Exante360 Improves Cash Flow and Cuts Costs with Deltek Vantagepoint
An Interview With Nick DeKeyzer, Barbara McGee and Amanda Ghironzi, Exante360
Summary: Exante360 is an industry leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) consulting and design firm. From healthcare and education to government and corporations, Exante360 designs and manages construction for low voltage building systems around the globe. Exante360 knew they needed a more reliable solution to run their business, so they turned to Deltek Vantagepoint. As a result, Exante360 enhanced business processes, improved client experience and increased cash flow.
Exante360 has a team of 30+ professionals that manage and deliver projects around the world. At any given time, Exante360 has more than 300 active projects of all sizes and complexities and they needed a solution that would help them deliver more reliable data to their leadership, project managers and consultants.
For several years, Exante360 struggled to run their business effectively with Clearview and QuickBooks. While the interface was impressive, Nick DeKeyzer, managing partner, quickly realized they weren’t getting the support they needed. Despite attending user conferences and directly interacting with their team, Exante360 was never able to ramp up the system effectively.
“The data just wasn’t reliable and the reports didn’t seem accurate, especially on the project accounting side,” said DeKeyzer. “Our team lost faith in the system.”
Exante360 knew they needed a solution to not only deliver more reliable data, but also give project managers greater insight into their project performance. With dozens of active projects, project managers needed a consistent way to quickly see how projects are performing.
One Version of the Truth
With disparate systems, Exante360 struggled to quickly see what was happening across the business. After evaluating several other solutions, they decided to place their trust in Deltek Vantagepoint, an innovative solution for professional services firms, where everything can be viewed in one place.
“We looked at Netsuite, but it is extremely robust, very expensive and overkill for a company of our size. We also looked at Unanet A/E, but that was Clearview revisited so we didn’t go too far with it. We evaluated BQE Core, but ultimately it had more cons than pros,” said Barbara McGee, director of business administration. “We needed something that’s going to be running better for us now, and BQE couldn’t provide that.”
“With Vantagepoint, I have one version of the truth and that’s huge,” says McGee. “I can easily see what’s going on across all functions of accounting and projects without too much hunting and pecking.” And, unlike their previous solution, Exante360 was much more confident in the accuracy and reliability of their data in Vantagepoint. “Every report I run is spot on,” says McGee. “I’ve been very happy with the accuracy of the data.”
Deltek’s Vantagepoint solution is also delivering greater insight into business performance. Exante360 has established key metrics for the business so they can manage by exception and focus attention where needed. “The average administration time on a project is say 20% and as soon as the project manager deviates from that by a certain amount, it flags my business partner and me,” says DeKeyzer.
Improving the Client Experience
Exante360 is focused on their client experience and moving to Vantagepoint helped them improve how they interact with clients. One area in particular is invoicing. With Deltek Vantagepoint, Exante360 is able to generate invoices more quickly and more accurately. According to Amanda Ghironzi, staff accountant, the process is much more automated in Vantagepoint, eliminating a lot of manual entry and results in much cleaner, nicer looking invoices including company logo and watermark. And, when clients have questions about invoices, it’s much easier to answer them in a timely manner.
“Sometimes, clients have questions about the invoices and they want to see the detail,” says DeKeyzer. “In short order, we’re able to query Vantagepoint, issue a good-looking report that doesn’t require manipulation and share with the client.”
Better invoices mean shorter billing cycle times. “The cycle times are so much shorter and the invoice acceptance is much higher, which goes a long way from a client relationship point of view,” says DeKeyzer. “It also makes the life of project managers, project accountants and financial accountants easier.”
The consultants have also experienced benefits from Vantagepoint for their client relationships. Todd Winslow, senior consultant, shares that being able to quickly turn around invoices that are accurate and reliable not only shortens Exante360’s billing cycle, but increases their sentiment score with the client and can improve their relationship and trust.
Powering Project Success for Professional Services Firms
Saving Time and Costs
With Deltek Vantagepoint, Exante360 has also seen tangible cost savings and time savings. Prior to Vantagepoint, it took the accounting team a week to prepare invoices.
“Our invoice processing time has been cut by two thirds. Now it only takes about two or three days, and some of that time includes calls with the PMs to discuss the projects. And, it goes beyond just creating invoices. We’ve also gotten the month-end close down to about four days,” says McGee. “There were times when it would take eight days to close the month, which wasn’t good.”
As DeKeyzer explains, he used to get the financials on the 13th or 14th of the month, which didn’t leave much time to make necessary adjustments. But, with their Vantagepoint solution, he now gets financials on the 6th or 7th because they have been able to automate their processes.
Why Deltek Vantagepoint?
DeKeyzer provides the following recommendation for companies looking for a solution.
“Take it one step at a time and don’t try to implement the whole thing at once,” says DeKeyzer. “Focus on financial accounting and project accounting, get familiar with the interface and proceed sequentially. Deltek Vantagepoint will do everything you want it to do, but do invest the time to appreciate the individual stages such that you can build the system to your needs and liking. ”
DeKeyzer also recommends building your network of Deltek users that you can rely on and help move the needle in your businesses. “Deltek users represent a tightly knit community that share the mission, and passion of automation of business accounting processes.”
Deltek is grateful to have Exante360 as a member of Deltek Project Nation and looks forward to watching their business thrive with Vantagepoint.
Exante360 is an industry leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) consulting and design firm with offices in California, Washington, Texas and Florida. Exante360 consists of certified industry consultants who have proven experience in the design and construction management of low voltage building systems. Our expertise encompasses the Healthcare, Education, Government and Corporate markets.
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