Education Pioneers is a national nonprofit that set out to transform education by bringing exceptional talent to the sector. As the organization expanded its mission over the past ten years, it hired staff rapidly to support an ambitious goal of increasing its network from 2,500 to 10,000 leaders. With employees spread across more than a dozen remote offices throughout the United States, it had become increasingly difficult for the finance team to accurately allocate costs while providing timely reporting and increased financial transparency for the organization.
In preparation for further growth, Education Pioneers decided it needed to move beyond QuickBooks to a more robust financial management solution that could address its unique nonprofit accounting needs. For example, the finance team was unable to efficiently categorize expenses and revenues by specific funding sources, events, or other important classifications, which meant that when employees requested ad hoc reports, they often had to wait two or three days for the team to gather information from QuickBooks and consolidate it in Excel.
“Our organization went in search of cloud-based financial software that could keep up with our rapid expansion,” said Todd Forsyth, corporate controller at Education Pioneers. “Sage Intacct was the obvious choice because of its ease-of-use and multi-dimensional reporting capabilities, along with the flexibility it offered to integrate with other best-in-class solutions like Salesforce and Nexonia.”
After working with Sage Intacct to implement the cloud ERP solution, Education Pioneers streamlined several processes. Sage Intacct’s core financial applications increased team productivity by reducing reliance on spreadsheets and bringing efficiency to accounts payables, purchasing, and grant management workflows. Consequently, the finance team cut Education Pioneers’ monthly close from 30+ business days down to just ten.
Tight integration between Nexonia and Sage Intacct also improved the organization’s expense management process. This is a major benefit for Education Pioneers because it reduces the data entry burden on its programming teams, so they can put more focus on their local programs as opposed to tracking expenses. These automated processes supported the organization’s continued growth without requiring additional headcount.
Using Sage Intacct, Education Pioneers’ finance team now shares and reviews departmental financial reports with individual groups on a regular basis.
In addition to tracking budget-to-actuals at the local level, Sage Intacct provides transparency into the costs associated with hundreds of individual workshops, professional development events, conferences, and other programs across multiple locations, departments, and even employees. As a result, the organization’s management can easily slice and dice historical data for better planning going forward.
All of this gives Education Pioneers’ leaders much greater confidence in the data, and a better understanding of how teams are performing at any time, so they can make changes and adapt as necessary. For example, if the organization sees a decline in topline income, its finance team can react instantly and communicate budget adjustments to each local team. Another big win for employees has been the ease with which Sage Intacct delivers financial insight regardless of where they physically are, and without requiring them to request information from the central finance team.