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[Podcast] Sage Intacct Best Practices with Michelle Schimberg of Armanino

Posted by The AI in Accounting Podcast on Sep 2, 2020 7:30:00 AM
The AI in Accounting Podcast

Michelle Schimberg originally wanted to be a medical student but decided to pursue a degree in accounting after discovering that it was a natural fit. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Michelle worked for Deloitte, before spending 25 years leading finance teams in non-profit organizations. During this span of time she came to enjoy updating and optimizing accounting systems for her employers.

Nearly six years ago, Michelle began working with Sage Intacct and fell in love with the software. A few years later, she decided to work with accounting and business consulting firm Armanino. As the Director of Business Outsourcing Service at Armanino, Michelle manages a team of professionals that help clients use and audit with Sage Intacct. Additionally, Michelle’s job includes assisting clients in implementing Sage Intacct in their organizations.

[Podcast] Sage Intacct Best Practices with Michelle Schimberg of Armanino

If you implement Sage Intacct for clients or you use it yourself, there is a lot you can learn from Michelle’s expertise. She takes a very systematic approach to onboarding clients who are new to this accounting software and will provide you with many helpful pointers that you will find useful.

In this podcast episode, you'll learn how to:

  • Transition from a segmented chart of accounts to a dimension-based chart of accounts.
  • Develop standardized accounting practices that help your team stay more consistent.
  • Build complex account groups to create custom reports.
  • Utilize user-defined books to create reports for different audiences.
  • Save time by replicating Excel and Google Sheet reports in Sage Intacct.

Watch the Podcast Interview

 

Watch on YouTube: Sage Intacct Best Practices with Michelle Schimberg of Armanino

Listen to the Podcast Interview

Listen to Apple Podcasts: Sage Intacct Best Practices with Michelle Schimberg of Armanino

Michelle Schimberg’s advice on Sage Intacct is also featured in Sage Intacct Best Practices for Outsourced Accounting, Advisory Services, and VARs || Not Just for Mid-Market Firms Anymore [Download the Free eBook]. Highlights include:

  • “I came to Armanino and started helping clients during and post-implementations. So, I put together a team of people who are experts and have lived in the real world, used the software, and then audited it. That's how we help our clients.”
  • Creating and leveraging system efficiencies will streamline the onboarding process. Michelle Schimberg starts by standardizing the chart of accounts for her clients and her team: “If you have natural accounts, like salary and benefits, then create a common chart of accounts like 6600 to identify those expenses.” She notes that this simple approach can help scale a business by streamlining the hiring and training processes: “When I came to Armanino, we had four or five platforms to support multiple clients. We had to train everyone on each platform. Now, we’ve got a Sage Intacct team, so we have cross-coverage for that system.”
  • Michelle Schimberg says that people have called to say they are ready to change to cloud-based accounting, and most of them came from desktop applications: “If you want to do outsourced accounting with a desktop application, then it is really hard. If someone must use a Citrix server or VPN to access their software, then it is not a fun experience. Going to the office to get the mail and sign checks is hard. Sage Intacct is on the web, which is critical in this day and age.”
  • Michelle Schimberg says, “One of the magical things about Sage Intacct is that you can build account groups. The trick is to make sure you have ranges. You don’t do it from specific account to account. You do a whole range; for example, all your expense accounts.”
  • Michelle Schimberg likes the flexibility of creating user-defined books for a board meeting or other special group: “At any time in the future, I can go back and replicate what the report looked like when I gave it to the board. If there are changes, then I can track them.”
  •  We don't want to bring over seven separate customers who are really one customer record that got created seven different times throughout the years.” Michelle Schimberg agrees, “We walk clients through the end result, so we can backwards-map into how the chart of accounts needs to be set up.”
  • “The game-changer for me was the general ledger report,” says Michelle Schimberg. “It is a simple report, but I can pull a general ledger report for a range of dates.” Nonprofits like the
  •  “Dashboards are a fantastic way to get a ‘Wow!’ out of a client. In the morning, leaders can log in and have all the tools they need to make their decisions for the day. I’m surprised more people don’t use them.” Michelle Schimberg likes the self-service aspect of dashboards: “You no longer have someone coming in your office and asking, ‘What’s this number on my financial statement?’ They can drill down to the specific transaction themselves.”
  • Michelle started at Deloitte and then spent 25 years of her career leading finance teams in nonprofits. Her experience grew as she focused on updating the accounting system at each level of her career to optimize results. After discovering Sage Intacct and using it primarily in the nonprofit sector, Michelle fell in love with it. Find out more about Armanino LLP and Michelle at  ArmaninoLLP.com and on LinkedIn.

A lightly-edited transcript follows below:

Michelle Schimberg (00:00): I find that if someone hasn't had the experience with account groups and building account groups by a GL account, instead of by category, that's another one of the magical things about Sage Intacct is that you can go and you can build using account groups. The trick here is making sure that you've got ranges. You don't do it by specific account to account. You do a whole range.

Voiceover Announcer (00:21): Welcome to the AI in Accounting Podcast. Now, here's your host, Joshua Feinberg of Vic.ai.

Joshua Feinberg (00:33): Hi, it's Joshua Feinberg from the AI in Accounting Podcast. I'm being joined today by a very special guest, Michelle Schimberg, who is Director of Business Outsourcing Services at Armanino. Welcome, Michelle.

Michelle Schimberg (00:48): Thanks, Joshua. Glad to be here.

Joshua Feinberg (00:51): Glad to have you here. Whenever I work on finding the right guests for these kinds of interviews, we're going to be talking about Sage Intacct best practices in this particular case. But before we do that, I always like to set the context of who you are, how you got to where you are in your career. Did you always want to be in accounting? What did you study in school? What was your progression before you got to Armanino? And really, how does your group fit in with the firm as a whole? Could you walk our viewers and our listeners through a little bit of background?

From Pre-Med to Nonprofit Finance to Armanino

Michelle Schimberg (01:23): Happy to do that. First of all, I went to college premed, and chem I didn't get along, and I was getting a solid A in accounting without even thinking about it. So, I went accounting, started at Deloitte, and then spent 25 years of my career in finance or leading finance teams in nonprofits. Primarily, everywhere I went, I generally updated the accounting system or did something to make the system work better and make it work to its maximized use, and, about six years ago, I discovered Sage Intacct and fell in love with it because of the reporting, using it in nonprofits, and, three years ago, I was considering what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't want to do closes anymore, and I came to Armanino and started helping clients post-and-during implementations. So, I had been implemented and knew that when you're involved in the implementation, it's scary when the client’s or the consultant’s asking you to populate a template, and you don't know what that means. So, I put together a team of experts at Sage Intacct and have lived in the real world and actually used it then audited, and that's how we help our clients.

Joshua Feinberg (02:47): That is amazingly fascinating because I see so many parallels. In the course of doing these podcast interviews, I don't know if it was necessarily with people that specialize in Intacct but pivoting from premed into accounting, that one has come up before. Multiple people that got their start in Intacct with nonprofits. Almost everyone I've talked to about Intacct started in private industry, loved Intacct so much that they didn't want it just to be 20-30% of their job. They wanted it to be 100% of their job, and, instead of just one company, multiple companies. So, in marketing, we call that a “buyer persona”, but it's amazing, and I'm sure there are entire teams of people at Intacct that study this. But yes, it's amazing, the similarities you see in them. So, six years ago, you started using Intacct. Three years ago, you joined Armanino. Until you get where you are today. So, when you come across a coworker, or you come across a client that is relatively new to Intacct—and maybe they were using a cloud accounting platform before, perhaps this is their first foray into, like, the true mid-market ERP platform—what do you tell the beginner, regardless of whether it's internal or a client, on your favorite tip or tips on how to get started with Intacct?

Advice for Those Getting Started with Sage Intacct

Michelle Schimberg (04:04): So, as far as how to get started in Intacct, I think one of the game-changers was the general ledger report. I know it sounds like a simple report, but the fact that I can pull a general ledger report for a range of dates—which, from the nonprofit world, we all understand that grants generally are not the same as your fiscal or your calendar year—so, you can pull a general ledger at any date range you want. You can filter it for whatever dimension you want. So, if you want it for this grant, for this vendor, for this department, I can filter that report. Then the other thing I can do with that report is I can memorize the report, and I can place it on a dashboard. The dashboard was the thing I feel very guilty about the first implementation I did because I left that firm without dashboards set up, and I did so because I didn't realize how easy they were. Now, I've offered to that client to come back. Like, I'll take a vacation day; I'll come into your office, and I'll set you up with dashboards because that's the magic of it. You can give people limited access to a dashboard, and they can self-serve. You no longer have that issue of someone coming into your office and needing to say, “Hey, what was this number on my financial statement?” They can drill down to the actual transaction.

Joshua Feinberg (05:23): The power in the dashboards, and the dates, filtering in dimensions from the general ledger report and then moving into a dashboard that basically, like, self-memorizes, just basically save it, and then it’s there. Does that factor into how you onboard new clients when you're working with implementation?

Michelle Schimberg (05:43): Absolutely. So, if I'm involved in implementation, I usually like to, early on in my implementation, start talking about reporting because I think that transition between a segmented general ledger chart of accounts to the magic of dimensions with Intacct is hard sometimes for people to digest and understand how it's going to work. So, I think it's really important when you're doing an implementation that you start with reporting, walk them through what the reporting is going to look like, walk them through what the result is so that you can backward-map into how you need your chart of accounts to be set up.

Joshua Feinberg (06:21): Do you think any of this changes depending on whether you're working with somebody in an outsourcing context or whether you're doing straight consulting, advising someone who has an in-house team that's implementing?

Michelle Schimberg (06:32): I think that the difference between an owned license—what they call a “bar license”—and, like, your SIAP, where you're doing outsourcing, is that generally the implementer, the client is your firm. They're the ones who are doing the work. You still need to involve the firm's client, whose numbers you're tracking in the system, to know what they need. But as far as the systems use, generally, you're speaking to your team of outsourcers. Yeah, there is a difference in the sense that with outsourced accounting, you want to stay a little bit more stable. You want to try to have it more consistent so that your users in your department understand how to use it, and it's not changing it constantly. When I came into Armanino, I tried to standardize our chart of accounts so that my team did the actual accounting, when they got something that was salaries and benefits, knowing they went to the 6600s. Yeah. It helped them understand how to use the system and be more consistent with our clients.

Joshua Feinberg (07:48): Has that been something that you've found challenging across different kinds of clients or within certain kinds of businesses,  verticals? Or has it been fairly easy to come up with a standard chart of account that seemed to work for most clients generally?

Michelle Schimberg (08:01): I mean, the thing is, with the chart of accounts, you have natural accounts, like postage, or salaries, and benefits. That's where I usually start, and then if there are unique expenses, like contributions for a nonprofit, then you're going to add a range for that specific type of expense or revenue. But all the 6600s are all benefit-related, and 6500s are our rent and utilities or operations.

Joshua Feinberg (08:37): So that has to be key for hiring and training and scaling hires fast on your team.

Michelle Schimberg (08:40): Absolutely. When I came into Sage Intacct or Armanino, we had four or five different platforms we were supporting clients on, and I can remember we had a new staff come in, and they had four new clients on different software. Now, I have tried to standardize that. We still have three softwares that we're mostly supporting, but we've got a Sage Intacct team. If someone's on vacation, then the next person can help you get a lot of cross-coverage for utilization system.

Joshua Feinberg (09:23): Yeah. That makes sense to have four different systems and have different charts of accounts, and, like, I don't know how to scale.

Michelle Schimberg (09:31): Yeah. I mean, it's funny because we always tell people when we implement their system to try to bring as much general ledger history as possible because I don't want them to have to go back to their old system, mostly because today you remember your chartered accounts. You remember exactly how to get into everything, and it's so easy, and two months down the line, you forget that because you’ve fallen in love with Sage, and you don't want to remember how to get into, let's say, the Great Plains of the World like I did, and you forget how to access it. So, it's important that you're consistent.

Joshua Feinberg (10:07): So, that's some good best practices for beginners. What about when you come across a power user—maybe it's at the Sage Partner Summit; maybe you're talking with a product manager from Intacct; maybe it's someone that you hired on your team that is coming in that already was using Intacct for three or five years in private industry, maybe with several nonprofits—and you're having lunch or a drink with them. So it's not even a matter of being, like, “Hey, have you ever seen this?” It's more like, you know, what someone advanced may not realize is there?

How Sage Intacct Power Users Should Approach User-Defined Books and Account Groups

Michelle Schimberg (10:39): I find that if someone hasn't had the experience with account groups and building account groups by a GL account, instead of by category, that's another one of the magical things about Sage Intacct, is that you can go and you can build using account groups. The trick here is making sure that you've got ranges. You don't do it by specific account to account. You do a whole range so that you've covered all of your, let's say, your income expense accounts, and then you can create reports that exactly mirror what the lines are from. Let's say, your 990, or a grant report that you have. Anyone who's been in nonprofits knows that generally, the grants are different periods, and then a lot of times, they'll want groupings of accounts, very nontraditional. That's one thing, and the other trick that I like is that user-defined books are really powerful. So, I had a client who would take the data out of the system, and then they would manipulate things and provide it to the board—meaning that they would reclassify things that weren't necessarily per gap. That's how the board wanted to see it. So, we added a user-defined book and did all of those journal entries in that user-defined book. So, at any time in the future, I would be able to replicate what that report looked like that I gave to the board. So, if there were any changes, you were able to track any changes.

Joshua Feinberg (12:01): So, that's user-defined books and having a range of general ledger accounts into a grouping to work more efficiently.

Michelle Schimberg (12:10): Yeah. It’s using account groups based on accounts versus using an account based on category. Sage Intacct comes with out-of-the-box reports. They have their standard reports. Those standard reports are based on account groups based on category, and every GL account in Sage Intacct, you assign a category; that way, your out-of-the-box reports always work. Your balance sheet always works. Your income statement always works. Now, if you want to get to the next level of report writing, you will define account groups based on accounts. So, let's say that for one client, you need to have salaries with consultants. If you want salaries and consultants together, well, those generally are going to be different categories. You can put the two of those together in an account group and report on those, and you might want benefits down below, and all of your office supplies, or all of your general administrative expenses. What you classify in that general administrative expense may change depending on what the report’s purpose is.

Joshua Feinberg (13:28): So, it's not just a matter that the groups of accounts or the ranges of accounts are more granular than the categories; sometimes, you're picking and choosing accounts that are going across multiple categories.

Michelle Schimberg (13:37): Absolutely, exactly the point. You only have one category per account, but you may have 15 different things that you need to report on, or different users, different audiences of your reports. So, you want to change how things show, and so, your groups over here are using cat groups by account number is one trick.

Joshua Feinberg (14:05): So, this isn't just useful for customizing different clients. This could even be the same client with different audiences, like, they're doing something maybe for field staff or a subsidiary for board compliance.

Michelle Schimberg (14:18): Well, as I said, you have different grantors, and different grantors say, “I'm going to support this bucket of expenses,” and that bucket of expenses and your accounting have absolutely no relationship to one another, but in theirs, it has a big relationship. So, it's how you're categorizing it, but you're using GL accounts.

Joshua Feinberg (14:40): Yeah, it sounds really powerful. So, what does it take to customize for what they need to be able to display and have this something they can go back and get to a weekly, monthly, however what frequency it is.

Michelle Schimberg (14:52): A lot of times, I'll find that clients take data from their general ledger and export it to Excel. Now, I love Excel. I'm very good at Excel, but what I tell people when I'm implementing them, I want to see every report that they're using in Excel. So, I can try to replicate that, and I can build that in Sage Intacct. So, it's just a push of a button.

Joshua Feinberg (15:15): Yeah. That's another interesting common trend that I've seen across a few of these interviews. People are slaying the Excel dragon, where they're going in and saying, “I know you have this comfortable spreadsheet that you've had with you for 5-10 years. It feels like it's part of your family, like a pair of your favorite sneakers or jeans.”

Michelle Schimberg (15:35): It’s time to hang that up in the closet.

Joshua Feinberg (15:37): It's taking six hours a month, and it's going to take a day or two to set up, and six hours will become 15 minutes. Let me help you.

Michelle Schimberg (15:46): Yes. I mean, I had a client who was bringing in statistical accounts. Statistical accounts are another thing that's cool about Sage Intacct. You report on things you're tracking in your financial system. So, you can pull reports. This particular example was they were tracking hours. It was an advertising agency, and they’re tracking hours, and they had another system that they tracked all their hours in. We built a template that converted the number of information from their system into a journal entry import into Sage Intacct that used to take my team 4-6 hours a month. It's now 10 minutes. They just export it. They put it in an Excel spreadsheet. It has VLOOKUPS. It converts it to digestible information by Sage Intacct, and you upload it. Now I can pull a financial statement, and, on the face of my financial statement, I can have a line that says “revenue per hour,” you know, “earned revenue per hour” because the data is in there.

Joshua Feinberg (16:45): It's not even a matter of, like, 15 minutes compared to 4-6 hours. It's 15 minutes compared to 4-6 hours, times 12. So, it's like 60-72 hours a year. That's, like, two weeks of somebody's job a year that's reduced to half a day, maybe.

Michelle Schimberg (17:01): Right. Now, they can use their brain and analyze things.

Joshua Feinberg (17:07): That’s where everyone wants to move with accounting, where they're moving from coding and data entry to providing real insight. So, Michelle, we talked about what would be your favorite advice for beginners with Intacct, with power users for Intacct. What do you see as a big across-the-board mistake that Intacct users make that is fairly straightforward to prevent if they just knew about ahead of time?

Avoiding Common Sage Intacct Mistakes with More Thoughtful Use of Dimensions

Michelle Schimberg (17:34): Sure. Dimensions. As we talked about, Intacct uses dimensions to report on things, like location, your department, a project, or an employee. If you're going to use dimensions, I preach: Require them on every account—especially when you're talking about a nonprofit, where you have different funds. I want to be able to pull a trial balance that balances by the fund. The only way I can do that is if I populate a dimension on every transaction. Now, you can—unless you don't have a project,—and then I can go and pull a general ledger for “no project” and audit all of my accounts for everything that had no project and say, “Oh, geez, that one should have had a project,” and edit it right then and there. But if you don't require the dimension, now, if you try to filter things or expand things by that dimension, your reports don't work, or you'll have, you know, no project, or no location, or no department over on the far right-hand side. Still, you can't drill into it and see all the transactions that have no department.

Joshua Feinberg (18:50): Okay, so is this something fairly straightforward, to require that when the transaction is entered? And then, so is there something that somebody checks off that says, “no departments”? Or do you just see it as blank, and that allows you to group them all?

Michelle Schimberg (19:02): It would just show us, like, if you don't require it, it would show as blank. Otherwise, you build in each of your dimensions. You would have a “no location,” a “no department,” a “no project,” a “no class,” or “undefined,” or whatever works best for you. You know, the nomenclature of that is whatever works best for you. I used “undefined” because when I was keying information in, I would hit “U,” which isn't a very common letter in the alphabet, and so, it would prefill for my undefined. You can also do a dimension relationship or a smart event to populate that.

Joshua Feinberg (19:45): So, essentially, it's set up as a dimension, but the dimension says, “I couldn't find the dimension.” Did somebody go back and review that and manually reclassify it later or decide if a dimension should be set up going forward, like an exception report kind of thing?

Michelle Schimberg (19:59): Exactly. Okay, and that's very easy to set up. When you set up your general ledger account on the account, it asks you what dimensions are required if that account is used.  So, you just check off the dimensions. I mean, you don't need to have an “employee” on everyone. Usually, you don't have to have “vendor” on everyone, but you can have a “vendor”. That's another nice thing I can have a transaction that has something you wouldn't traditionally see. I could have a vendor used on an AR invoice if, for some reason, there was a relationship, and I wanted to be able to track that in the general ledger that it was related to that vendor.

Joshua Feinberg (20:38): So, is that where this all starts, that you can open up a new account without specifying what the dimension is that you're trying to require a dimension on that account?

Michelle Schimberg (20:48): You can add an account without any dimensions related. I don't recommend it. I recommend that you require them if you're going to report on them. So, for a nonprofit, a lot of times, they'll use “class” to define the restrictions: unrestricted, temp restricted, perm restricted if you don't require that someone could enter a transaction and not populate it. If you require it on some accounts and not other accounts, when you think about the people who are entering the data in your system, it's challenging for them to remember, “Oh, right, this is this account. I have to populate these three fields, and for this account, I have to populate these three fields.” So, if you just require it on everything, data entry becomes easier, I think.

Where Sage Intacct and Outsourced Accounting are Heading Next

Joshua Feinberg (21:36): Especially with multiple people touching them. So,  somebody can go on vacation, and somebody can leave and move to another firm, or other part of the firm, and yeah, it's a mess. Yeah. The final area I want to speak with you about today is to get your thoughts on where this is headed. What does the future of business outsourcing with Intacct look like for Armanino, thinking 12, 18, 24 months down the road? What if we were coming back and revisiting this discussion two, three years from now? Would we look back and say, “Oh, yeah, that was the key inflection point”? What do you think is the big central theme driving a lot of where we're headed in the future?

Michelle Schimberg (22:16): I think that being able to do outsourced accounting using Sage Intacct—which is a real accounting system, it's auditable (??), I mean, it's used by Fortune 500 companies, it's a real system—at such a nominal price, it’s just a gift, to be honest with you, and if you can get everyone in your team trained up on Sage Intacct and convert your clients to Sage Intacct, now, again, you have that consistency within your team, and you have a huge bench of folks who know how to use the system.

Joshua Feinberg (22:51): So, is this something that you think is going to progress more rapidly, where Sage Intacct is going to be able to potentially take share from people that are using weaker systems or that are just spending way too much time in spreadsheets?

Michelle Schimberg (23:04): I've seen it with Armanino. I think we've quadrupled the number of clients we have on Sage Intacct in our outsourced accounting since I walked in the door three years ago.

Joshua Feinberg (23:17): Do you see most clients coming from a desktop premise base? Do you see them coming from the cloud or a little bit of both or legacy proprietary?

Michelle Schimberg (23:26): Yeah, primarily desktop. Because desktop—if you're going to outsource—is hard. If someone's using something like Financial Edge, and you have to use Citrix-server to access their software—anyone who's ever used Citrix knows that can be a not-fun experience—or you have to VPN into their computer. I mean, the fact that Sage Intacct is on the web, I mean, especially today. COVID-19 changed all of that. Now, suddenly, we had clients calling us to say, “Hey, can we change? Because we want to be able to use the ACH function in Sage Intacct. We want to be able to pay our clients and not have to be in the office.” I tell the story of years ago when I was using it. I was standing in line at Marine World—now, that dates me because now it's called Six Flags—with my kids, and I was the only one who could approve payments. I was able to pull up on my cell phone and approve and write a check on my cell phone, send that PDF to my team member who was in the office, print the check, and away he went.

Joshua Feinberg (24:34): So, do you think this is, in general, just the reluctance of companies in the past to change from legacy premise-based technology, and then, all of a sudden, now there's no choice?

Michelle Schimberg (24:43): Just the same as people don't want to let go of that Excel spreadsheet you were talking about. It’s their best friend. “That's the way we've always done it.”

Joshua Feinberg (24:53): Change is hard. It's like the meme or the cartoon that was going around a month or two ago: “Which was most responsible for digital transformation?” I think Choice A was “the CEO,” Choice B was “the CIO,” and Choice C was “COVID-19”, and it's kind of a morbid cartoon to think about, but yes.

Michelle Schimberg (25:14): It did force it. I have a client right now who is using Financial Edge, and they have to go into the office actually to get the mail and to write checks, and then—because they don't want anyone in the office at the same time—someone else the next day has to come in and sign all those checks. Then either that executive director has to stuff the envelopes and put it through the postage machine—which they've never done before—or they have to leave it there for another day until the next person comes in and can process the checks.

Joshua Feinberg (25:45): The strange part, too, with all this cloud resistance, is I think about all the natural disasters that have happened. You’re in Southern California, right?

Michelle Schimberg (25:56): I'm in Northern California.

Joshua Feinberg (25:57): Northern California. Yeah. I mean, there are pockets of the country—especially on the coast or even in the Midwest—where nobody should feel that they're immune to the bad stuff that can happen, between earthquakes and fires, and I'm in Hurricane Alley in South Florida. If you think about it, if business continuity and disaster recovery wasn't getting people serious about something sitting in a server closet or on somebody's desktop.

Michelle Schimberg (26:27): Exactly. The cloud is amazing. I think it's changed life. It has, and I do. I joke I'm completely in love with this product. I love using this product. I love helping people with this product. I love seeing the light go on when you're telling them about something. They're like, “That’s how you can do it?” I mean, that, to me, is just so much fun. Again dimensions, when you're designing it, that's what's so important as you're implementing your system, is deciding what the result is supposed to look like, what your reports are going to look like, and, “Now, how am I going to enter the data? What triggers do I have to pull? What do I have to populate? I don't want to use dimensions just because I can use dimensions. I want to use dimensions because I need them; I want to be informed about the decisions I make related to the dimensions.”

Joshua Feinberg (27:20): Yeah. I guess if someone like yourself wasn’t pointing this out to someone that doesn't think through what implementation looks like from start to finish, it might get brushed under the rug, and then they’d have a lot of inefficiencies and inconsistencies.

Michelle Schimberg (27:31): Or they’d replicate what they already had. “Well, in QuickBooks, we had a class, and Intacct has a class, and we're going to use that same class for just that.” I was, like, “Stop, please stop. Let's start thinking about that again.”

Joshua Feinberg (27:45): It's like moving the clutter from one office to another because you don't want to clean out the file cabinet or like moving from one server to another and bringing the files that nobody's touched in 20 years.

Michelle Schimberg (27:55): Exactly, exactly.

Joshua Feinberg (27:57): Very interesting times. Michelle, if somebody wants to learn more about the work that you do at Armanino or has any questions about anything we talked about today or just wants to follow you on social media, where's a good place for our viewers or listeners?

Michelle Schimberg (28:10): I'm on LinkedIn. I don't know how to give my—I mean, will it be attached to this?

Joshua Feinberg (28:19): I'll link to it in the show notes. Yeah.

Michelle Schimberg (28:21): Excellent. Or they're welcome to send me an email, and I always have every one of my emails on my cell phone. I've been in the shoes of the clients where, at 10 o'clock at night, you're trying to get something to do, and it just won't work, and it's, like, “Dog gone it!” All of my clients have my cell phone, and they'll send me a text and say, “Hey.” I have the choice not to answer, but I want to help the client get through that pain because I've been there.

Joshua Feinberg (28:47): Like I said when we started this interview, it's amazing how consistent the profile is of someone that's a Sage Intacct expert that has walked in the shoes of the clients before they got to the role of helping lots of different clients with Intacct, and yeah, that empathy is something I'm sure your clients tremendously appreciate.

Michelle Schimberg (29:05): That's definitely what I strive to be is empathetic.

Joshua Feinberg (29:12): Oh, Michelle, it’s been fantastic. I appreciate you sharing all your best practices around what to do with general ledger reporting, and the ranges of accounts and requiring of dimensions to make it easier for the system to do what you want to do down the road, and your thoughts about the importance of cloud—especially in the times that we're operating today. This has been fantastic. I appreciate it.

Michelle Schimberg (29:35): It's been great. I appreciate you reaching out to me, giving me this opportunity to share my affection for the system.

Joshua Feinberg (29:45): Love of Intacct. That's awesome. Thanks so much, Michelle, stay safe. Stay safe and keep in touch.

Michelle Schimberg (29:53): Thank you. You, too. You, too.

Voiceover Announcer (29:55): Thanks for listening to this episode of the AI in Accounting Podcast. To subscribe and leave a review, check us out at blogdotvic.ai or wherever you like to consume podcast episodes, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

What's your favorite Sage Intacct tip? And what did you find most valuable from Michelle Schimberg's podcast interview? Let us know in the Comments section below.

And if you're serious about taking your Sage Intacct knowledge to the next level, download the free eBook: Sage Intacct Best Practices for Outsourced Accounting, Advisory Services, and VARs || Not Just for Mid-Market Firms Anymore.

Sage Intacct Best Practices for Outsourced Accounting, Advisory Services, and VARs [Download the Free eBook]

Topics: Podcast, Sage Intacct

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