Leveraging Project Intelligence to Expand Nonprofit Impact

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About five years ago, we were honored to be introduced to Remote Area Medical (RAM®) by our friends at LBMC Technology Solutions. RAM’s mobile clinics provide free, quality healthcare to underserved and uninsured individuals around the world. Since 1985, the nonprofit’s corps of more than 155,000 volunteers—licensed dental, vision, medical, and veterinary professionals—have treated more than 835,000 individuals and 68,000 animals, delivering $150 million worth of free care.

When we initially heard that the organization’s staff in Tennessee had been struggling with their on-premises Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting system, we were glad to help them overcome common finance inefficiencies in support of such a worthy cause. Sage Intacct worked with RAM and LBMC in 2014 to establish a robust financial management foundation that would support RAM’s mission over the long haul. Prior to COVID, we caught up with RAM’s CFO, Don Mackay, to find out how things have been going and get a glimpse into how Sage Intacct benefits the organization behind the scenes.

Squashing Spreadsheets for Timely Visibility

Mackay recalled how, by migrating financial tasks over to the Sage Intacct cloud platform, his team completely revamped project accounting and eliminated the complex Excel workbooks they had tediously maintained for the executive committee and board of directors. Out of the gate, Sage Intacct’s dimensional tagging capabilities made it easy for RAM to slice and dice their financial information. This empowered staff by providing a view into how much they were spending at each clinic so they could better manage location-specific plans and budgets in real-time.

The waterfall of benefits that flowed from more intuitive processes and more accurate, timely visibility include:

  • Shortened the monthly close by 2 weeks
  • Maintained a lean finance team amidst 300% growth
  • Boosted donor and volunteer confidence via insight into clinic costs
  • Increased donations 10% year-over-year to serve more patients

Like all forward-thinking CFOs, Mackay didn’t stop there. He constantly looks for new opportunities to boost his team’s productivity and enable better analysis of the organization’s financial data—two things that were critical as RAM expanded from operating 20 to now 80 clinics each year.

Maturing Financial Workflows with Best-in-Class Integrations

RAM’s finance team initially imported data from their donor database and payroll system into Sage Intacct via monthly uploads, but later took efficiencies to the next level by utilizing Sage Intacct’s open APIs to directly integrate the financial system with their Sumac and Proliant applications. Now, all donations and payroll entries are immediately and accurately pushed into Sage Intacct, so there’s less room for error and the financial system of record always contains the latest transactions.

Additionally, Mackay decided to add on a few other helpful technologies he found in the Sage Intacct Marketplace. These include a budgeting tool called Martus, an accounts payable automation solution called Stampli, and an expense management application called Expensify. One thing he appreciates with these apps is that, rather than rely on the finance team, all staff enter data directly—whether their personal details for payroll, credit card statements for expense tracking, or vendor invoices from the field—and it automatically flows throughout the financial stack.

Mackay shared, “These employee self-service tools prevent us from having to add G&A headcount. That’s been very important and a real time-saver, especially with getting our credit cards processed and paid, and invoices approved. We know the information is captured correctly, and we’re no longer having to go back and fix manual errors. That’s eased our minds and given the team a better work-life balance. I certainly like being able to get home at a decent time at night.”

Building Stakeholder Trust

Beyond these day-to-date advantages, Sage Intacct has dramatically improved financial transparency both inside and outside the organization. This transformation helped RAM increase its accountability—to the volunteers who give their time, to the donors who provide funds, to the board of directors, and to the communities they all serve. As a result, donors trust that their money is spent wisely.

Now that program managers can check their Sage Intacct dashboards to monitor expenses, Mackay says it is much easier for them to stay on budget and deliver on donors’ expectations for individual clinics. The nonprofit’s executives also track costs and impact metrics at a granular level, which enables more informed operational decision-making, such as which new clinic requests to pursue based on forecasted costs and fundraising.

Watch our video interview with Don Mackay or read the customer success story to learn more about how Sage Intacct helped RAM extract valuable insights that fostered donor confidence and advanced its mission.

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