Professional services firms can’t afford to fly blind with little or no ability to track their finances at a granular level — by project, customer, employee, and other dimensions.
That was the challenge facing Epitec, a leading staffing firm that connects top IT, engineering, and professional talent with employers in the U.S. A lack of insights into the state of their financials would only become more problematic as the Michigan-based Epitec continued to operate its business.
The culprit was an outdated Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting application that didn’t connect with Epitec’s custom-built payroll and billing system, called Epilink. That limited insights into key financial metrics — and it meant a ton of manual work for the finance team to get billing information from Epilink into Microsoft Dynamics GP.
“Microsoft Dynamics GP didn’t allow us to really take a deep dive into our profitability and determine what we needed to do to get to the next level,” as Melissa DuVall, Epitec finance team lead, says in our new Epitec customer success story. “It was just so outdated that as we approached $100 million in annual revenue, we knew we needed to upgrade to a more modern system with better reporting.”
Purpose-Built for Professional Services
Epitec, founded in 1978, found the ideal solution in Sage Intacct. Working with its long-time consulting partner, Alta Vista Technology, Epitec also evaluated Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the financial management platform for its next phase of growth.
“Sage Intacct is really geared for professional services companies, and that was key for us,” DuVall said. And as a cloud-based solution, Sage Intacct would also allow mobile and remote work that wasn’t practical with the on-premise Microsoft Dynamics GP.
With implementation by Alta Vista in 2018, Epitec is realizing massive payback from its Sage Intacct solution. It’s eliminated 64 hours a month it would otherwise take the finance team to manually import billing information into Microsoft Dynamics GP, while markedly improving billing accuracy.
Another five hours saved in bank reconciliations through Sage Intacct automation brings Epitec’s total time savings to about 70 hours a month. That’s helped maintain a five-day monthly close process while doubling transaction volume.
Plus, Epitec had newfound agility and scale when it acquired a complementary company, MSXI, in 2019. That brought its total workforce to 1,600 employees and revenue to about $125 million a year.
Breakthrough Capabilities to Track Profitability
Best of all, the Sage Intacct Projects module gives Epitec breakthrough abilities to track profitability by customer and by employee (set up as “projects” in Sage Intacct). That’s especially important as Epitec pursues ambitious objectives to double the company’s size within five years.
“We can really take a deep dive on each project, on each customer, and determine what’s profitable and what isn’t,” DuVall said. “We were able to make a smart business decision recently and eliminate a piece of business that we could tell wouldn’t be profitable by looking at granular detail per customer, per project, in Sage Intacct. In the coming months, we can definitely expect to see our margins improve.”
In addition, AR aging reports devised by Alta Visa let Epitec easily identify late-paying customers, setting the stage to reduce days sales outstanding (DSO) and speed cash flow. Epitec also has new slice-and-dice visibility into its various service lines, such as staff placement vs. individuals directly hired by a customer, with Sage Intacct’s robust multidimensional reporting.
‘I’m Thrilled and the Team Is Thrilled’
Finance team morale has improved through the elimination of tedious manual work, and the opportunity to flex analytic creativity that helps reduce costs, drive revenue, and optimize profitability. And as a cloud-based solution, Sage Intacct has allowed Epitec finance team members to work remotely throughout the COVID pandemic.
“Sage Intacct is such an updated and modern system compared to Microsoft Dynamics GP. It’s simple and user friendly, whereas in our old system you had to click through three different screens just to figure out what was going on.”
View our Epitec customer success story to learn more about the transformative gains that the company has achieved with its upgrade to Sage Intacct.