Creating a Financial Structure to Scale
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Creating a Financial Structure to Scale

Children’s Hunger Fund was established in 1991 with a mission of delivering hope to suffering children. By equipping local churches for gospel centered mercy ministry, CHF has distributed more than 1 billion dollars in nourishing food and other resources to children in the U.S. and around the world.

Creating a Financial Structure to Scale

Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF) has provided resources for suffering children and families through local church communities over the past 25 years. The nonprofit organization recently added new regional offices and launched the CHF Legacy Foundation. As its operations grew in volume and complexity around the world, CHF implemented Salesforce and decided to upgrade from QuickBooks to a more sophisticated financial management solution.

Roger Bayramian, CHF’s controller, stated, “We became overly reliant on massive Excel spreadsheets and struggled with fragmented, inaccurate information and inefficient, manual data entry and reporting. As we expanded, all of these issues started to bubble up and we knew we needed a system that could scale with us in the long term.” Christopher Sue, CFO at CHF, added, “We looked at Oracle NetSuite, but ultimately chose Sage Intacct for its seamless integration with other business systems and its ability to slice and dice our financial data in so many ways – both at a high level and from the bottom up.”

Flexible Reporting Drives Transparency for Donors

Sage Intacct provides multi-dimensional reporting capabilities that track CHF’s operational and financial metrics by key business drivers. The software allows users to tag transactions with details including specific projects, regions, grants, or departments, and then filter, group, and organize the data for more granular reporting. “Thanks to the dimensional insight we have in Sage Intacct, we can be very strategic in the way we use our grants. Most importantly, we are more transparent with our donors, providing information about where their money goes and how quickly we apply those funds,” said Sue.

Bayramian also stated, “We do a lot of disaster response work, and in the past it took tons of work to figure out how much money had come in for a particular earthquake or hurricane and how much of it we spent. But now we can just run a project report based on the dimensions in Sage Intacct and see an instant snapshot of all the donations, whether we have enough funding left over to support the next disaster, and how this kind of work affects our overall operations.”

In addition, CHF’s controller dashboard displays key figures like cash in the bank, profit and losses to date, the balance sheet, prepaid expenses, and more. The organization’s financial package for the board is also populated automatically each month in Sage Intacct, with a summary view of that includes cash, revenues, and expenses for this year compared to last year. They can also monitor statistical metrics like headcount, meals provided, and total boxes of food on its Sage Intacct dashboards

Eliminating Manual Processes Saves a Week of Work Every Month

Before adopting Sage Intacct, the finance team spent three days each month coding hundreds of credit card transactions into QuickBooks, another day managing prepaid expenses in a 200-row spreadsheet, and at least two hours reformatting monthly financials for the board. The organization’s annual fixed assets review required a 350-row spreadsheet, and the budgeting process was cumbersome and often riddled with formula errors, due to yet another spreadsheet that spanned 50 columns, 12 tabs, 350 rows, and 50 supporting documents.

Sage Intacct streamlined all of this tedious work and gave CHF more timely and accurate visibility into its data. Sue noted, “The productivity we’ve gained with Sage Intacct allows us to make sense of our financial data, as opposed to the traditional accounting world where you just get your debits and credits in and hope they’re correct. Now we can analyze our data to better forecast for the future and make decisions about what we as an organization can do to advance our mission.”

“Using Sage Intacct, we were able to condense our yearly budget process to just six weeks, and everyone is seeing the value,” said Bayramian. “I give managers access to last year’s budgets right in the system, so they can easily forecast various scenarios and better target our growth. Instead of pouring our energy into Excel and then relying on guesswork because we didn’t have real insight into our programs, we now spend the majority of the process reviewing the information and determining our budget approach for the coming year – i.e., slowing down in certain areas as we get more focused on strategic growth in a specific city, country, or ministry.”

Content originally from Sage Intacct.

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