By Christina Del Villar, Senior Director of Marketing, Bill.com
The National PTA is one of the largest nonprofits in America, with more than 26,000 chapters and 5 million members. But until Jessica Haberer came onboard, the organization was struggling to keep up with all the bills, expense reports and receipts flying in from every direction.
For PTA, it wasn’t a problem of not enough cash, but a problem of too much paper. Processing over 500 expense reports after each national conference, paying hundreds of incoming bills every month, and sending out hundreds of invoices to vendors every week was becoming unwieldy and unmanageable.
All that changed, however, when Haberer, senior manager of accounting, convinced the National PTA to move its finances to the cloud - today, their accounting process is automated, paperless, cloud-based, streamlined, and cost-effective.
All invoices, receipts and expense reports are sent to a single email address linked to a cloud-based online system. The system automatically routes each invoice to correct approvers along with any receipts, contracts and backup documentation. Then, as each invoice receives final approval, Haberer receives an automatic alert and pays the bill online.
Contrast this with the situation Haberer found when she started. Employees – many working remotely – would accumulate a stack of bills, sign their approvals and then FedEx the stack to their manager at national headquarters. Those invoices would then get buried in the manager’s in-box while awaiting additional sign-offs. Eventually the bills would make their way to accounting, but often only after Haberer had chased them down.
“I can’t tell you how many evil emails I got from people saying, ‘I already gave you that invoice. I put it on your desk,’” recalls Haberer. “I couldn’t take the finger-pointing anymore. My staff and I were spending too much time running around the office trying to locate invoices. And signatures. It got to the point where we were spending an extra seven days to finish our close every month.”
What’s more, Haberer and her team were never sure how many invoices were outstanding or where they stood in the approval process. As a result, it was impossible to properly manage cash flow or know if a big payment was coming due.
Today, cash forecasting is a breeze. “Now we can see weeks in advance what’s in the pipeline and how it will impact cash flow,” Haberer says. “With everything visible online, I can now do better cash forecasting and pay bills in a more timely fashion.”
The National PTA has also saved money since moving their finances to the cloud. They’ve reduced postage, overnight delivery charges and costs for check stock, printer toner stationery and more. And since all invoices now arrive via email, the organization has dramatically cut back on physical mail and the labor that once went into sorting it.
What’s more, with the organization’s finances in the cloud, everything is always at Haberer’s fingertips now, even during her frequent travels to conduct trainings on fraud prevention. She can approve and pay bills, review any document she needs for a decision, and easily work together with any member, staffer or vendor in any part of the nation, from anywhere she needs to be. No matter where she goes, she’s never out of touch.
Would you like to automate your time-consuming, paper-based manual processes by moving them to the cloud? Try Bill.com with no risk today or download the Top Ten Tips for Nonprofits.