Bill of Rights Institute Needed a Scalable Planning Solution on the Salesforce Platform
The Only Choice was CloudBudget
Spreadsheet Budgeting Issues
The Bill of Rights Institute (BRI), a nonprofit educational organization based in Arlington, Virginia, works with educational organizations to develop educational resources to help teach young people American history, how the US government works, and the tenets behind the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other pillars of US democracy. As can be imagined, with a national reach, BRI needs to organize a great number of projects and engagements with schools. As BRI increased its reach and involvement it realized it was time for a more efficient approach than the myriad complex and intertwined spreadsheets that became harder and harder to organize and consolidate. BRI decided to build atop its use of Salesforce CRM and began searching for a cloud-based budgeting solution that would solve its spreadsheet budgeting limitations and frustrations.
BRI sought a cloud-based planning system on force.com that would allow them to coordinate the workflow and process of accurately planning general project expenses and related employee charges by grant and project.
Implementing a Flexible Cloud-based Planning Tool
The best place to find a cloud-based budgeting solution built on the force.com platform is the Salesforce AppExchange and it is there that BRI found CloudBudget. After a live demo BRI determined the app would work for them. Implementation commenced and CloudBudget was quickly set up to handle a three year strategic budget with yearly budgets built from 71 separate program grants, 194 projects (sub-grants), and revenue and expense budgets organized by grants and projects. In addition to general expenses, the CloudBudget app was used to plan for allocated employee related expenses by specific grants and projects.
On the actual side CloudBudget was configured to track and manage incoming invoices via an approval cycle and corporate payment cards usage to pay invoices was tracked and kept in a bank statement report. Also on the actual side are time reports for all BRI employees, with hours manually entered by each employee and broken down by project.
Creating Customized Reports and Workflow
CloudBudget has a report building tool that admin users with sufficient force.com privileges can use to build customized reports. The report configurator makes it possible for management to build reports of any type (P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, Dimensions, other) by month, quarter, year, or multiple years. As was the case with BRI, the CloudBudget team often uses the tool internally to build reports according to requirements. Specifically BRI wanted reports showing budgeted expenses versus actual expenses by grant and by project, a report for export to accounting showing actual data from time reports and AP vouchers (invoices) and a P&L report with planned vs actuals broken down by project and grant dimension tags.
An important part of all implementations is the creation of a workflow and the setting of permissions for all system users. To do so CloudBudget takes advantage of the standard force.com workflow and permission sets.
Integration with Salesforce CRM
All BRI projects and grants lists used in CloudBudget were taken from BRI’s Salesforce CRM environment. As such all data is consistent across all processes involving both actual and planned data. The consistency reduces complexity and ensures accurate data that BRI management can then use to make important decisions.
Four years after the implementation BRI continues to benefit from CloudBudget’s flexible and easily integrated architecture that has saved them countless hours struggling to track and consolidate grant, project and employee related expenses with spreadsheets. Now BRI is upgrading to CloudBudget 2.0, a fully Lightning version that is yet more powerful, configurable, and convenient.
BRI Review on the Salesforce AppExchange
CloudBudget is fantastic tool for creating and managing budgets and expenditures
We recently deployed CloudBudget as our budget forecasting and expense reporting tool at the Bill of Rights Institute. The CloudBudget team did a fantastic job customizing the tool for our needs and we now employ it for all of our budgeting activities but also all of our expense reporting and tracking. From invoices, to company credit cards, timecards, and revenue we now input and track all of it in CloudBudget. We are even running our invoice, timecard and expense report approval process through CloudBudget. It has become the primary input of data to our accounting team for the maintenance of our financial statements and gives our program managers the detailed view of expenditures they need to manage their programs. This tool has allowed us to move away from an Excel and Shared File folder driven process for budgeting and tracking expenditures which has saved us an enormous amount of time and improved the accuracy of our data immensely. Our staff’s response has been positive and enthusiastic across the board. The CloudBudget team was great to work with and they were tireless in their efforts to customize and deploy the system.
To see a live demo and to learn about CloudBudget’s discounts for non-profit organizations, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.