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Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to visit to our new Consulting Services Blog. I am Andrea White, the Manager on Porte Brown's consulting services team.

 

The team and I would like to welcome you and look forward to sharing helpful information on the topics of managerial consulting, strategic consulting, and technology solutions, such as ERP Solutions, CRM, and custom software solutions.

 

Welcome to Our Consulting Services Blog!

 

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Consulting Services Blog

Sage Intacct Customer Profile: USA Fencing

Andrea White - Thursday, April 05, 2018


USA Fencing is a nonprofit with a mission of growing the centuries-old sport of fencing. Three primary revenue streams support the organization—membership dues, tournament revenues, and grants from major funders like the U.S. Olympic Committee and Department of Veterans Affairs. This model requires complex financial reporting that was difficult to keep up with using basic accounting software like QuickBooks.

“When it became clear that we needed a more powerful system to handle our nonprofit accounting needs, we evaluated both Sage Intacct and Blackbaud,” said Keri Khan, director of finance and business services at USA Fencing. “Sage Intacct was without a doubt the best choice for..." Learn More

New Financial Insight Advances PAWS Chicago's Mission

Andrea White - Friday, December 08, 2017

 

PAWS Chicago is a 20-year-old nonprofit focused on making Chicago a “no kill” community for dogs and cats. In support of this mission, the organization adopts out over 5,000 animals annually. As the organization has grown, its management team needed a better way to track separate financials for all of their programs, while still producing the standard nonprofit tax reports.

“We reached a point as an organization where our chart of accounts was getting overly complex, and it was nearly impossible to prepare our Form 990 efficiently, let alone any type of managerial reporting,” said Alisa Brill, CFO at PAWS Chicago. “We knew we were too big to still be on QuickBooks and were drawn to Sage Intacct by its approach to capturing a variety of operational dimensions that would allow us to slice and dice data at the specific program, department, or vendor-level.” Working with Porte Brown, PAWS Chicago eliminated separate purchasing, bill pay, and time and expense systems, and streamlined these workflows within Sage Intacct. By using the robust modules in the cloud-based financial management solution...  Read More

Outcome Metrics: Measuring What Matters in the Nonprofit World

Andrea White - Thursday, November 09, 2017


With demand for transparency and accountability in the nonprofit industry at an all-time high, many nonprofit organizations are pursuing new avenues to measure and report their performance. Outcome metrics not only show how your organization is performing; they also help clear the way for sustainable growth and greater efficiency.

Outcome Metrics: Measuring What Matters in the Nonprofit World describes why... Learn More

Giving You the Keys to Success

Andrea White - Thursday, August 24, 2017


Efficiency and performance. If you are a financial professional in a nonprofit, these are your keys to success. Intacct was built to give you those keys, and to do it better than anyone else. First, we automate your processes to increase accuracy, improve compliance, and ultimately make your organization run better every day, every week, every month. Second, we give you the insight into your financial and operational data to... Read More

Meeting the Demands of Growing Nonprofit Organizations

Andrea White - Friday, August 04, 2017


Are you looking for answers to those hard financial questions? Struggling to consolidate information, perform real-time analysis of combined financial and operational information, or documenting decisions in the context of financial records?

When it comes to financial management, nonprofit accounting presents unique challenges that can’t be addressed with outdated spreadsheets and manual processes. Intacct gives you greater efficiency and managerial visibility so you can... Read More

Outcome Metrics for Your Mission

Andrea White - Wednesday, June 14, 2017



With demand for transparency and accountability in the nonprofit industry at an all-time high, many nonprofit organizations are pursuing new avenues to measure and report their performance. Outcome metrics not only show how your organization is performing; they also help clear the way for sustainable growth and greater efficiency. 

"Outcome Metrics: Measuring What Matters in the Nonprofit World" describes why outcome metrics matter and how nonprofits can effectively leverage them to boost their chances of success. Read More

Essential Features of a Modern Accounting System for Nonprofit Organizations

Andrea White - Monday, May 15, 2017


Does your fund accounting system force you to struggle with manual processes that limit flexibility, drain productivity, or restrict system-wide visibility? Are you struggling with the most basic of nonprofit financial management functions, such as fund tracking, operational administration, or maintaining a comprehensive audit trail? Intacct provides not-for-profit organizations with unparalleled software that provides you:

Automated & Streamlined Financial Management
• Free yourself from manual processes.
• Deliver accurate financials faster.

Operational Flexibility
• Manage financial information how you want it.
• Customize workflows & system access.
• Optimize fund transparency & accountability.

Cloud Software Solutions
• Reduce IT expenses
• Integrate with other leading softwares.

Now is the time to consider moving to a modern accounting system!

Intacct's accounting software is fully customized for nonprofit organizations. Intacct offers you greater efficiency and managerial visibility, so you can drive costs down while fully pursuing your organization’s mission.

Saddle Up on the ERP Audit Trail

- Wednesday, November 16, 2016
By Scott Martin, Marketing & Communications Specialist with Open Systems. *Note this was a republished article from OSAS.com.

ERP software with proper accounting controls will produce a tamper-proof record of transactions called an "audit trail." While it may sound dramatic and damning to folks who defraud investors and break laws, an audit trail is actually a normal and useful tool that is more likely to save your bacon than fry it.

What exactly is an audit trail?
An audit trail is any system that captures transactions and their associated information (what time they occurred, from what location, by whom, and so on). Because most good ERP systems stick to the rules of double-entry accounting, an ERP system's audit trail can be a comprehensive tool for users, administrators, and managers alike. Here are a few ways in which a solid audit trail can help your company.

Problem solving
Let's say you have an account out of balance. Having easy access to a comprehensive list of transactions and when they occurred is a great place to start when tracking down an error. Even more important is that the list is both trustworthy and automatically captured. An audit trail that relies upon a user to update it is no real audit trail at all.

Regulatory compliance
Many regulators require an audit trail to be maintained for a variety of reasons, including consumer protection and international banking laws. Having a solid audit trail in place is often the first step in complying with those requirements, and with a good ERP system in place this information is recorded automatically.

Fraud protection
Now, I know that you're an honest and intelligent person. After all, you have the good sense to read this article. But there's no telling if your next employee is going to be a super genius villain bent on syphoning money away from your coffers. Well... with an audit trail in place, fraud becomes that much more difficult and discouraged.

Prior to accounting data being recorded by computers, establishing an audit trail used to be a matter of maintaining strict bound books and excellent record-keeping. Though rare today, not every system prevents transactions from being changed and doctored after the fact, thereby corrupting a good audit record. Make sure your ERP system records all of the relevant transaction information to build a rock-solid audit trail. It could make your job a lot easier... and more safe!

How DonorsChoose.org Uses Salesforce and Intacct to Increase Efficiency

- Friday, June 24, 2016
By Kathy Lord, SVP of Sales and Customer Success at Intacct. *Note this was a republished article from Salesforce.com.

If you have any teachers in your life, or like to support your local schools, you’ve likely heard of DonorsChoose.org. This incredible online charity makes it easy for anyone to help students in need through classroom project requests that range from basic supplies like pencils and paper, to books, robotics kits, or educational experiences designed to inspire. Teachers at over 66,000 public schools in America have created at least one project request on the site since it was launched in 2000; and over two million people have donated more than $400 million to fund well over 700,000 projects.

In addition to working with individual donors like you and me, the charity has also attracted a wide range of corporate and celebrity backers—from Steven Colbert and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, to Disney, Chevron, and the NFL. The process of securing these partnership and managing the execution of the grant money they deliver can be an unwieldy task for a lean nonprofit organization.

As DonorsChoose.org grew, they knew they needed a more efficient and automated way to handle these processes that cut across their business development and finance teams. A long-time user of Salesforce for their front-office activities, the nonprofit had been struggling with a back-office system that didn’t offer a connection to Salesforce. Due to this lack of communication between the systems, the partnership team didn't know any of the financial details for their accounts, and the finance team didn't have any visibility into when checks were coming in for new grants.

Solutions: Intacct and Salesforce
With transaction volumes spiking, DonorsChoose.org decided to move to a modern financial management solution that could seamlessly integrate with Salesforce and their other business systems. They selected cloud ERP software from Intacct. Intacct offers a seamless integration with Salesforce enabling companies to gain a full view of every customer, streamline their quote-to-cash and revenue management processes, and create more productive communication between the department that makes the numbers… and the department that manages them.

Since moving to Intacct, and by extending the benefits of Salesforce through Intacct’s CRM integration built on the Salesforce1 Platform, DonorsChoose.org has eliminated duplicate data entry and gained complete visibility into its grant lifecycle. This has significantly streamlined their business processes and saved the finance team a full day of manual work each month.

Taylor Chang, vice president of finance at DonorsChoose.org, shared a glimpse into how things work: “Our partnerships team uses Salesforce to post grants received and the finance team can then go in and review the documentation. With the click of a button, we’re able to post the revenue to Intacct and when the payment comes in, those details flow directly back to Salesforce. Both teams are on the same page at all times and have full visibility into the lifecycle of our grants.”

Results: Increasing efficiency
In addition to the benefits of connecting Intacct with Salesforce, DonorsChoose.org has also used Intacct to increase overall finance team efficiency by 20 percent; they are saving over 50 hours of work per month on revenue recognition, reporting, and accounts payable processes; and they have shortened the monthly close process by 50 percent.

“It is important to invest the time and resources into integrating your systems. This will ensure that everyone is working with the same information when making decisions,” added Chang.

For more information on Intacct and Salesforce, please contact Louis Stratton, Director of Porte Brown’s Consulting Services team at 708-429-1040 or LStratton@portebrown.com.

Reminder - Back Up Your Data!

- Friday, May 15, 2015
As a reminder: When was the last time you backed up your data? AND when was the last time you tested the restore to insure that all is working as expected?

Make sure to take the time to backup your data today. Or be ready to suffer the consequences in the future!

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