Yardstick Saves 20 Work Days Monthly and Avoids $100k in Headcount with Sage Intacct

With Intacct, our financial close was cut in half, and that extra time is huge for us because we’re a small team. We’re savings five days of work for four people, which gives us back 20 days of work each month that we can put into more strategic activities.

–Salma Kaida, Project Accountant, Yardstick

 

Scalable, Cloud ERP Software Enables Painless Growth

Yardstick is a fast-growth company that’s become an award-winning powerhouse in the high-stakes licensure, certification, online training, and psychometric space. As Canada’s leader in online testing and training, the business operates multiple entities across North America, and recently acquired a large publishing house. In order to keep pace with the company’s rapid expansion, Yardstick’s finance team recently decided to upgrade from QuickBooks to a multi-entity, multi-currency, cloud-based ERP system.

Over the ten years it was on QuickBooks, the company’s chart of accounts had become complex and its finance team had adopted cumbersome workarounds to keep up with the sudden spike in e-commerce volume. For example, they were manually entering daily posts with aggregate funds collected through Yardstick’s custom e-commerce system, which meant that they had no transparency into revenue for specific items or customers.

“It had become painfully clear that we’d outgrown QuickBooks,” commented Salma Kaida, project accountant at Yardstick. “We wanted a system that would grow with us – through powerful automation, a multi-entity architecture, and web services APIs. After narrowing our choices down to FinancialForce and Sage Intacct, we were confident that Sage Intacct would best meet our particular needs, especially seamless integration with Salesforce and our proprietary e-commerce system.”

 

Best-in-Class Integration Empowers a Lean Finance Team

After upgrading to Sage Intacct, Yardstick saw immediate improvements across all of its financial processes. By connecting its e-commerce software to Sage Intacct, the team streamlined its revenue-related data entry. Now, important details – including the customer, the amount of tax collected, and the specific revenue amount – are automatically pushed into Sage Intacct each time a sale is made. In addition, Sage Intacct’s pre-built integration with Salesforce gives Yardstick sales reps direct visibility into which customer invoices are open, minimizing the amount of time the finance team spends chasing down account receivable information. In addition, Sage Intacct flawlessly handles Yardstick’s Canadian VAT tax, including proper treatment of reimbursements.

All of these efficiency improvements reap huge dividends when it comes to headcount savings.

“If we hadn’t adopted Sage Intacct’s cloud-based ERP software, we would’ve needed to grow our team by at least a couple full-time employees, at annual cost of around $100,000 each year,” noted Kaida. “Since making the switch, we have created more capacity for value-added work and our small team even managed to absorb a huge acquisition without hiring any more accountants.”

 

Granular Financial Transparency Ensures Better-Informed Decisions

The software also provides powerful reporting capabilities that allow Yardstick to track operational and financial metrics by key business drivers. Using Sage Intacct Dimensions, users can tag individual transactions with specific customers, projects, lines of business, departments, employees, or locations, and then filter, group, and organize financial data accordingly. The finance team also pulls operational data – such as headcount, hours worked, number of projects, and more – into Intacct for even deeper analysis across these dimensions.

For instance, Sage Intacct’s out-of-the-box project accounting reports give Yardstick’s consulting organization visibility into detailed tasks. Project managers can easily track their team’s logged time against estimated time and closely monitor billable hours on a weekly basis. This means that towards the end of the month, they can see which specific tasks are under budget and focus on work that will generate the necessary revenue to meet monthly targets.

The company’s newly acquired business, Danatec, which had previously been using Sage, appreciates the insight Sage Intacct delivers into product profitability. They can see income and expenses for each of their many product lines, monitor print and online versions of the same product, and track product growth in specific regions. Kaida shared, “When we brought them onto Sage Intacct, Danatec’s president shared how illuminating it was to finally be able to see real-time trends even in their high-volume environment. He noted that in just the first few months they’d been on Sage Intacct, they saw a dramatic improvement in the granularity of the data they used to make decisions as compared to the 20 years of difficult-to-parse data they had accumulated in Sage.”

“Since adopting Sage Intacct, we’ve had a major shift in terms of how we think of ourselves as a finance department,” concluded Kaida. “Historically we were like a vault – a trustworthy, reliable keeper of the record, but our role has evolved to being stewards of accurate data that informs the right business decisions. We’re putting more timely information into the hands of managers, and supporting activities that actually generate revenue.”

 

About Yardstick

Yardstick offers world-class expertise in exam administration, psychometrics, and eLearning instructional design and development. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the service-oriented company is privately-owned and has provided online testing and training to over 450,000 individual users for hundreds of clients around the world, across dozens of industries.

 

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