Trends & Insights

Powerful automation and reporting helps mental health nonprofit scale exponentially

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Health Solutions is a community medical and behavioral health treatment provider with centers in Colorado’s Pueblo, Huerfano, and Las Animas counties. Funded primarily by Medicaid and state agencies, the nonprofit’s safety net programs span everything from residential and outpatient recovery services, to acute treatment units and medical centers, to ride-along police support and school-based early childhood projects. The organization runs about 60 active projects at any given time, employs 420 people, and operates eight separate entities. With a $45 million budget and an increasingly unwieldy number of small and large grants, Health Solutions’ financial management requirements are significant.

We recently chatted with CFO Paige Oldham about the organization’s journey from Blackbaud to Abila MIP to Sage Intacct. She shared, “Whenever something becomes hard to use, I don’t wait around. I want to make our lives easier right away and find something that’s good for every member of the team from the ground up.” Oldham continued, “When I first started here, it was excruciating to get any data out of our old Blackbaud system. Abila MIP was certainly a step up, but consolidations were a nightmare, and it forced us to use remote desktop for access, which eventually broke down and created severe connectivity issues.”

At first Oldham and her team adapted by adding an on-premises tool called Prophix for reporting, but it wasn’t cloud-based, and they eventually found it was still too painful to produce the high-end reporting they needed. Our latest customer success story describes how Health Solutions ultimately deployed Sage Intacct, resulting in achievements like:

  • Scaling with over 5% growth, while reducing finance headcount 25%
  • Shortening the monthly close cycle 65%
  • Reducing TCO 40% by consolidating the financial stack
  • Lowering banking and audit fees
  • Delivering key metrics that helped expand funding from large donors

Oldham knew she wanted a true cloud solution, saying, “I live in the middle of the woods, an hour and a half from anything, so working remotely was a big deal for me way before COVID. For over 20 years, I’ve been a huge proponent of working remotely and making sure that my team has the right systems in place to support it. So, for me, any software we buy simply has to be cloud-based.” She turned first to Sage Intacct as a trusted brand in the software industry and noted, “When I was checking references, the fact that Sage Intacct could clearly handle the full spectrum of needs—whether for a $1 million or $50 million company—said a lot. The system has a really great user interface, but it’s not complex like Oracle Peoplesoft or other large ERP platforms. I knew that we could grow to $100 million, and I wouldn’t have to change anything.”

Slashing TCO 40% amidst growth

By replacing Abila MIP and Prophix with Sage Intacct, Health Solutions immediately reduced the total cost of their financial stack by 40% and realized major productivity gains. In particular, the team streamlined multi-entity consolidations and intercompany reconciliations, which helped speed the monthly close by 65%. “Sage Intacct is set up perfectly for intercompany transactions, with the correct receivables and payables automatically put on each entity’s books. The person entering a transaction doesn’t even have to think about eliminations,” pointed out Oldham. “Everything just balances by default with a push of a button, which saves my team at least two hours every month and helps me immensely in my month-end reviews. If I notice a number that looks off one month, I click on it and quickly drill down to the transaction level to see what’s going on.”

In addition, the system’s multi-entity capabilities helped the nonprofit reduce its banking costs. “We had stayed with Wells Fargo despite their high fees because they were the only bank that could offer all the automations I wanted,” remembered Oldham. “But once I figured out how to get those features cheaper, faster, and easier by consolidating into a single community bank account and integrating it with Sage Intacct, we moved away from having eight different accounts and cut all of those unnecessary fees.”

Each of these efficiency improvements help the finance team scale easily with continued growth, and even free up clerical accounting staff for training in the organization’s complex NetSmart electronic health record platform so they can support medical billing without requiring additional headcount. To extend these time savings even further, Health Solutions is about to go live with a seamlessly integrated AP automation solution called MineralTree, as well as the Sage Intacct Fixed Assets module.

Combining financial and operational data for holistic insight

Health Solutions prioritizes community needs and good stewardship of funds, with Sage Intacct helping the nonprofit track the impact of its various clinical services, including strategic loss leaders. Using the system’s dimensions, the team enjoys detailed visibility into any aspect of the organization they want—whether a specific program (like first responders), group of programs (such as youth services), location (e.g., an acute treatment unit), or an entire entity like the behavioral health centers. They also import operational data, such as payroll information from Paylocity and claims from NetSmart, into Sage Intacct to simplify KPI calculations.

“We have over 60 different programs, some which are specifically grant-funded and give us money tied to certain operational goals,” explained Oldham. “Now that we have FTE data in Sage Intacct, it’s easy to do expense allocations and pull in encounter details from our EHR system. At any time, we can say, ‘this employee in the adult services department produced 60 units valued at X dollars this month’ and get a handle on where we’ll be by the end of the year.” This type of unit cost reporting is critical because it’s how the state determines the center’s rates for the coming year, which makes up around 90% of their funding. Previously, the spreadsheet-based process was so tedious that the team only had time to produce the report annually.

Oldham also built several other custom reports in Sage Intacct, such as program budget-to-actuals for the grant manager, specific quarterly numbers for the bank, and structured financial statements for the annual audit. In addition, she created Sage Intacct dashboards for her CEO and head of clinical services, who can now check on key trends whenever they want, rather than waiting for the finance team to produce reports at the end of the month. Oldham also produced her own forecasting report with useful historical information so that she can update the organization’s high-level forecast easily as needed.

“My forecast report has everything—our income statement details at the top, certain balance sheet items for accounts and groups of accounts, FTE stats, and more. I no longer need to go to 10 places to find all this information,” shared Oldham. “We just signed off on everything for this year’s audit, and it was easy to pull all the reports myself. Our auditor actually reduced his fee and said our audit was ‘fun’ because we went above and beyond with our use of technology and heightened internal controls.”

Read the customer story to find out more about the impressive results Health Solutions accomplished by leveraging Sage Intacct’s powerful capabilities.

Health Solutions reduces TCO 40% with Sage Intacct

Nonprofit community medical and behavioral health treatment provider lowers software costs by consolidating financial accounting stack to one trusted system with Sage Intacct

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