Luna Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Leads From the Front with Help From The Answer Company and Sage Intacct
Luna Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (Luna Centre) is Calgary’s most recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to child abuse intervention and prevention. Luna Centre brings a multidisciplinary team of experts from a variety of fields together in one location. This makes it easy to share information while providing a safe, comfortable space to the children it represents. As an established leader, other advocacy centers look to Luna Centre as a model for their operations. Helping the organization maintain its leadership role, grow its scope and fulfill its mission are The Answer Company and Sage Intacct.
Replacing QuickBooks with Next-Generation Solution
“Quite simply, we had outgrown QuickBooks,” recalls Glenice Bratvold, Payroll and Accounting Coordinator for Luna Centre. “We were trying to run a growing, diverse, and complex nonprofit organization on software you can buy at the mall.” Bratvold and Kevin Murphy, the Controller for Luna Centre, were charged with finding the organization’s next-generation solution. “We knew we wanted a cloud-based application for accessibility, cost and security reasons, and members of our board of directors had great experiences with Sage Intacct,” says Bratvold. “At first we thought it might be overly complex for our needs – that it was too big a jump from QuickBooks. But as we learned more about Sage Intacct we saw that while it is tremendously powerful, it’s also easy to use.”
“Sage referred us to The Answer Company,” Murphy recalls. “They responded quickly and everything fell right in line. After meeting them, we never seriously considered any other solution than Sage Intacct and The Answer Company.” The Answer Company drove a quick and successful implementation. “Their project plan was to complete the implementation and go live in just two months,” says Murphy. “We actually asked them to slow it down at one point, so we could catch up. So, within four months we were live with no problems.”
Luna Centre’s Sage Intacct conversion took place right as the impacts of coronavirus pandemic were felt. “The timing was ideal,” says Bratvold. “Shortly after, our accounting offices closed and we all began working from home. With our old on-premise version of QuickBooks, we would have been lost.”
Dimensions Provide Context
The dimensions feature within Sage Intacct is of particular value to Luna Centre. “We set up dimensions for departments, funds, employees, vendors, and customers,” explains Murphy. “Dimensions allow us to track our revenue and expenses very precisely without adding dozens of additional general ledger account numbers. It’s an efficient and intuitive structure that has both simplified our accounting tasks and made our reports more valuable.”
Reporting Efficiencies Save Days Each Month
Bratvold estimates that Sage Intacct saves two or three days of reporting time each month. “Our monthly and quarterly reports are ready at the touch of a button,” she says. “And with the dimensional general ledger, we can provide each manager with the data they need to optimize their activities.”
Another benefit Luna Centre realizes with Sage Intacct is improved collaboration and data sharing. “The Answer Company is building various dashboards for our users so they can access the data they need on their own terms,” explains Bratvold. “In addition, we share reports automatically with various stakeholders, ensuring everyone is supplied with real-time data without any additional effort on our parts.”
Better Budgeting Promotes Accountability
Luna Centre is in the process of moving its budgeting and planning workflows into Sage Intacct. “We’ve always done budgeting in Excel,” notes Bratvold. “It’s a cumbersome, error-prone, highly inefficient way to do it. Moving the tasks into Sage Intacct will save an enormous amount of time and will allow us to better monitor our budgets throughout the year.”
With Sage Intacct, everyone will work on the latest version and can see who updated the budget and when. Bratvold and Murphy can easily collaborate and invite department heads to build or edit their budgets, create multiple what-if scenarios, and dig into the details.
Partnering for Success
“The Answer Company was a major factor in the success of this project,” says Murphy. “They prepared the project timetable and action steps and then proceeded to wrap their arms around the whole project, owning it and pushing it forward. There’s just two of us here in the accounting department, so without their guidance, skill, and commitment we couldn’t have made it happen.”
“I appreciate their commitment to our success,” adds Bratvold. “They go over and above to deliver on their promises. Ultimately, our Answer Company consultants became our friends. We shared lots of laughs together, which was most welcome during such a tough year.”
Answering the Call
Luna Centre’s Sage Intacct implementation was provided at no cost to the organization as part of The Answer Company’s Answering the Call Initiative. Established in 2015, Answering the Call promotes giving back to the communities it serves – with over 25,000 employee hours donated to date. During 2021 alone, the initiative provided $75,000 worth of services, $350,000 in development fees, and $40,000 in cash to deserving nonprofits across Canada.