Professional Services The American Phytopathological Society cultivates change with Sage Intacct

Founded in 1908, The American Phytopathological Society (APS), is a global organization dedicated to the study and research of plant diseases. It is the world's leading professional organization for plant pathologists and plant health professionals with over 6,000 members from more than 80 countries.

APS’s mission is to discover, spread, and apply new knowledge regarding plant health worldwide and promote the development and adoption of economically and environmentally sustainable practices. The society's work is essential for protecting the world's food supply and ensuring a sustainable future for agriculture. The organization’s vision - healthy plants - assures a sustainable future.

“The support RKL provided was wonderful - five of our entities have calendar year-ends, I certainly didn’t remember how to do the set-up. I would reach out to RKL and they were so patient and would walk me through the process”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     —Laura McGrady, Vice President of Finance

the roots of the challenges

While APS is a non-profit organization, it does not make the organization’s finances simple in any way. In their case, the complexity arises from the fact that they are the lead partner in a co-operative that manages eight separate societies, each with its own set of statements, separate boards, and eight separate ‘990’ tax filing.

Laura McGrady, Vice President of Finance for APS, joined the organization in June 2022. While the migration process had already begun, McGrady reflected on her colleagues’ discussions of the decision to transition financial systems. Data had to be cleaned and reports executed manually, a tedious and time-consuming task. “By the time the reports were done, they were obsolete; the information they provided didn’t mean anything as it came in too late. The data was partial, and it was impossible to drill down and get a clear vision of the present financial position the organization was in” said McGrady.

breaking ground to green shoots

Members of McGrady’s Finance team were introduced to the RKL team and to Sage Intacct. They were impressed with how Sage Intacct could significantly improve their operations, with an accurate account of where they were at any given moment.

“It seemed like a particularly good fit as it was a cloud-based solution that would be able to deliver the solutions APS so desperately needed”, McGrady explained.

Recognizing the complexity of the situation, McGrady and the RKL team worked closely to continue the migration to Sage Intacct, careful not to rush the process and tailor Sage Intacct to APS’s specific needs. “They supported us every step of the way and made themselves available to us. We logged in our questions, sometimes I would email them with a question of whether or not I should log something, and they answered all of our questions, providing an answer, a solution or even schedule a meeting within 24 hours,” said McGrady.

partners in progress

Through a close partnership, RKL ensured that the APS team could confidently navigate the system and use it to best benefit their business. “They were helpful and patient with us. If one person at RKL didn’t know the answer to a question, they would consult with colleagues and get back to us with a comprehensive solution” added McGrady.

When APS went live, RKL walked them through the entire process. McGrady explained, “The support RKL provided was wonderful - five of our entities have calendar year-ends, I certainly didn’t remember how to do the set-up. I would reach out to RKL and they were so patient and would walk me through the process”. It even went beyond that, added McGrady: “If we have issues with any of the plug-ins we have, on more than one occasion RKL stepped in to hasten a solution on our behalf.”

from seed to flower: timesaving, accessibility & accuracy

Perhaps the biggest improvement the APS team has seen since implementation is in time. “With Sage Intacct, we are able to save so much time. Using the dashboard allows me to give our directors and VPs access to information immediately with minimal effort. To be honest, they don’t even need to contact me for this data, they can access it themselves,” said McGrady.

The benefits go beyond saving precious time. APS explained that they are getting more information, and that information is significantly more accurate. “We are getting it faster which means we are able to react to it in a more efficient and quick manner. This is what one hopes for in the Finance team” said McGrady. The ability to drill down and understand the data allows APS to access valuable information and create meaningful collaborations.

“Sage Intacct comes into play here because we can get a snapshot of where things stand at any given moment. For example, we are running smaller educational courses, something we are doing more of recently, we know whether this is a good idea or not. We know whether we need to adjust, discontinue, or increase any activity.” APS explains that Sage Intacct provides invaluable analytical ability, allowing for accelerated growth: “This will allow us to make plans for our future, to identify which revenue streams we should pursue and which ones we should walk away from”.

“In a way this speaks to APS values: sharing information, leading progress, and nurturing development” concluded McGrady.

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