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.”