Digital Transformation means different things to different people but no matter the situation, the core of the process lies with transformation – “a complete or major change in someone’s or something’s form.” This can be the shift from paper to digital, the shift from manual to automatic, or a change from one digital process to a completely new digital process. Transformation is happening in business all the time not only because it is necessary, but because it just makes sense. Digital transformation means you can complete things in an agile, flexibile, and cost effective way.
The need for agile and cost efficient solutions is even more pronounced in not-for-profit organizations. Ann Chacko is the Operations Manager at T4 Global, a non-profit that brings the Gospel and life-saving educational information to unreached areas of the world that are oral in nature through the use of stories, songs, and dramas. As is the case with many lean non-profits, Ann handles human resources and accounting, but also anything that is administrative in nature. With so much on Ann’s plate, T4 knew a digital transformation was in order to maximize productivity and automate key workflows. They chose Scott Hollrah of Venn Technology to help them make their CRM, donations, accounting, and marketing all work together.
“We have had Salesforce for about 5 years now, but we weren’t using it extensively, just the free non-profit version. It functioned more as a database to collect contacts. We were also using a service that supported our transactions,” said Ann. “But we wanted a purely accounting tool, a donor tool and also a place to keep our contacts. We realized that Salesforce had so much potential to handle that data so we got a license. Then, last October, we implemented Intacct. We realized these apps couldn’t do exactly what we wanted and so we started using Workato.”
Connecting Salesforce and Intacct for Data Empowerment
In order to make Salesforce and Intacct work at their full potential, Scott created some Workato recipes for T4 Global so they could seamlessly share information between Salesforce and Intacct, including the donation information that powers Intacct’s Journal Entries.
“Without Workato, we would have had to take out a manual export and import it into Intacct which is an extremely manual process,” explained Ann. “We use Salesforce to house all of our donor information and before we had to take a file and manipulate it to be compatible to the software and import that as a CSV file. Workato is extremely efficient, clean, mapped accurately and tells us exactly what we want.”
T4 Global uses Apsona, a suite of Salesforce add-on apps, to manage their donations. Workato moves the donations in a batch from Salesforce into Intacct and creates a Journal Entry every day at the same time except Saturday and Sunday.
Another recipe triggers each time a donation is created or updated so that all information is going from Salesforce to Intacct in real time in addition to batches. This recipe always checks to see if the donation already exists so that there are no duplicates and it can simply update the existing record.
Having the donations and customer information in both Salesforce and Intacct increases visibility across the company and makes things easier for Ann by getting rid of manual data entry. Having the information in both apps in exactly the right format allows Ann to focus on more important tasks.
Filling the Salesforce to MailChimp Integration Gap
Scott and Ann wanted to automate processes beyond Salesforce and Intacct. This included automating the process for sign ups to make their way into both MailChimp, which T4 uses for Email, and Salesforce. The quickest way to achieve integrations is through the out-of-the-box (OOB) solution, but often there are elements that are needed that the OOB option can’t perform. Workato recipes can be used to enhance any OOB integration and that’s exactly what Scott implemented.
“We set up the standard Mailchimp, Salesforce integration but there were gaps in the solution. We were very quickly and easily able to fill those holes with Workato,” said Scott. “When someone signs up to subscribe to the T4 newsletter, we needed that information to go into MailChimp and Salesforce. The MailChimp Newsletter Subscription Plug-in did not automatically push to Salesforce – if someone filled the form and submitted it, it sent their information into MailChimp but not into Salesforce.”
Now Workato moves the info from the webform into both MailChimp and Salesforce.
Digitally Transforming With a Truly Agile, Flexible Tool
For Scott, being able to meet his client’s needs in the fastest and most robust way possible is a priority. These same principles are becoming pillars for any company who wants to digitally transform.
“The easiest part of putting together the integration is building the recipes – the recipes for T4 were built in under a day and really just a matter of hours,” said Scott.
“When we launched our initial integration, the business process at T4 was everything was hand keyed into Salesforce, and as a result they were able to manage a portion of the coding when they created the transactions. A few months ago, their business process changed as we started leveraging some 3rd party tools (Apsona) that started collecting donations and dumping them into Salesforce. So we had to make some changes and we needed to account for the fact that they were coming from a new source which meant that some of our accounting coding needed to change. We built whole new recipes to account for the change in source, to take out the fees, and add a new set of journal entries in Intacct. We were able to just clone the original recipe and modify easily. The Workato piece was super simple.”
Every business and nonprofit changes as it grows or transforms, that means your integrations will have to change too. Without a flexible and agile platform, the second stage of T4’s transformation would have been a lot more work for Scott, and a lot more expensive for Ann.
Access to Better Data and Saving Time and Money
T4 Global’s digital transformation has made everyone more efficient, saves time, and allows for better reporting.
“Having tools like Workato, Salesforce, and Intacct has been vital to our organization. We’ve been able to really take out data we never thought we would be able to have. We’re starting to collect statistical data in Salesforce, and we’ve been able to slice and dice financial information for better decision making. Workato has been a great tool where both Salesforce and Intacct have been able to speak to each other, it’s the glue that brings it together,” explained Ann.
Ann saves approximately 10 hours per week thanks to automation. “In my day to day work, because I deal with so many different roles and tasks, I’ve been able to save at least 2 hours daily from data entry. I started in a purely accounting role and now I’m doing more and more things because I’ve been able to gain so much time and insight on how our financial data comes into play,” said Ann. “As we save time, we definitely save money.”
Want to put these same processes in place at your company or non-profit? Here are the recipes T4Global uses: