The Challenge: Complex, Difficult-to-Track Spending
In late 2018, GlobalEd needed an expense management solution. The goal was to find a system that provided:
• Autonomy for their 125 employees and
• Accountability from their 125 employees
• Streamlined reconciliation of expenses with accounts
And in the quest to find a solution, GlobalEd’s leaders discovered something else.
“We felt like we were handcuffed when making decisions,” says Dr. Dana Lambert, the organization’s CEO. “We were slow on the draw making decisions simply because it was taking us so long to find out answers to important financial questions.”
Snags in the Search for a Solution
Suddenly, GlobalEd needed far more than a basic tool could provide. They needed real-time intelligence and insights into their business’s finances to drive better decisions.
Their original challenge of finding an expense report replacement remained, but accounting deficiencies were added to the list of pressing problems. Symptoms of this underlying need popped up in various ways, including:
• A big, complex project. The group was staring down a massive and necessary update to their Chart of Accounts across two QuickBooks files. They expected the project to require a few months of tedious work. Adjusting their Chart of Accounts was required to bring their expense reporting in line with school board requirements, and, ultimately, the State of Colorado’s annual assessment. GlobalEd’s leadership knew the update would eventually save their administrative staff time and energy on the regular.
• Detours. Dr. Lambert’s online research produced mainstream tools. The team adopted an expense management tool that was difficult to implement, received pushback from employees, and didn’t meet their needs. This cost GlobalEd valuable time, precious resources, and irreplaceable morale.
• Unseen accounting bottlenecks. GlobalEd lacked healthy cash flow management, seemingly blooming with cash one month and scrambling to cover unexpected costs the next. This lack of visibility handcuffed leadership from making important strategic decisions early and with confidence.
If the team had better visibility into their accounting and financials, then the above snags wouldn’t have complicated their search. But as it was, the very symptoms of their problem were, frustratingly, sources of even more headaches.
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The Journey to Finding an Accounting Fix
Like many business decision-makers, GlobalEd’s leaders thought they had found a suitable solution. Sadly, the answer wasn’t that simple.
“We had some twists, turns, and detours to get to where we are now,” says GlobalEd founder Ken Crowell. “Three services! And this started out with just trying to solve one problem. You think, ‘Gosh, this tool will do it. No, okay, it was the tool’s problem. This tool will do it.’ And then we realized we needed a whole department, but we couldn’t do that, either.”
Hiring a group of internal bookkeepers and accountants wasn’t a feasible option. And that’s when GlobalEd learned about outsourced accounting.
Ignite Spot taught GlobalEd what life could be like with all their bookkeeping systemized: data entered and reviewed, invoices and bills handled, transactions reconciled, and more. All with secure, streamlined processes and technologies. And unlike an internal accounting team, Ignite Spot’s people are compensated by the month, not by the hour, so they’re motivated to get the job done quickly and accurately every time.
Best of all, Ignite Spot promised to tackle GlobalEd’s original problem of providing real-time, accurate visibility into the company’s financials for better, faster decision-making. They also agreed to help find and implement a customized expense management system for all 125 of GlobalEd’s employee spenders.
As the two businesses got acquainted, GlobalEd’s leaders realized their challenges were actually opportunities in disguise. If their virtual accounting team achieved all these things, their business would be more than merely compliant — they’d have a new edge.
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