Keeping Pace with Growth
The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation has served families of New Brunswick, Canada, for more than 30 years, with a vision of inspiring the power of community to transform healthcare. The Foundation has raised more than $85 million to date to provide world-class equipment, patient comfort, research, education, and mental health programs for the largest hospital in the Canadian province.
As the hospital grew, so did the complexities and challenges of managing the Foundation’s accounts. The organization needed to effectively communicate financials to a variety of people—staff, management, a finance committee, and a board of directors—all of whom required different levels of detail. This task became even more complicated with three main funds and multiple endowments, all in the same database.
Over time, managing the Foundation’s financials became increasingly time-consuming and required more personnel, which also made the process prone to human error. The organization wanted a new way to quickly and efficiently enter, analyze, and report data that would align with existing staff and databases while keeping pace with business and growth.
Discovering an Easier, More Accurate Solution
The leaders at Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation sought out an accounting solution that would not only increase the efficiency of data entry, but also integrate with its fundraising solution for fast and seamless reporting. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT® and Blackbuad Raiser’s Edge NXT® provided the robust tools that the Foundation needed. According to Sandra Clark, the Foundation’s director of finance and administration, the potential to reduce the time required to accomplish tasks became clear immediately.
“The budgeting features are very user-friendly,” Sandra said. “It allows me to easily enter our budgeted amounts by account number and distribute the monthly budgeted figures in a variety of ways.”
The Foundation expects 18% of donations in the first quarter, 15% in the second quarter, 36% in the third quarter, and 31% in the fourth quarter. Sandra said Blackbaud’s solution proved especially helpful for variance reporting.
“We do variance reporting—so, for that to be meaningful, revenue and expenses have to be recorded in the periods that you expect them to occur,” Sandra said. “The budgeting capabilities in the solution are very flexible in the distribution methods.”
Saving Time and Protecting Credibility for the Foundation
By partnering with Blackbaud for advanced reporting and budgeting capabilities—combined with a seamless database integration—the Foundation recovered time and efficiencies that previously seemed lost to growth. According to Sandra, “Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT® does a great job because the reporting is easy. I don’t have to spend all this time in the controls, making sure there are no mistakes in the interfund transfers, which enables me to be involved in other things.”
Sandra also appreciates the journal entry function that allows for automated interfund entries—something the Foundation previously handled with labor-intensive and error-prone manual entry. “With this function automated, sometimes I forget how much of an issue this used to be at audit time,” she said. Blackbaud’s solutions not only save crucial time for the organization to focus on its mission, but also protect it from potential errors that could threaten its reputation, Sandra explained. “The less you touch the data, the more you remove the chance of human error and increase accuracy,” she said. “It’s rare that there’s a mistake—certainly not in the integration. If the donation entry is done properly and applied to the right fund, then everything just flows through so beautifully.”
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