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ACLU of Minnesota
Sarah Heil, Director of Finance Operations
“I am thrilled to report that it has taken me less than 15 minutes to run our month-end reports — a process that used to take me the better part of two days! Now we can look at the numbers anytime, so we can spot potential issues sooner.”


Founded in 1952, the ACLU of Minnesota is a civil rights organization whose staff of advisors and attorneys work with volunteers, fellows and interns to protect and extend civil liberties in Minnesota. The organization is part of a national network of affiliates in the United States.


The ACLU of Minnesota’s finance director, Sarah Heil, has a lot to keep track of, which brings unique challenges to her role. Prior to Wipfli’s involvement, every month she would spend two days battling with the ACLU’s legacy financial system to get the information she needed. Reporting was a manual process, requiring redundant data entry and unwieldy exports to Excel. Additionally, the organization was burdened with a paper management process that required manual filing of every invoice, receipt and donation.

The ACLU needed a financial system that would provide fast, robust reporting, via a system better suited to its accounting needs.


Wipfli was engaged to deploy Sage Intacct’s cloud-based financial management and accounting software. This tool would provide the data management the ACLU needed to simplify monthly reporting, introduce new financial controls and digitize its paper management.

One primary focus of the implementation was Intacct’s dashboard feature, which allows managers to see financial activities at a glance. And, to improve financial controls, Wipfli set up a three-tier approval process for purchasing and printing checks.


The new accounting system immediately relieved a strain on the ACLU’s financial staff, reducing end-of-month reporting time from two days to approximately 15 minutes. Now, financial reporting is automated and readily available, and the finance director no longer has to spend valuable time creating spreadsheet-based reports. Leaders can spend more time analyzing information, with real-time visibility into financials.

Highlights of Sage Intacct’s benefits for the ACLU of Minnesota include:

  • Reduced monthly reporting time from two days to 15 minutes
  • Streamlined future audits with better spending controls
  • Established a web-based accounting system that empowered remote work and mobile approvals
  • Enabled users to scan and track financial paperwork inside the system

Relationship Executive(s)

Lisa Desotelle, CPA, Partner