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Case Study: Intacct Consolidates Accounting Processes

by | Jul 28, 2014

Intacct Case StudyIntacct Consolidates Software Firm’s Accounting Processes and Delivers Accurate Data in Less Time

As the IT management consultant SevOne has consistently increased bookings and revenues over the past five years, it was time for the accounting department to find a financial management system that could better serve its needs than QuickBooks.

One of the biggest issues for SevOne was QuickBooks’ lack of support for multiple business entities. “As a software company, we need to comply with vendor-specific objective evidence (VSOE) revenue recognition requirements for deferred revenue forecasts, perpetual licenses and annual maintenance revenues,” claims Gina Keller, director of accounting at SevOne. “And, as we signed on more and more large customers, we wanted the ability to configure invoices easily so we could meet their specific requirements.”

Opening a UK sales subsidiary in 2009 required SevOne’s employees to record expenses in multiple currencies. Unfortunately, QuickBooks was not built to support these functions. Just to maintain foreign currency translations and consolidation of expense balances, SevOne’s two-person accounting team was spending up to three days every quarter maintaining a huge Excel workbook. Moreover, the team had to then manually enter each journal entry into QuickBooks.

QuickBook also did not allow for automated journal entries which made balancing the books each month extremely tedious and time consuming. Factors such as depreciation, insurance amortization and other pre-paid monthly expenses had to be manually entered which added several days to the process. Another limitation was that QuickBooks only allowed the company to view profit and loss reports on a quarterly and monthly basis. This limited SevOne’s ability to gain real-time visibility into the company’s key financial metrics.

After evaluating several options, SevOne determined that Inacct would best fit its financial management needs. “We loved that Intacct offered us a full set of financials for our multi-entity structure, with remote access for our executives and auditors, as well as a very intuitive interface,” Keller asserts. “Because Intacct can plug into any other business application we choose down the road, we knew it would support our evolving business needs without locking us into one vendor for all our systems.”

Satisfying VSOE Revenue Recognition Requirements

Intacct’s ability to define specific templates, rules and schedules helps SevOne meet its VSOE revenue recognition requirements for perpetual licenses and annual maintenance. It also simplifies the company’s deferred revenue forecasts and reduces human error. Additionally, Intacct provides flexibility with invoicing which helped SevOne more easily meet its large customers’ strict requirements around maintenance fee schedules and invoice language.

SevOne’s ability to access Intacct’s 150 pre-built reports allows the company to meet a broad range of standard reporting needs. For example, greater visibility into the firm’s deferred revenue schedule helps the team see what’s happening each quarter and ensures more accurate billing.

Faster, Simpler Financial Reporting

In less than three months, SevOne’s accounting team was able to minimize duplicate data entry in its consolidations, revenue recognition and financial close processes. In fact, Intacct’s journal entry templates and automated currency conversions helped SevOne reduce its quarterly consolidation process from three days to just half a day.

“Intacct’s multi-entity architecture makes consolidations a breeze for us. And because it lets us ‘set and forget’ recurring journal entries for fixed assets and depreciation, we’ve been able to cut our monthly close in half,” shares Keller. “Intacct’s comprehensive automation lets us work much faster, so we’ve avoided hiring additional headcount on our finance team, saving the company $50,000 every year.”

Currently, three SevOne finance team members have full access to Intacct. Forty employees also leverage the system for expense reporting. Using Intacct’s time and expense module, SevOne’s manual process of coding and entering expenses into QuickBooks was replaced with online, self-service functions that both improve employee productivity and reduce error. For example, employees can copy repeating expenses, such as monthly cell phone charges. The approvals process for employee reimbursement also has been automated. Managers can quickly approve expenses online without the need for in-person signatures.

Improved Reporting Speeds Financial Insights

Intacct also assisted in revising SevOne’s accounts setup. Eliminating the need for external reporting tools or writing additional business logic, the system can provide reports such as high-level summaries down to underlying transactions. This has made it much easier for the company’s key players to gain insight into such areas as general administrative expenses by department.

“I simply upload our annual budget into the system at the beginning of the year and make adjustments, if necessary, each quarter,” Keller explains. “At any given time, I can leverage the dimensions associated with each transaction in Intacct to give executives the department’s budget-to-actuals detail. Intacct even provides full general ledger information with income statements by individual department or location.”

Access to monthly reports and personalized dashboards has been a great benefit to SevOne, allowing the company’s CEO to easily review important financial trends from any browser or smart phone. He can now regularly monitor SevOne’s profit and loss statements and balance sheets to identify abnormalities or exceptions that may require analysis or corrective action.

“When it comes time for our annual audit, Intacct saves us the effort of finding and printing all kinds of documentation for our outside auditor,” adds Keller. “They simply log into Intacct with read-only access and can view the information they need. Audit trails for each entry are easily accessible, everything is saved electronically and we don’t have to worry about the auditor accidentally making changes in our system.”

CHALLENGES

  • Needed to maintain VSOE compliance for deferred revenue forecasts, perpetual licenses and annual maintenance revenues.
  • Required a user-friendly, remotely accessible financial management solution that would allow for automated journal entries and other functions to help speed its accounting processes.
  • Wanted simplified invoice configuration and the ability to translate expenses in multiple currencies for global business expansion.
  • Desired a remotely accessible insight into company’s financial performance as well as the ability to dissect information for specific reports.

PREVIOUS SOLUTION

QuickBooks

RESULTS WITH INTACCT

  • Maintains VSOE compliance and easily configures invoices to meet each client’s specific requirements.
  • Speeds global consolidations by more than two days, reduces monthly close by half and saves $50,000 annually by reducing finance staffing needs.
  • Templates and recurring journal entries ease complex revenue management processes while increasing data accuracy.
  • Personalized dashboards and monthly reports allows monitoring of company’s profit and loss statements, and balance sheets.