Entertainment Distribution AMBI flourishes with Sage Intacct to emerge as an industry powerhouse

With more than 500 feature films including “Rush”, “In Dubious Battle” and Netflix’s “To the Bone,”  AMBI Group has quickly emerged as one of the entertainment industry’s most prolific financing,  production and distribution companies. As a dynamic and growing organization, AMBI needed a business management solution that could keep up with their demands. That solution
turned out to be Sage Intacct. Here’s why…

“It’s a pleasure working with RKL as our trusted partner. Their extensive knowledge of entertainment industry best practices and expertise with Sage Intacct enables our small finance team to be a strategic resource for the entire organization.”

                                                                                                                                                                                 —Chris Hickey, CFO

a curtain call for quickbooks

Like many small or upstart companies, AMBI began their journey with QuickBooks. But with success came growth, added complexity, and changing needs. It wasn’t long before they began to feel the pain and limitation of “off the shelf”, single-entity software.

Chris Hickey, CFO at AMBI Distribution recalls some of the challenges they had with QuickBooks. “It was extremely difficult to produce reporting across 25 companies. The report consolidation process with QuickBooks was a tedious and time-consuming task involving downloads to Excel and manually summarizing data that would easily take a full day of effort. Today, the same consolidated reporting with Intacct takes just 3 minutes.”

Hickey recalls when the company was planning for an IPO, AMBI had to bring in two outside consultants to create financial projections. It took them 3 months and cost $80,000 to produce the data from QuickBooks. The AMBI team can now do this with Intacct in a week!

now featuring: sage intacct

After evaluating other accounting software applications, the executive team at AMBI Distribution decided that Sage Intacct was the best option for both their current needs and future ambitions. At a given time, investors and owners might want to know the status on any one of over 500 feature films in the AMBI library.

Sage Intacct provides them with real-time reporting and immediate access to financial statements. In the past with QuickBooks, this had been a major feat. But with Sage Intacct, the company can now slice and dice the data, evaluate profit by library or individual film, and generate reports by customer revenue and corresponding distribution expenses.

Hickey also appreciates that “The executives have access to the data and can view reports without having to rely on the accounting team.” This has allowed AMBI to streamlining the reporting process and increase overall efficiency.


a great supporting cast

Not only is the reporting process more efficient and agile with Sage Intacct, AMBI is now able to better utilize existing staff for

 higher-value and more strategic activities; allowing the company to grow without having to add more accounting staff or additional overhead. In addition, accounting has now become a partner to the rest of the organization by providing timely numbers and critical insight that enables key executives to make informed data-driven decisions.

efficiency booster

Intacct has brought many efficiencies to AMBI with automation and improving internal processes. AMBI also found the additional benefit in tax preparation. Intacct prepares everything in one package. Hickey, liked how he could give the tax people everything they ever needed and wouldn’t hear back from them until time to report. “The lack of questions from the tax and
audit partner saves the internal accounting team time.” Hickey estimates “it lowers our outsourcing bill by 25%.

An A-list partner

AMBI Distribution chose RKL eSolutions as their technology partner to implement Sage Intacct because the company knew they could depend on RKL to get the job done efficiently and in a timely manner. Beyond RKL’s technology expertise in the film and entertainment industry, they also offer tangible benefits such as networking opportunities with peers, sharing best-practices with other clients, and providing open communication channels for support and development.

“It’s a pleasure working with RKL as our trusted partner. Their extensive knowledge of entertainment industry best practices and expertise with Sage Intacct enables our small finance team to be a strategic resource for the entire organization,” said Hickey.

Together with RKL eSolutions, Sage Intacct has given AMBI Distribution a flexible platform to expand in a global marketplace of high-end, commercial movies and independent films. And perhaps equally important, Hickey concludes that, “Using Intacct has provided a better work life balance for the finance team at AMBI. It’s intangible, but definitely valuable.”

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