SMS Finds More Than Just Reliable Project-Based Accounting With Deltek Vantagepoint
An Interview with Michael Zavala, Accounting Manager, Strategic Management Services (SMS)
Strategic Management Services (SMS) employs nearly 40 professionals who help health care businesses with timely and innovative regulatory compliance solutions. Prior to choosing Deltek for their project-based accounting needs, SMS used a small unstable accounting solution that was unable to adapt and grow with their business.
“The main thing we were looking for was simply reliability,” shared Michael Zavala, accounting manager at Strategic Management Services, “and a sound platform that didn’t go down once or twice a week.”
Zavala had past experience with Deltek’s industry-specific products and encouraged his CEO contact Deltek to see what solution would be best for a smaller consulting company to manage the company financials. “We were looking for a solution that was solid, reliable and performed the necessary accounting functions … Deltek Vantagepoint has more than met those requirements,” he said.
More Than Just Reliable Accounting: Improved Efficiency
Besides reliability, SMS also struggled with obtaining accurate and consistent timesheets and expense reports. “I would get the most complaints about timesheets,” shared Zavala. “If I could go back and compare my email complaints prior to implementing Vantagepoint − the difference would be astounding − with almost no complaints now.”
With Deltek Vantagepoint, employees are not only able to confidently enter their timesheet and expense report data, but can also do so from anywhere. One of the things SMS likes most about Vantagepoint is the intuitive user interface − making it easier for SMS users to find the right projects to charge time to, and eliminating manual updates and frustration. “Even for our first-time Vantagepoint-users,” says Zavala, “employees are able to walk through the process and find the project record information they need.”
Expedited Invoicing & Streamlining Cash Flow
Now that SMS’s project teams can easily input timesheet and expense report data, the accounting team can process invoicing and closeout month-end activities more quickly. “As a service-based company, we rely on prompt, timely and accurate submissions of timesheets,” stated Zavala. “By getting timesheets in faster- we are able to get invoices out up to a week sooner.” In addition, SMS can better rely on the accuracy of invoices and provide more detail for their clients, making it easier for their clients to process payments.
SMS has also cut down on the length of their accounts receivable (AR) reports. Previously, SMS created bi-weekly AR reports for company leaders totaling on average 30-35 pages. By using Deltek Vantagepoint, the accounting team can now process invoices faster and cut the length of AR reports by 60%. “We’re able to collect on older outstanding invoices quicker because it’s easier to see what’s missing,” shares Zavala.
Increased Transparency & Flexible Reporting
With their old accounting system, SMS project teams would rely on the accounting team to provide regular and ad-hoc updates on the status of invoices and other project financial details. Now, these teams have access to modern dashboards where they can easily see project-level information at any time. “It’s just about information transparency and availability,” Zavala said. “I want to get to a point where people don’t have to rely on me as much as they have in the past.”
Before Deltek Vantagepoint, SMS struggled with running the right reports with the right information to provide critical detail to company leaders. Now, Vantagepoint offers robust reporting capabilities that allow SMS teams to easily access the necessary data they need at the right level for their role in the business. “I have bi-weekly meetings with our CEO and COO where I present cash projection information,” reflects Zavala. “Previously, there were reports that I couldn’t run, or it was hard to report on certain data. With Vantagepoint, I can save reports and when I’m ready, I can make a couple of changes, push a button, and I’m good to go.”
Navigating the New Business Environment
As the industry continues to evaluate what the new business environment will look like, SMS recognizes that there’s still some work to be done. “The big thing that is going to happen in the next year or two is life getting back to normal,” shared Zavala. “It’s been a year now since folks started working remotely. It’s obvious that it can be done. There are pluses and minuses to that.” No matter what the future landscape looks like, Deltek Vantagepoint can help keep project teams connected. “Obviously, from a timesheet, expense report and general accounting standpoint, Deltek Vantagepoint will handle all of it without missing a beat,” he added.
Zavala highly recommends Deltek to other companies looking to improve their business processes, and shared two key insights for why his company selected their industry-specific solution. “One of the main drivers was the people at Deltek,” said Zavala. “Everyone is very professional, knowledgeable and really knows what they are doing.” Another key driver is the product itself, continues Zavala. “Vantagepoint is easy to use, reliable, stable and accurate and that’s really what it comes down to for us.”
Powering Project Success for Professional Services Firms
About Strategic Management Services
Strategic Management Services assists thousands of health care organizations throughout the United States with regulatory compliance services, such as the development of compliance program infrastructure, evaluation of compliance programs, standard of conduct development and reviews, compliance training programs, hotline setup and operations and issue resolution assistance.
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