers entered real time so wherever you are wherever your workers may be across the world.

As long as they have excel and then add in there'll be able to work and receive real time updates in real time visibility into your data.

From wherever they are.

let's say within this interference transfer I needed to get a little bit more granular in my.

budgeting for that well i've got the opportunity to use the vendor ribbon to do what's called inserting line item details, so I can insert a couple lines, I can give them a description transfer one.

Transfer three.

able to get more granular and more detailed planning and see how these values roll up into that one GL account, so you get a.

layer of granular planning with the vendor database and I could also leave comments and attach files to this comment comment that I have here right and you would be able to reference these and different reports or if you were accessing the same data in a different template.

here on this travel tab.


This is where then a really comes into handy so whereas you might need a separate worksheet for this and then you have to copy and paste those numbers into one master spreadsheet here, I can use with Venice supporting tabs and excel to automatically calculate and pull into my GL.

The values that I am budgeting for specifically in this instance travel.

So let's say on Wednesday, this is travel for.

Employees names been.


See San Francisco to London five nights.

Take down the price of the rental car bump up airfare a little bit.

Later, have a nice hotel give her a greater per diem.

And so, now I can choose how I want to spread this across my to to just populate in q1 right one two square this cost evenly across the year where if I just wanted to.

know I will spread it evenly across the years once I hit save date on this and refresh when I come back to my topics template.

i'll be able to see those values populate down here.

I travel, so you can see here that that total cost of 7900 that I have over here it's been automatically divided out across the correct yells across the correct time period.

And the values are tying out against each other.

last thing I want to show is how Vienna integrates well with other systems, so a lot of our clients they use sage intact as our era P, some of them have MIT as their era, p.

Vienna integrates with both of them and has a direct API integration with sage intact, where will send out to pool all your transaction level information from sage intact nightly with Mr P, we can set up to be automated it takes a little bit of a.

More heavy lift, but it is possible, or we can set it up to where you'll just download a file from MIT click of a button upload it to Ben and you'll be able to drill into your actual goals.

So if I were to drill into this number, I could click this drill transactions, hopefully it'll work on me last webinar had crashed my computer but crossing my fingers this time.

If I wanted to drill into that number and yeah it worked so now, I can see that that value for October 2020 that's coming from my lbj journal, and this is the transaction and sage intact that it's referencing.

Whatever fields that are in your earpiece system or even payroll system because we've set up integrations with that.

Any of the fields or description.

fields that you had its associated with a transaction, we would be able to pull over into banner, and you can drill down and get that relevant information at the click of a button.

So now i'm finished with my budget in here you're going to save data, one more time just to make sure those values are retained in the database and if I wanted to, and if I was responsible for another department or another or project or grant I could switch my choose option to.

Go work on that one but for now i'm finished with this so i'm just going to exit out and i'm going to it's going to ask me do I want to check this file back in and once I click yes, that file has been checked back into the database and other users are able to access it at that time.

last thing I want to show you before I take any questions is how in our reports were able to drill down and get a.

additional layer of visibility and detail, as well as an audit trail to see where all the changes to the data within the database are occurring so i'm going to click view on this report again it's going to download as excel.

And now i'm presented with a choose option so unlike my input template where I was restricted to inputting at the bottom level here in this report i'm able to choose at what layer layer of aggregate aggregation do I want to view my data so i'm just going to leave this at all departments.

And i'm going to change my year to 2021.

And so here's all my data at the top level for both actual and left budget on the right, a couple graphs here for an additional layer of visibility and here is all my data thumbs expand these columns a little bit.

And so, see which one it was we're working on, so this inter funds.

So I can drill.

drill down into this.

i'm going to be able to see.

i'm going to be able to see exactly where these values are coming from so this first layer is coming from non project related.

Other is coming from project or grant number 150 if I wanted to see exactly where this thousand dollar came I could use my audit trail button or this drill saves button.

And it's going to pop up and I trail and show me okay this value is entered by this user in this template on may 13.

So that's just a high level overview of how Bennett takes the spreadsheets and the excel technology that you are familiar with, and with the power of cloud technology enhances it.

To combat a lot of the pain points that specifically nonprofit organizations run into with using basic excel across their organization.

So now i'm going to take.

Some questions from you guys and then, if there's anything else you want to see.

While you're asking questions, let me know, and I can pop back in and show you some more.

JMT Consulting: don't forget, you can submit your questions into the Q amp a and we'd love to answer them or, if you think of them later, we are also here to answer them as well, and following the webinar, and so we can just give that a minute or two.

megan do you have the slide for the referral Program.

Megan Mendiola: Here yeah.

JMT Consulting: And so we hope you're excited to see that you don't have to give up your excel spreadsheets to gain the cloud based security and efficiency that a product like Ben and brings to the table.

we'd love to help you explore it if it is a good idea for your nonprofit and let them sort of consultation with our export with our experts by this coming Tuesday and we'll send you a $10 starbucks gift card, so that you can enjoy a cup a cup of coffee on as a bridge.

Or you have to do is just visit JMTconsulting.com/book to get in.

And so it doesn't look like we had any questions come through but.

megan any last words you would like to say?

Megan Mendiola: I just want to thank everybody for joining us today, we hope that you take advantage of just being a consultation which want to learn more about your organization and just.

see if it would be a good fit so really hope you're able to take advantage of that and just thank you all for joining today.

Nick Renfroe: yeah Likewise, I want to echo what.
megan said it was a privilege to be able to present and share with you all today like I said i'm happy to answer any of your questions now during the chat or feel free to reach out and one of us will.

REACH back out to you, and now we got a question.

JMT Consulting: yeah so we have a question here, it sounds like the budget info once completed can be set to write back into her to write back to intact Is that correct our organization spends a lot of time with uploads.

Nick Renfroe: Yes, so um This is something that we have just included as part of our core implementation package so for any.

of our clients who purchase venom from us with.

s with their er P been sage intact, we will end as included with the services have been a create for you, a budget export template back to sage intact, so all you have to do is open that report, just like I did the budget versus actual save it as a csv and then go into your.

Import window within sage intact and you'll be able to upload your budget already formatted directly into sage intact.

JMT Consulting: Okay awesome and well we'll go ahead and conclude the webinar without then and feel free to join us at jm T consulting COM slash book Thank you so much, Nick and megan for your presentation and Thank you everyone for being here today.

Megan Mendiola: yeah thanks so much everyone have a good day.

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