Professional Services Binswanger Continues Tradition of Innovation & Transformation with Sage Intacct
You don’t thrive and succeed for nearly 100 years without continually innovating and adapting your business as the world changes around you. The idea of leveraging technology and cloud-based software was still many decades away when company founder, Frank Binswanger, launched his business in the midst of the Great Depression in 1931.
Fast forward over 90 years and four generations, family owned Binswanger is still a global leader, providing industrial and commercial real estate services to more than half the Fortune 500. When it came time to update their accounting and project management system, they chose an equally innovative market leader in cloud software – Sage Intacct.
"The software implementation was organized, thorough, and methodical. In fact, the project came in under budget and the entire process from pre-planning to ‘golive’ was as smooth as can be. And everyone we worked with at RKL eSolutions was extremely knowledgeable and always eager to help."
—Lisa Hillegass, Controller
a GOOD HISTORY WITH SAGE
The company had been using Sage 500 for many years. But when Binswanger implemented a change to modernize their entire IT infrastructure, it became clear that it might be time to change their accounting software as well.
According to Lisa Hillegass, Controller at Binswanger, “For years, Sage 500 worked well for us. But it was heavily customized around our specific business processes. So the time, effort, and maintenance required just to do something as simple as update to the latest version had become overly technical and cumbersome.”
The company was also using third-party products to manage properties, projects, and other business processes outside of Sage 500. It was time to look for software that offered more of the functionality they needed ‘out of the box’ – in one single solution - while also leveraging more modern technology. That’s when their business software and IT support provider – RKL eSolutions – introduced Binswanger to Sage Intacct.
breaking ground with sage intacct
A team from RKL eSolutions arrived at the Binswanger office to begin project planning, develop a timeline, and dig into all of the detailed requirements that the company needed Sage Intacct to address. “They really held our hand throughout the entire process,” recalls Lisa. “The software implementation was organized, thorough, and methodical. In fact, the project came in under budget and the entire process from pre-planning to ‘go-live’ was as smooth as can be. And everyone we worked with at RKL eSolutions was extremely knowledgeable and always eager to help.”
Building business on modern technology
Lisa points out that it’s faster and easier to get work done accurately using Sage Intacct. “A major time-saver is the ability to make necessary adjustments and quickly move on. For example, if something was off by just a penny in the old system, we had to reopen batches, post a correcting journal entry, and then re-enter the transaction. It was a real drain on time and energy,” she says. In addition, the cash to accrual conversion process that Lisa described as a “monstrous, time-consuming task” in the past is now quick and straightforward. . She says, “Simply put, everything just takes less time to do in Sage Intacct. If I had to guess, I’d say we’re at least 30% more efficient now across the board.”
Plus, Binswanger has leveraged the built-in functionality of Sage Intacct to go paperless. Lisa explains, “We can attach project and accounting related documents right alongside the transactions we’re posting in Intacct. We’re spending much less time hunting for paper documents in file cabinets and around the office.”
Another benefit of modern, cloud-based software is the anywhere, anytime access it offers. With Sage Intacct, Lisa says, “Employees have their own login. They can access information and transactional data on projects and check status as often as they need. As a result, our accounting department is spending a lot less time looking things up and answering questions because employees have direct access to the data now.”
a solid foundation for the future
Everything from accounting and financial reporting to project management and time & expense tracking is handled right in Sage Intacct. As such, Binswanger has been able to shed the various third-party products they previously needed. “We get much more functionality ‘out-of-the-box’ with Sage Intacct. And with all the data in the same system, our reports are much more comprehensive and powerful.”
In particular, when it comes to financial reporting, Binswanger used a third-party product to extract data from Sage 500, process it, and eventually produce a report. If anything changed in the accounting system, they had to rerun the entire extraction process from the beginning. But with Sage Intacct, Lisa says, “That same financial reporting process that was taking me nearly an hour to run in the past now takes just a few seconds.”
Lisa also recalls that the first audit they had after implementing Sage Intacct was the easiest it had ever been. “We provided the auditors with their own login so now they can look things up and find what they need right within Intacct, without pulling any of the accounting staff away from their desks to scan, copy, and lookup documents.” She adds, “In years past, I would spend hours upon hours every week, for several weeks in a row, pulling invoices and documents for the auditors. This year, I spent less than 24 hours total answering questions and providing follow-up.”
In describing her overall experience with Sage Intacct, Lisa says, “Everything is faster and more efficient, the software is easy to use, and it’s built on modern cloud-based technology that will serve and support our business for years to come.”