Start with the End in Mind

Do you want time savings? An effective workflow? Do you want to cut down on transactional time? Learn what Braam du Plooy, Controller at Atlanta Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, is doing to transform his finance team.

My conversation with Braam du Plooy started with, “The day will come where we have zero spreadsheets.” Braam is passionate about motivating his team, implementing management principles, and fully utilizing Intacct.

First—As with many of his projects, Braam started with the end in mind. He had a vision of what the end result should be and the business value that would result.

Second— Braam is on a mission to eliminate all Excel spreadsheets, because a lot of the data comes directly from Intacct. A few scenarios were happening on the finance team:

Scenario 1: Extract the data from Intacct and put it in another format and then present it. Scenario 2: Extract the data from Intacct and use a different type of software.

Third—Braam took the leadership role to say, "You know what? We need to get away from that." The work to eliminate numerous projects and data in Excel spreadsheets had to be viewed differently. Intacct Dashboards provided the answer. Dashboards are a way to see financial information, similar to a compass that points you in the right direction because the view is accurate, real time, and actionable.

The process behind the dashboard effort began with making an exact replica of the Excel spreadsheet: capturing the data, creating custom fields, and calculating. The team started with a marketing worksheet, and next they began work on a membership worksheet. This dashboard displays retention figures and the membership team loves it. Valuable dashboard data makes users want to see them regularly!

The only commentary Braam received, "Why didn’t you do this a long time ago?"

Braam’s recommendation is to get data in the system, understand all the processes that you have set up, understand how it works, and how you can fine-tune it. When you've got it all done and figured out then you can plan your dashboards. “I could have done dashboards a long time ago but some of the dashboard content would not have been valuable and people would not have looked at it. And then by the time I introduced something meaningful, there would be this perception that the information was not valuable. Present meaningful information that your team needs and is important for their success,” shared Braam.

Now, the organization is finding that there are fewer errors with the automated processes. The data in the dashboards offer drill down capability and the quality and the accuracy of the data is already at such a higher standard compared to when the team was using Excel.

Braam also shared, “The great thing about Intacct, and one of the most valuable, is that you can see errors. Intacct allows you to identify errors much easier and identify the root cause.” This also ensures each dashboard is accurate and up to date.

Braam and his finance team continue to proactively think through additional efficiencies and time saving projects. They have many more exciting projects on the horizon!

[ Published: September 22, 2016 ]