In this exclusive Acceleration Case study as part of the Future Office of the CFO program, read about how an organization digitally transformed, the partner they leaned on during the transition, and the outcomes of their investment. This business considered how their accounting system was holding them back from a data digitization perspective. With a simpler and cloud-based system, the entire organization gained better data access, visibility, and efficiency.
Business Challenge – Finding a New Accounting System
Halstatt is a family-owned investment firm with over 110 years of experience specializing in real estate, venture capital, private equity, and other initiatives. However, the growth of the company and the diversification of its investments made it challenging to process all of this data in its Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting system.
A lack of real-time insights also created additional challenges in making decisions in the company’s best interests. The constant need to perform these manual tasks resulted in a seven-person accounting team heavily reliant on using spreadsheets. Developing consolidated reports often took anywhere between 80 to 100 hours of manual work. It also took a similar amount of time to conduct asset valuation reporting.
Microsoft Dynamics was unable to process this data promptly, as it required all seven team members in accounting to manage finances due to the limitations of this software. The frequency of Microsoft updates often caused the servers to go down, which made it even more difficult for the team to perform their job tasks. Finding a new software solution to better handle all of this data was a top priority for Halstatt.
The company needed to upgrade its accounting system to expedite the entire process while also making it possible to better serve its investors with quick data-driven investment options. After evaluating numerous options, Halstatt decided to partner with Sage Intacct for using its financial management platform on the cloud. One of the main reasons Halstatt decided to use Sage Intacct was its simplicity and its cloud-based system. The software is also backed by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Software Solution – Sage Intacct
Implementing Sage Intacct made it possible for Halstatt to reallocate five of its employees to other projects due to the system’s efficiency. Now it only requires two employees to manage finances, even while the company continues to experience growth. This employee reduction amounts to significant cost savings, as Sage Intacct makes it possible to streamline the entire finance process.
Everything is now much less complicated due to it being in one system. The monthly close is 65% quicker compared to the previous software. Instead of spending 80 to 100 hours to generate reports, it now only takes minutes to create these documents.
Overall, the efficiency for accounting and finance has increased by 60%. One contributing factor is the ease of integration between other applications. Automation of services makes it possible to reduce costs while also eliminating tedious paperwork significantly. Integration between applications also eliminates many manual steps while improving data accuracy. Reducing these mistakes saves a lot of time, as team members don’t have to search the data for any problems if an auditor identifies any issues.
External auditors now spend only two weeks on-site conducting annual audits. Under the old system, it took auditors anywhere between four to six weeks to finish an audit. Halstatt saves approximately $100,000 each year in audit fees, in-house preparation, and response time. These time savings gave Halstat the ability to create another investment structure that resulted in a $26 million investment.
The Results – Making It Easier to Budget and Improving Insights
Halstatt decided to implement Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning in 2019 due to the success of the previous software. Before implementing this software solution, trying to budget and make plans was a nightmare for the company. Under the old system, employees had to open multiple tabs in the Excel workbook, and it would often take many hours or even days to figure out errors if a formula was wrong.
Now it’s possible for Halstatt to easily share data between spreadsheets and the accounting application with ease. Using this software saves many hours of work while also allowing them to collaborate more with stakeholders. This additional visibility and greater insights make it possible for Halstatt to use a two-person accounting team instead of requiring numerous employees to handle these duties.
Previously, valuation reporting happened once a year due to it taking over 100 hours to complete. However, valuation reporting now occurs quarterly, and it only takes a few hours. Stakeholders can also view key investment metrics in real-time with Sage Intacct’s financial dashboard. Using Sage Intacct has resulted in more flexibility in using real-time information to boost investment strategy further.
Now it’s easy for the chief investment office to analyze cash on hand, asset mix, and other financial data to make better decisions. These decisions are often made in hours instead of taking days or weeks under the old system. Using Sage Intacct has dramatically improved collaboration throughout the organization while empowering the accounting and finance teams with a strategic partnership. Halstatt now has more opportunities to be more strategic with real-time data instead of solely relying on historical information.