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Nonprofit Hagar grows internationally with Acumatica

Hagar International is an international Christian organization dedicated to recovery of extreme human rights abuses, particularly human trafficking, gender-based violence, and sexual exploitation. Since 1994, Hagar has served more than 15,000 women and children and supports clients with protection and recovery services in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam. The nonprofit is growing quickly and needed an affordable, web based, centralized ERP that could handle nonprofit fund accounting, deep subaccounts, and multiple currencies.

About Hagar International

Location: U.S.-based and Swiss-registered organization with offices in ten countries including Cambodia, Afghanistan and Vietnam

industry: Non-Profit

Website: http://www.hagarusa.org

Application Replaced: QuickBooks
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Key results

  • In-depth reporting and analysis, both globally and at the country/project level
  • Compliance with regulatory laws and guidelines
  • Replaced cumbersome, manual processes with fully automated activities
  • Complete integration with donor management and bank systems
  • Multi-currency reporting and multi-language support

Challenges

Hagar needed their new system to:

  • Run in the Cloud
  • Embrace industry-standard technology quickly and easily
  • Be flexible to fit the special needs of non-profits and grant compliance
  • Easily scale to a larger organization
  • Provide an integrated solution for Hagar across the globe by offering global support in many different countries

Acumatica has a very flexible coding structure that is built into all their standard reports. The account code can be up to 30 characters and the subaccount can have up to 30 characters, which are user definable.
Ruth Ellison, CFO at Hagar International

Ruth Ellison
CFO

Solution

“I chose Acumatica for several reasons,” says Ellison. “They are the most organized and detailed with their plans for implementing the software. They offer unlimited users and companies with a fixed dollar pricing over five years so there will be no surprises on pricing increases. And they have a flexible coding structure and currency translation.”

Ellison talked to other nonprofits that chose Acumatica after using software from Sage, QuickBooks, NetSuite, SAP and other competitors and becoming disappointed with the various systems and lack of support.

She liked that Acumatica had built-in integration tools with other software systems and that the company has an employee portal which allows Hagar to connect all staff to the system without any additional user fees.

Ellison also enjoyed working with the Acumatica team, which included Acumatica partner Crestwood Associates LLC, based in Mount Prospect, IL, which has provided financial consulting to nonprofits for many years. Crestwood’s Rick Feterick worked closely with Acumatica on the sale and implementation.

Due to other commitments and a limited IT staff, Ellison scheduled a two-year rollout for Acumatica. The first goal was getting everything set up properly so she could have three countries running parallel.

To extract data from the several accounting systems, Ellison created a macro with Excel in order to export the right account structure into Acumatica. She then handled the set-up herself with support when needed from Crestwood.

“With limited funds, Hagar wanted to take on as much as possible,” says Feterick. “Ruth should be commended because she was able to do so much on her own, which is a testament to the ease of use and flexibility in Acumatica.”

Solution implemented

Benefits

One of the biggest benefits has been the way that Acumatica adapts to Hagar’s business rather than the other way around, says Ellison. “Acumatica has a very flexible coding structure that is built into all their standard reports,” she says. “The account code can be up to 30 characters and the subaccount can have up to 30 characters, which are user definable.”

That feature is important because it allows Hagar to set up subaccounts like a numbering system, with each number corresponding to a specific grant. “This allows us to track by log frames, which include outcome, output and activities, for specific donor reports and grants,” Ellison says. “Having that flexibility is really nice.”

“Acumatica handled fund accounting well”, she says. For many nonprofits, financial accounts are grouped into various funds that capture revenues from many sources, including donations and government grants, and expenditure reporting is needed to ensure monies are spent in accordance to the purpose of the organization and rules of each program they provide.

As such, Hagar needed to capture granularity through its financial reporting so that the account structure reflected more than just an account number and typical department. Hagar needed to reflect projects, programs and donors, and needed a system to provide rich reporting and dash boarding on the outgoing expenditures as well.

Nonprofit reporting requirements may be on a calendar year or a fiscal year basis or both. Some programs need to be closed out each year while others can carry forward to the next year. Reports need to be sent to donors, government agencies and tax authorities. Acumatica’s flexibility allowed her to handle the complex structure and reporting easily.

Because of its international nature, Hagar also needed to run different country locations in their native currencies; however, the headquarters’ office also needed an easy way to consolidate those figures in a standard currency for overall agency reporting, and then convert them back to create reports for governments in their native currencies.

“Acumatica’s currency module converts transactions into any currencies that are set up by the user and reporting can be done in any of the set up currencies,” Ellison says, adding that the employee portal allows staff to easily enter their own expense reports and time sheets, which can be easily consolidated into one currency.

Previously, it took Ellison and her team about a month just to gather the needed information from the various offices to be able to start consolidations for year-end reporting. “We had to send out emails asking people to send certain information and gave them two weeks to respond. Some missed that deadline so it stretched information gathering further. Now, information is available instantaneously.”

Ellison likes Acumatica’s unlimited user business model because it allows her to add users without increasing licensing costs. “We plan to add multiple locations in the next few years, and adding users will be important,” she says. “The fact that adding people won’t mean added software costs was a big plus.”

Acumatica’s ease of use has also been a big benefit, says Ellison, who implemented Acumatica by herself with help from her IT manager and remote support from Crestwood Associates. “We didn’t need a programmer and the software includes built-in tools that allow you to integrate it with other systems, such as Salesforce.”

“Acumatica really does adapt to your business needs, she adds. “It’s flexible and configurable and you can mold it to the way you need to do things—not the other way around. Acumatica is a great tool for nonprofits.”

Application replaced: QuickBooks

Most companies got their start using Inuit’s QuickBooks for their financials. But there comes a time when QuickBooks is just not enough. If you’re ready to take the next step, see what Acumatica has to offer.