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Goodwill Cuts Financial Planning & Analysis Process by 50% with Cloud-Based Adaptive Suite

Goodwill Cuts Financial Planning & Analysis Process by 50% with Cloud-Based Adaptive Suite

Nonprofit improves data integrity, creates collaborative FP&A process with Adaptive Planning, part of the Adaptive Suite.

“Moving from our Excel-based financial models to Adaptive Planning was transformational. It saved everyone involved an incredible amount of time.” – Mike Pritchard, CFO

If you think accurate and efficient financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is a lower priority within the nonprofit sector compared to other industries, Mike Pritchard would strongly disagree. Pritchard is the CFO of Goodwill Denver, one of 165 community-based Goodwills across the United States helping people in need to reach their full potential through work and education. Goodwill's Denver branch alone serves more than 22,000 people each year across 85 locations combined, which includes retail stores, schools, and donation centers.

For the finance team, 85 locations plus multiple programs equates to 237 financial budgets and forecasts to roll-up into a high-level, corporate view. Such a granular financial management process is something that the company's homegrown, Excel-based system could no longer handle.

Adaptive Implementation Leads to Immediate Time-Savings

Following a recommendation from another Goodwill branch already using Adaptive Insights, Pritchard demoed and eventually implemented Adaptive Planning, part of the Adaptive Suite. Working with Adaptive Insights’ partner IntuitiveTek for all the consulting and implementation services, the benefits were quickly evident.

"Moving from our Excel-based financial models to Adaptive Planning was transformational," Pritchard said, explaining the clear beginning with implementation. "We started implementing in June of 2014 and were done by August, in time to import our actuals and use Adaptive Planning within our 2015 budgeting process. It saved everyone involved an incredible amount of time."

A Higher Level of Productivity, Accountability

Adaptive Planning has helped to set a higher standard of financial accountability among budget owners across the organization. Instead of creating single, yearly Excel budgets, budget accountability is now a bigger part of budget owners’ roles. “They own their budgets in Adaptive.” Pritchard explained.

Owning those budgets includes producing monthly financial reports with balance sheets and income statements used to create future month-end cash projections. Those projections are instrumental to making important decisions, like determining when to open new locations.

“Adaptive Planning has a very user-friendly interface, so it’s easy to access important data when we need it. That made it a lot easier to get people to buy-in,” Pritchard said. “We’ve used Adaptive to create things like cash-flow projections, which were challenging before. As a result, our financial forecasts are more accurate than ever.”

The increased collaboration and involvement in the FP&A process has led to finance cutting their time spent on administrative tasks by up to 50 percent.

“I think Adaptive can really be a transformative solution for us in multiple areas, from quarterly projections, to multi-year forecasting, to visual dashboards.”  — Mike Pritchard, CFO

Guiding the Business with Financial Analysis

The finance team is using their newfound time-savings to dig deeper into fi nancial metrics and produce reports that include more valuable performance analysis.

“Financial reporting within Adaptive Planning is incredibly flexible,” Pritchard said. “We can quickly create reports, make changes on the fly, and even drill into specific account details at the transactional level.”

Using the “track changes” feature, the team sees a clear audit trail of changes that budget owners make to their plans. Monthly reporting then provides clear insight into performance against original plans and budgets by department. In the end, all that analysis rolls up to the corporate level.

“Adaptive has a clear hierarchy of levels, making it easy to rollup reports,” continued Pritchard. “We can also group reports by specific sets of locations and compare their performance to another set of locations. That’s key to understanding how to operate more efficiently every month.”

From time-savings, to data integrity, to intuitive use, Adaptive has been a true difference-maker in helping Goodwill Denver’s finance team to assume a more strategic role within the company. And according to Pritchard, they’ve only just begun.

“The feedback from all of  our users has been that data in Adaptive Planning is bullet proof. We’re all benefiting from using it today, and we plan to signifi cantly expand that use as we move forward.” — Mike Pritchard, CFO


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