Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin

Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin, Inc
LeeAnn Unruh, Chief Fiscal Officer

“Wipfli is very quick to respond, and that’s important when you need extra support and you don’t want to take a step forward without getting a response. Just knowing that even after this implementation, I still have the ability to reach out to them, and they’re not just going to send me off to call a 1-800 number where I would have to explain my situation over and over, I think that’s great. They really care that we are capable and successful using the system past implementation.”


Situation

Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin (GOPB) was growing increasingly frustrated with their accounting system. 

They couldn’t capture allocations for separate funding source expenses and revenue without having to set up separate company books. In order to get financial reports, they were exporting data into Excel, manipulating it and creating new reports instead of being able to use a “canned” report from the legacy accounting system. In addition, recording any expenses for their 12 Head Start/Early Head Start locations required setting up a chart of accounts for each location and each expense account. 

This created a huge and complex chart of accounts that, with its significant administrative burden, just wasn’t conducive to GOPB’s growth.

As a Head Start organization, GOPB recognized that the level of accountability that comes with spending federal money and documenting its usage meant they needed to invest in a more robust, modern accounting system. They came to Wipfli looking to solve the following challenges:

  • Streamline their chart of accounts and use dimensions to improve reporting segmentation.
  • Streamline and automate manual processes and reduce paper-based processes.
  • Enable ad hoc reporting with easy-to-use dashboards to not only give board members and program managers visibility into data but also let them log in and access real-time data themselves.

Although other accounting systems were in the running, it ultimately came down to Sage Intacct’s robust features and capabilities, as well as the knowledge that GOPB could continue growing without fear they’d outgrow the system in a few short years. 

As for Wipfli, GOPB was impressed with the firm’s deep experience working with Head Start organizations, plus its status as a Sage Intacct Premier Partner.

Strategy

As a modern, cloud-based accounting system, Sage Intacct eliminates paper processes and streamlines workflows, making it an excellent choice to automate GOPB’s manual processes.

As for the organization’s complex charts of accounts, Wipfli greatly reduced them through the use of dimensions. For example, instead of having separate salary wage accounts for each department, GOPB can maintain just one account and simply break it out by department dimensions.

Training was also a large part of the Sage Intacct implementation. To help set GOPB up for post-project success, Wipfli trained GOPB employees on how to change over their manual processes to Sage Intacct, how to use dimensions, how to use the reporting functionality and how to leverage other useful features. 

Results

As a result, GOPB has seen better visibility and audit trails, streamlined data entry and approval processes, reduced manual entry and significant time saved.

GOPB’s chief fiscal officer, LeeAnn Unruh, can drill down into a check run and see exactly how much is Head Start and how much is Early Head Start. She couldn’t do that before without creating different Excel spreadsheets.

She’s also diving into the reporting functionality, excited to be able to pull real-time data instantaneously. Before, without real-time data, it was very difficult to find out how much GOPB had left in its budget. Because funds must be obligated by the end of their fiscal year, not spending all of their funding meant they could be faced with reduced funding the next year. Sage Intacct makes budgeting and reporting so much easier, giving GOPB greater peace of mind and helping them prioritize how best to spend the remainder of their budget. As CFO, LeeAnn enjoys being able to log in every day and know exactly where GOPB is at financially.

One of the unpredicted benefits of Sage Intacct was that GOPB was far more prepared to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because Sage Intacct is cloud-based, GOPB employees can work seamlessly at home or in the office. And that’s been a big boon in being able to navigate the unanticipated changes brought by the pandemic.

Client profile

Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin, Inc is a nonprofit organization in Odessa, Texas, dedicated to providing Head Start services for families in the western Texas area. Their mission is to provide a positive learning experience in a safe and healthy environment that will improve the quality of life for the children, service, and empower them to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.

Relationship Executive(s)

Shereen Mahoney, CPA, Partner