Join Ken Daemicke and Ivona Gal, as they introduce Sage Intacct a Financial Performance Management (FPM) software. In this episode, they discuss how Sage Intacct improves company performance and finance productivity by knocking down barriers with information, insights and tools.
[00:00:00] Ashley: Hi, I’m Ashley, and you’re listening to the Business Owner’s Guide Podcast, “Tips, Trends, and Talks From a CPA.” Today, we welcome Ken Daemicke and Ivona Gal from our Client Advisory Services department for an introduction to Sage Intacct, a cloud-based financial performance management software. But before we begin, let’s find out more about our guests.
[00:00:24] Ashley: Ken is a Partner in the Firm’s Client Advisory Services department and has over 40 years of public accounting experience providing audit, outsourced accounting, business and fiduciary income tax planning and preparation, and business advisory services to his clients. He ran his own CPA firm for 13 years and also previously worked with the national CPA firm.
[00:00:49] Ashley: Ivona is a Client Advisory Services Manager, and a Sage Intacct Certified Accounting and Implementation Specialist, with over 20 years of experience in public accounting, specializing in audit and accounting engagements from small to mid-size closely held firms.
[00:01:03] Ashley: First of all, thank you both for joining me on the podcast.
[00:01:08] Ken: Oh, we’re happy to be here.
[00:01:09] Ivona: Thanks for having us.
[00:01:10] Ashley: Can you start off by providing me with a very brief overview of what Sage Intacct is?
[00:01:15] Ken: I’d be happy to. So PKF Mueller is a Sage Intacct Accountant Partner what that means to you, the client, is that you outsource to us part or all of your accounting controller and/or CFO functions. As a best-in-practice provider, we work with Sage Intacct cloud accounting software products and financial management solutions that deliver deep accounting capabilities, including core financials, general ledger, AR, AP, cash management, reporting and dashboards. SaaS metrics, enhanced communication between departments, all that across multiple industries, designed with a single aim to accelerate your success.
[00:01:59] Ken: The Sage Intacct cloud financial management solution provides unprecedented depth and sophistication for finance teams, more than you’ll find in rigid software suites, so you can be productive and insightful quickly. Sage Intacct scalability puts you in position to drive growth by automating the complete range of basic and complex accounting processes so that you can focus on analyzing business performance in real time.
[00:02:29] Ken: You concentrate your efforts to grow your business and gain that competitive edge, not bogged down by your accounting and project management. We’ll be your partner along the way to help on that end.
[00:02:41] Ashley: What are the benefits of utilizing Sage Intacct software?
[00:02:44] Ken: Well, I can point to half a dozen reasons that illustrate these benefits all the time. Number one, it’s the first and only preferred financial management solution endorsed by the AICPA. Also, 2021 was the fifth consecutive year that Sage Intacct received the highest score in Gartner’s ,”Critical Capabilities Report for Core Financials for Lower Mid-size Enterprise.”
[00:03:08] Ken: It’s a best-in-class multi-dimensional reporting system that delivers real-time insights across multi-entities. It has fast consolidations that make you smarter without having to do all that mind-numbing, Excel stuff. Sage Intacct’s cloud-based solution offers significant benefits all in one integrated. It uses the cloud to securely access key data anytime, anywhere. And finally it streamlines payment processing while increasing efficiency.
[00:03:42] Ashley: Now that we know a little bit more about what Sage Intacct is, can you tell me about PKF Mueller’s involvement with Sage Intacct?
[00:03:49] Ken: We were indoctrinated into Sage Intacct after initially attending an AICPA-sponsored workshop for Digital Client Accounting and Advisory Services in which ever-changing best practices were shared among those working in this rapidly evolving sector of our practice offerings.
[00:04:06] Ken: Sage Intacct was the ERP of choice because of the reasons I outlined previously, and we saw firsthand that many, many of the nation’s top accounting firms are Sage Intacct Accountant Partners themselves. From there, we formed a business plan and obtained buy-in from PKF Mueller’s Executive Committee and Partners.
[00:04:26] Ken: The next step was substantial technical and business development training as part of the onboarding process. After nearly a year, all of that led to our official graduation as a Sage Intacct Accountant Partner. On an ongoing basis. We attend Partner Office Hours, which is a weekly hour presentation on some new or updated feature about working with the software or presentations from one of Sage’s many Marketplace Partners who offer specialized apps that integrate with the Sage Intacct platform. We also attend quarterly Sage Intacct Partner calls, and last June, we attended the Sage Partner Summit for a week in Dallas.
[00:05:05] Ken: Delving back to technical training and the certification process, Ivona will share her hard-earned experience.
[00:05:12] Ivona: Thank you, Ken. Sage Intacct has a robust training program. Within Sage Intacct’s console, there is a Learning Center. In the Learning Center, there are various on-demand classes. These classes can be as concise as a 15 minute course on Configuring Fixed Assets or as detailed as a 10 hour course on Nonprofit Financial Reporting and Dashboards. Once I took some of the initial courses offered by Sage Intacct and viewed their video tutorials, I was able to take Sage Intacct Fundamentals and become a Certified Specialist after taking an exam. I was also able to take the Implementation course and become certified in that as well.
[00:05:48] Ivona: This Sage Intacct team is very responsive and if I have any questions or concerns, I have many sources available to. We have a representative that works with PKF Mueller to guide us with any issues that arise and I have access to the Learning Center, as well as the Sage Intacct community website. The community has other Sage Intacct users there asking and answering questions on various topics. Since we are a Sage Intacct Accounting Partner, PKF Mueller can offer lower rates to our clients than if the client would reach out to Sage Intacct directly.
[00:06:17] Ashley: What does the typical integration and implementation process look like, if I were to engage PKF Mueller and Sage Intacct?
[00:06:24] Ivona: Well, Ashley the process is detailed. We first begin by having a general discussion with the potential client and see what their current accounting functions are and what they would like to change.
[00:06:33] Ivona: Once we learn more about our potential clients’ needs and they decide they want to move forward with implementing Sage. We have another in-depth meeting to go over the specific accounting processes. We learn all the ins and outs of their entity. For example, with a not-for-profit client, we would go over their current chart of accounts, the current structure of their programs, and see if they utilized any other software that we would need to also integrate into Sage Intacct.
[00:06:59] Ivona: We look to see if they have more than one location or business entity, we again, also have Sage Intacct personnel to reach out to if we run into any areas that we may need additional assistance with implementing the client. Before we even start working with the software, we spend a lot of time just learning about the client’s needs and what we can do to make their lives easier in the accounting sense.
[00:07:18] Ivona: Planning is essential for. Once we start the process, we can tailor the software to that client’s specific needs. A current implementation that we are working on is a good example of this. A not-for-profit client that we work with has numerous investments and was maintaining a large Excel worksheet and manually allocating funds to each individual endowment monthly.
[00:07:37] Ivona: After learning more about this process in our planning sessions, now we know that this is a major concern for the client and that saving time and energy in this process is invaluable for them. We are now working on setting up their platform in a way where we can track these funds within Sage Intacct versus having to use a huge worksheet and we’ll be using Dynamic Allocations, a function within Sage Intacct. We can also tailor modules, reports, and dashboards specifically for the client’s needs. More time spent upfront in the planning process will pay off with the product. We plan, define, build, model, then deploy the system on a “go live” date and then offer ongoing support.
[00:08:13] Ashley: Well, I think this was a really great overview of Sage Intacct, and thank you for your time today to discuss Sage Intacct and its various benefits. If any of our listeners have any questions or would like to learn more, would you please share how they might be able to reach you?
[00:08:26] Ken: Sure, Ashley you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at +1 312 888 4625.
[00:08:36] Ivona: And you can reach me at email@example.com or give me a call at +1 708 745 3506.
[00:08:44] Ashley: And thank you to our listeners. Don’t forget to visit us at pkfmueller.com to learn more about our Firm’s services. You can also follow us on social media for more updates, insights, and upcoming events.