Benefits realized after Baker Tilly
Even though BGCD used Blackbaud products for both fundraising and accounting, they were never able to integrate the systems. With Baker Tilly’s implementation of Sage Intacct, the organization can now keep the accounting system in sync with the fundraising system via a flat file integration, saving a great deal of manual, dual data entry and allowing the person responsible for managing the donor database to expand her skills, learn more about the finance processes and increase her impact on the organization.
When asked about improvements since working with Baker Tilly, Rivas doesn’t hesitate, “Dimensions are a lifesaver,” she says. “We have 35 locations, and we use ten different dimensions in Sage Intacct.”
BGCD’s chart of accounts had grown large and unwieldy. It was difficult to track the various dimensions of the organization – in addition to 35 locations, they have multiple departments, projects, grants and scholarships. As with many legacy accounting systems, those dimensions had to be reflected in increasingly complex account codes for even limited reporting to be possible.
“One of our programs is called Collegiate Steps where we work with young kids through high school to get them college scholarships and then we track those scholarships. We wanted to track by the student and by the scholarship and we have 50 to 100 different scholarships. And every year we've got 50 to 100 different students, so you can imagine tracking that on a spreadsheet is just a nightmare. Now we have it running through Sage Intacct and that probably made Anita, our Staff Accountant, the happiest I’ve ever seen her: Getting that set up within the actual accounting system and not having to have that spreadsheet anymore.”
BGCD can track this using Sage Intacct’s built-in dimensional accounting functionality, where transactions are tagged by employee, department, location, class, etc., capturing the data needed to get the reporting, data and insights to visually see the overall financial health of the organization.
Updating the finance and accounting technology was part of a larger organizational push at BGCD to modernize their systems. Other aspects of that initiative include moving to a new payroll system, migrating to Microsoft Office 365, and starting the process of architecting a new club attendance management system on the Salesforce platform. The effects of the COVID pandemic only increased the urgency and timeline of these initiatives.
“Our Operations Director recently commented to me that because of COVID we’ve compressed five years of technology advancement into a single year’s timeframe,” says Rivas.