Sage Intacct creates more efficient solutions to help a non-profit manage its $20k+ yearly donations
Challenge

“We’re not a mission, we’re on one.”

With almost 160 employees between Guiding Light and Social Enterprises, a lot of time had been spent manually generating reports in QuickBooks that ultimately didn’t speak to each other. QuickBooks didn’t speak to the donor management software or the online giving platform, and more important, it didn’t speak to the bank. With his exposure to some of Sage Intacct’s other products, Director of Finance Brian Spyke knew that there was something better out there.

Guiding Light needed a better way to manage the more than $20,000 donations made each year by its donors, which would unburden its staff from countless hours of manual entry.

Solution

Timing is everything

Beene Garter somehow knew Guiding Light was in the market for a more efficient solution for its tracking and reporting because it reached out to Guiding Light via LinkedIn at a time when the organization was going through a big change in leadership structure.

Brian put his trust in his partners at Beene Garter and was very glad he did. Encouraged by Beene Garter’s expertise, Brian was able to move Guiding Light forward with a solution that saved his staff time while also giving his new leadership team a clearer view of the organization’s financial picture.

“We really wanted to be able to appropriately report to our board all the things that a more robust accounting software would provide. Not only that, but we have big plans to grow…so it was just the right timing.” -Brian Spyke, Director of Finance, Guiding Light

Results

All project and time tracking consolidated into one software program

Employees work more efficiently and better allocate their time

The entire staff can see what’s happening in each department of the organization

All under one roof

Since Beene Garter helped implement Sage Intacct in May 2022, Guiding Light is finding that now everything falls under one entity and is broken down by various dimensions, locations, and programs—a much more manageable program.

Implementing Sage Intacct provided Guiding Light a huge cost savings when it came to its staff, as it now requires less cost development dedicated to staff completing manual accounting functions. Best of all, Guiding Light retained its complete staff, more fully devoting its team members’ time to the organization’s core mission.

Prior to using Sage Intacct, Brian says its departments tended to work in silos, mainly because they didn’t have an effective way to track budgets. Now, the entire Guiding Light staff can see what’s going on across the organization much easier through visual data.

“I think everyone understands each other much more because we have that. And frankly, we’re able to have much more accurate expense tracking.” Brian Spyke, Director of Finance, Guiding Light

Big changes

Guiding Light’s gifting process has seen the biggest change thanks to Sage Intacct. Previously, too many hands were involved in the gifting process—all manual work. Staff were having to do manual reporting in QuickBooks for every single donation. This tedious process sometimes required staff to work 10- to 12-hour days, whereas now, no one is working longer than normal business hours.

“That’s because of that power query that Beene Garter built for us where they’re able to do the work on just the frontend through our donor management software,” says Brian.

Overall, Brian is more than satisfied with Sage Intacct and how the software program has streamlined communication throughout the entire organization, making major tasks, such as gift processing, much more manageable. Through this experience, Brian says he would highly recommend using Sage Intacct to other non-profit organizations looking to maximize company-wide reporting, communication, and incoming donations.

Why would Guiding Light recommend Beene Garter's outsourcing services?
Because of this project that we did with Beene Garter, we’re able to now devote more resources to the individuals that we serve because of the efficiency, savings, and all that Sage [Intacct] offers. All these things allow us to serve our population much more effectively. -Brian Spyke, Director of Finance, Guiding Light

About Guiding Light

Guiding Light is not your typical gospel rescue mission. Its main program is guiding light recovery, which is an evidence-based program treating substance abuse. Guiding Light serves as the non-profit entity, while Social Enterprises is its staffing agency. Guiding Light also offers Iron House transitional housing, the second phase of Guiding Light recovery. Six properties throughout Grand Rapids and Kentwood (MI) are part of the Iron House community. Guiding Light has 29 employees— 25 of which are full time—while Social Enterprises has anywhere from 115 to 130 $employees.

Previous software:

  • QuickBooks