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Nonprofits set out to change lives, so their financial management tools should fuel that mission. That’s why Goodwill Industries of Denver turned to Adaptive Planning. Moving away from Excel-based financial models transformed the organization’s financial processes, which involved 237 financial budgets and forecasts for individual programs and store locations. The cloud-based software made it easier for budget owners to manage and access financial performance, and insights from the bottom up led to a more enriched view of the organization.

Challenges

  • Difficulty in Excel rolling up 237 financial budgets and forecasts into a high-level, corporate view
  • Needed a more granular view of the financial management process
  • Budget owners only created a single, yearly budget

Results

  • Time-savings, data integrity, and widespread adoption elevated the finance team to a more strategic position
  • Increased organization-wide collaboration and involvement in the FP&A process reduced administrative workload by 50%
  • Monthly reporting provided clear insight into performance against plans and budgets by department
About:
For the past 90-plus years, Goodwill Industries of Denver has been a major force in building the local metro Denver and northern Colorado economy. Goodwill provides education, career development, and employment opportunities to help Coloradans in need achieve self-sufficiency, dignity, and hope through the power of work.
Location:
Denver, CO
Industry:
Nonprofit

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Adaptive Implementation Leads to Immediate Time-Savings

Following a recommendation from another Goodwill branch already using Adaptive Insights, Pritchard demoed and eventually implemented Adaptive Planning, part of the Adaptive Suite. Working with Adaptive Insights’ partner IntuitiveTek for all the consulting and implementation services, the benefits were quickly evident.

"Moving from our Excel-based financial models to Adaptive Planning was transformational," Pritchard said, explaining the clear beginning with implementation. "We started implementing in June of 2014 and were done by August, in time to import our actuals and use Adaptive Planning within our 2015 budgeting process. It saved everyone involved an incredible amount of time."

A Higher Level of Productivity, Accountability

Adaptive Planning has helped to set a higher standard of financial accountability among budget owners across the organization. Instead of creating single, yearly Excel budgets, budget accountability is now a bigger part of budget owners’ roles. "They own their budgets in Adaptive." Pritchard explained.

Owning those budgets includes producing monthly financial reports with balance sheets and income statements used to create future month-end cash projections. Those projections are instrumental to making important decisions, like determining when to open new locations.

"Adaptive Planning has a very user-friendly interface, so it’s easy to access important data when we need it. That made it a lot easier to get people to buy-in," Pritchard said. "We’ve used Adaptive to create things like cash-fl ow projections, which were challenging before. As a result, our financial forecasts are more accurate than ever."

The increased collaboration and involvement in the FP&A process has led to finance cutting their time spent on administrative tasks by up to 50 percent.

Guiding the Business with Financial Analysis

The finance team is using their newfound time-savings to dig deeper into financial metrics and produce reports that include more valuable performance analysis."Financial reporting within Adaptive Planning is incredibly fl exible," Pritchard said. "We can quickly create reports, make changes on the fly, and even drill into specific account details at the transactional level."

Using the "track changes" feature, the team sees a clear audit trail of changes that budget owners make to their plans. Monthly reporting then provides clear insight into performance against original plans and budgets by department. In the end, all that analysis rolls up to the corporate level.

"Adaptive has a clear hierarchy of levels, making it easy to rollup reports," continued Pritchard. "We can also group reports by specific sets of locations and compare their performance to another set of locations. That’s key to understanding how to operate more efficiently every month."

From time-savings, to data integrity, to intuitive use, Adaptive has been a true difference-maker in helping Goodwill Denver’s finance team to assume a more strategic role within the company. And according to Pritchard, they’ve only just begun.

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