“I still have nightmares sometimes about how we used to go through this process.”First American Payment Systems worked with G7 to align the company’s data with all its different sales channels
First American Payment Systems provides merchant processing, integrated payments, point-of-sale equipment, and security solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses. First American not only serves the domestic U.S. market with payment solutions and merchant account services, but also provides global solutions in more than 40 countries across a wide variety of industries. Today, First American services more than 182,000 businesses in such industries as retail, restaurants, and service businesses, in addition to providing customized payment solutions tailored for multiple industries, including government, nonprofits, healthcare, call centers, e-commerce, and more.
Matthew Reinert, director of financial planning and analysis, was tasked with aligning the company’s data and financials with all its different sales channels that the company conduct its business. Pulling data from a varieity of sources using Microsoft Access and Excel became too cumbersome when conducting financial analysis. The process of finding one system to do it all proved to be an overwhelming task with requirements consisting of multi-level cost allocations across 50 sub-channels. How could they do all the required cost allocations on such a granular level while maintaining accuracy and efficiency? The kicker: It needed to find a way to marry financial information to its data to assess First American’s true cost of delivering payment processing services across the business units.
Bringing on G7 in a phased deadline approach allowed an unbiased party to start from scratch without using a chart of accounts to think through the overall process first with a goal of marrying the data with the financial information, cost allocations, and other points down the road. What’s more, the G7 team was able to look forward for a solution that would grow alongside the company to narrow the need to upgrade to another system down the line. “They asked the right questions, questioned the process, and made us go back and think about what would be good in the long run,” Reinert said. “I don’t think we would have arrived at the same solution as she did and used the software to the best of its ability.” G7 and First American arrived at a solution in the form of Board, which is able to blend data metrics with financials to offer operational summaries of actuals compared to budgets, revenues, direct costs, and gross margins to represent the same data in a different approach. “I still have nightmares sometimes about how we used to go through this process,” Reinert laughed. “What we’ve built has already sped up the process so much.”
After going live January 1, 2019, it took 45 days to get caught up, and First American is now starting to see a major savings on time. What used to take upward of five hours to report on more than 3,500 entries with 50-plus different drivers, allocations are not done in a manually process but are streamlined so that the user can manage the process rather than making repetitive calculations. “The entire department is marching toward the same goal,” Reinert said. “We don’t have to go back and redo work anymore.” The month-end process that is being reported is now more efficient and easier to maintain for all those involved, from the vice president of accounting and finance to the chief financial officer. “Projects were stuck in the water before. We are now able to analyze all the way down to the nth degree now with results in 3D, a proof of concept unlike anything we’ve ever seen before,” Reinert added.
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