Adaptive knocks it out of the park!
August 07, 2014
Adaptive knocks it out of the park!
Score 10 out of 10
- Adaptive Planning
- Adaptive Reporting
- Adaptive Integration
Overall Satisfaction with Adaptive Insights
Our Finance Team and all Department Directors use Adaptive Insights for planning, reporting, and analysis of financial data. We create our annual budget in Adaptive each year and then perform quarterly forecasts. We also make all financial reporting available through Adaptive and require department directors to respond about variances on those reports. Adaptive allows department directors more direct access to their financial data, both budget data and actuals, requiring far less information from Finance in the way of questions throughout the year. Adaptive also saves an incredible amount of time for the Finance Team during the budgeting and forecasting processes. The online access allows all of us to access it from anywhere, at any time.
- Adaptive has reached a critical balance of being simple for end users to learn quickly how to navigate, as well as being robust on the back-end to allow for sophisticated modeling.
- Adaptive is able to handle very detailed budgeting by project, event, grant, etc, which is very helpful for many non-profit organizations. Their "cube sheets" make it very simple to quickly "zoom out" and see a full department's activity, or zoom all of the way in and see the activity for a particular department-grant-project combination.
- Adaptive is consistently reaching for more effective functionality in the software, reaching out to customers for their feedback and actively implementing those requests, as well as developing new functionality that adds to the existing capability. They really listen to their customers and they make great decisions on how to improve the software.
- We had some issues with Java when we first started using Adaptive. Our IT team had chosen to not allow end users to have administrator access to their computers, so the users weren't able to update Java without IT's help. There was a period of time where Java was making many updates in a short period (outside of Adaptive's control), which made it frustrating for our users and IT team to handle the volume of requests for updates. The great news is that Adaptive is writing Java out of their software, so this should be a non-issue very soon (and already we've seen improvements because many of the regularly-accessed screens have been freed of Java).
- While I am an advocate of using their "cube sheets" for planning at granular levels like projects, events, or grants, there are some features that are not available in cube sheets. I would appreciate more attention being put towards building out more robust features with the cube sheet functionality.
- The main benefit for YBCA so far has been to reduce the amount of time the finance staff (and department directors) spend on the budgeting and forecasting process, and to reduce the number of errors (which were so easy to make in Excel!).
- Getting our Department Directors more direct access to their financial information has allowed them to use more up-to-date financial information when making decisions. Having the department directors do quarterly forecasts in Adaptive has eliminated "surprises" that may have come at year-end and have shown them more clearly the need for mid-year course corrections.
- In general, Department Directors feel that they are receiving better customer service from the Finance Team because they don't have to bother us with requests for their financial data any more.
We transitioned to Adaptive Insights after using Excel for our budget (as most people have in the past). We had a very large and complicated spreadsheet that used the F9 add-on to pull data from the accounting system into Excel to aid in budgeting. However, everything would break once we distributed sheets to managers to fill in their budgets or if we added a new row for a new account number. I spend countless hours hunting down formula errors in Excel, which I do NONE of now!! Adaptive also allowed us to budget by project in a way that Excel did only in a very complicated way. We are SO glad to be done with Excel for budgeting!
Adaptive has demonstrated their commitment to creating, maintaining, and developing an outstanding product and they have demonstrated to me that they truly care what their customers need and want from the system. They want all users to be successful and this shows in the way they manage their clients and the way they develop the software. I will implement Adaptive at any future organization that I work with and I know several other Finance Directors who have done the same!
I believe Adaptive is well-suited for most businesses, and for nonprofits in particular. I always recommend that people considering the software have a very in-depth conversation with Adaptive before implementing, to make sure that their specific needs will be met. I also work with a lot of small nonprofits who may not be of a size where they could afford the system, but I encourage them to talk through options with Adaptive for reducing the cost (perhaps by reducing the number of users) and taking advantage of special nonprofit pricing if it is available.