When a non-profit needs to raise money, they turn to ACD Direct. Established in 2003, the data entry and contact center handles millions of minutes worth of calls every month from patrons looking to support their favorite charitable organizations. When a person decides to make a pledge, ACD Direct takes the call, processes the contribution, and manages any customer service issues that arise along the way.
It’s a hefty responsibility, coordinating fundraising logistics for the likes of PBS and other internationally known non-profits. And while the company excels at managing fundraising for its clients, when it came to ACD Direct’s own finances, the picture was much less organized.
“We had a lot of headaches,” says ACD Direct Chief Operating Officer Noah Rosales. “That’s not a place you want to have headaches.”
For starters, invoicing was a nightmare. Rosales says it was a chaotic 48-hour process at the end of each month to get invoices drawn up and out the door. Oftentimes there were mistakes, which was a liability.
“When a client has an issue with something as small as invoicing, they lose faith in you,” Rosales says. “If you can’t get their invoice correct, how are you handling the rest of their business?”
Planning was another major issue. The company’s books were handled internally, and yet many members of leadership didn’t have a good handle on where the company stood financially from one month to the next. Decisions were made based on instinct rather than numbers or facts.
By the start of 2016, Rosales knew it was time for a change.
A Virtual Solution
ACD Direct signed on as an Ignite Spot virtual accounting client in February of 2016, and controller Nelson Shendow immediately got to work streamlining the company’s financial processes. He scrutinized every client the company bills, examining the types of fees, their frequency and the process for collecting them.
Shendow and his team found ample opportunities for improvement. Some of ACD Direct’s management fees, for example, were being collected quarterly, while others were being charged semi-annually or annually. Ignite Spot helped implement an across-the-board standard.
Shendow also took a magnifying glass to spending, identifying areas where the company wasn’t aware cash was being wasted.
And that nightmarish 48-hour invoicing period?
“We’ve got it down to 8 hours now, and we’re continuously improving the process,” Rosales says.
Related: 5 Benefits Of Online Bookkeeping
But the biggest benefit by far, Rosales says, has been the positive impact on the company’s planning and projecting abilities; he now feels armed to confidently make smart financial and strategic decisions.
“Ignite Spot provided a lot more insight into planning than we had previously, giving proactive suggestions about where we were at, where we were headed, and how we were trending,” he says. “We’ve completely morphed how we strategize and how accounting affects our sales and our growth.”
The Benefits Of Going Virtual
If any of the above hits close to home—uncertainty about your company’s cash flow, invoicing mistakes, or just a general sense that you could be running a tighter ship financially—it might be time to hire a virtual bookkeeper of your own. A virtual accounting service like Ignite Spot’s can help your company in a few key areas, as evidenced by our work with ACD Direct:
1. Minimizing Errors
Mistakes happen, but they should be the exception and not the rule. A virtual accountant can catch and correct mistakes, from small ones like data entry errors to potentially fatal ones like embezzlement.
2. Streamline Processes
As we’ve discussed in depth on this blog, a company needs a streamlined set of processes to scale and reach maximum profitability. A virtual bookkeeper can streamline your company’s finances, automating regular processes, putting systems in place and eliminating fluff.
3. Provide Clarity
You can’t make good decisions without data, plain and simple. You might get by for a little while relying on instinct alone, but the bigger your company grows, the more impossible (and downright irresponsible) that becomes.
Working with a virtual accountant provides financial clarity on your current position and future projections so you can make smart decisions for your business, customers and staff.
More To Go Around
One of Ignite Spot’s most obvious goals is to give clients more cash to invest back into their businesses. For ACD Direct, that also means investing in their own clients.
Because the company works so heavily with non-profits, supporting them is a no-brainer and something on which Rosales places a high priority.
“We make donations to the very same clients we’re billing because when they grow, we grow,” he says.
He cites PBS as the perfect example; they’re not only a valued ACD Direct Client, but a source for excellent informative and entertaining television programming. They help build stronger communities, which is beneficial to everyone.
“We’re in business to make money, but we want to give back to the community at the same time,” Rosales says. “To do that as a company, you need good systems, clean books, and a trusted accounting partner, which we found in Ignite Spot.”
Learn more about whether a virtual accountant is a good fit for your business. Download our pricing by clicking below!