Armanino Case Study
Case Study

CA Nonprofit Reduces Financial Reporting Effort

At A Glance

Customer Profile:

The California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) is a non-profit focused on helping drive improvement of the lives of people with mental health and substance use challenges. The growing agency had outgrown its accounting system and chose Sage Intacct for its reporting flexibility. After a seamless deployment thanks to the expertise and methodology of Armanino, the agency has now dramatically shortened its close and eliminated manual reporting using spreadsheets to save days of effort.

Software & Services

  • Sage Intacct core financials plus time and expense management
  • Armanino implementation and training services

Benefits

  • Cut time-to-close by one week
  • Reduced reporting effort from three days to minutes
  • Gives the controller and project managers real-time visibility into project financials

Business Challenge

Established in 1993 to promote excellence in mental health services, the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) helps health professionals, agencies, and funders improve the lives of people with mental health and substance use challenges. Through policy, training, evaluation, technical assistance, and research, the non-profit agency strives to be the national leader in the provision of mental health and substance use disorder services and support systems.

To fulfill its vision, CIBHS grew steadily during the past decade to the point where its financial systems could no longer support the volume and complexity of projects and transactions. As a replacement for QuickBooks, the agency selected a new ERP system, but the system quickly failed to live up to expectations. CIBHS had to hire five temporary workers to help reconcile balances, while the reporting function within the new system was unable to provide the agency with the various views of the data it needed to support decision making.

When Tiffany Detinne, CPA, joined the agency as controller, she immediately began researching a better solution. “I have as many as 200 projects to track at any given time,” says Detinne. “I had to spend two to three days using Excel to create the reports I needed. I wanted my financial system to do the reporting for me rather than me having to manually do it.” It was clear that the agency’s ERP system needed to be replaced with one far better suited to the agency’s financial reporting and project accounting needs.


Solution

Understandably, the selection process took nearly a year as Detinne wanted to be certain that this time the solution chosen would provide CIBHS with the capabilities and reliability it needed. Ultimately, CIBHS chose Sage Intacct, a cloud-based financial management and accounting software solution. “We looked at many solutions, but Sage Intacct was the only one that could provide us with the reporting flexibility and customization we need,” says Detinne. “Other vendors insisted that we break up our chart of accounts to enable viewing our data by lines of business, team, project manager, or other aspect. The Sage Intacct dimensions capability lets us easily track and report on what’s most important to us while letting us keep our chart of accounts as is.”

With the unpleasant implementation of the previous ERP system still fresh in their minds, the team at CIBHS was wary of the process, so Detinne tasked Armanino, one of the largest independent accounting and business and technology consulting firms in the U.S., with handling the planning and deployment. “I had been working with Armanino throughout the sales process with Sage Intacct and felt very comfortable with their expertise, both in the software and business aspects of the implementation,” says Detinne.

After a month converting data and completing training on the new system, it was time to switch over from the previous ERP to Sage Intacct’s core financial modules plus time and expense management. For CIBHS, the deployment process was the exact opposite of the agency’s experience with the previous ERP system. “The go-live was amazing,” says Detinne. “Within a day, we tied out everything, including the trial balance, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and every project, with no glitches. It went smoother than any implementation I’ve ever seen.”


Results

With Sage Intacct, the agency is now able to more efficiently handle the growing volume and complexity of financial transactions. Financial reporting is automated and flexible, eliminating the time-consuming task of creating spreadsheet-based reports. “It’s reduced our close by a week and reporting that used to take me three days is done in a matter of minutes,” says Detinne. “I push one button to get the reports I need.” Sage Intacct emails those financial reports to the chief financial officer automatically.

Now Detinne can spend more time reviewing and analyzing the data, greatly simplifying project accounting oversight of more than 200 projects. Explains Detinne: “Before Sage Intacct, I couldn’t look at the numbers until the close. Now, I’m looking at them all the time and have information throughout the month so I can identify potential issues earlier.” As a controller, Detinne also appreciates the audit trail and control Sage Intacct provides.


Next Steps

Detinne is now beginning to work with the dashboard feature within Sage Intacct and plans to set up dashboards for team managers as well as her manager so they can track projects in real time. She also plans to continue working with Armanino on additional training for her staff as well as implementing new software from Sage Intacct partners to further automate the agency’s financial and accounting processes.


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September 28, 2017

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