BTerrell helps Dallas Symphony Association strike a successful chord

“ The recommendation to upgrade, along with the Accounts Payable automations, has reduced our total weekly check processing time by more than 50 percent. “

Technology improvements save $13,000 annually

Dallas Symphony Association (DSA) is the Southwest’s largest performing arts organization. Its success is largely due to a commitment to inspiring large audiences with diverse programs—reaching over 270,000 patrons annually. DSA’s exciting growth, however, creates operational challenges, particularly surrounding accounts payable processing, which had become increasingly time consuming and error prone. In search of a long-term solution, DSA reached out to BTerrell for solutions.

Composing a master plan

DSA engaged BTerrell to streamline financial processes and find ways to make them fast, scalable and error-free. First, BTerrell’s consultants analyzed the business needs of the Accounting department to identify gaps causing procedural and quality challenges. Next, they interviewed the IT department staff to uncover potential infrastructure limitations resulting in double work. The exercise led to a plan of action that dramatically improved DSA’s processes and workflows.

Payables processing out of tune

Established workflows and legacy systems had conspired to slow the processing of Accounts Payable invoices. DSA’s personnel created invoice voucher coversheets manually and then entered each invoice individually into Accounts Payable. The coversheets were a necessary part of DSA’s internal workflow, but the duplicate keystrokes and associated errors doubled payables data entry time, frustrating department members and keeping staff from engaging in more strategic tasks.

DSA’s accounts payable administrator had a clever idea she shared with BTerrell: “I began to envision a process that allowed all of our invoices to be organized into one Excel spreadsheet and automatically entered into the Accounts Payable module. I presented this idea to BTerrell’s consultants, and within a short time, a plan was in place.”

Efficiency improvements save $13,000 annually

The approach included BTerrell developing an automated Excel spreadsheet, entitled AP Excel Link, in conjunction with the Accounting department. Upon deployment, BTerrell recommended additional functionality to this automation, further accelerating DSA’s accrual accounting process. These improvements allowed the staff to post invoices and simultaneously create reversing journal entries in a future, user-specified month.

AP Excel Link saves DSA ten hours of processing time every week, and this equates to $13,000 in savings to the Association every year. 

Scaling technology

Further constricting DSA’s overall payables processing was the fact that it was operating on an older version of Accounts Payable. BTerrell recommended an upgrade to the latest version. The firm worked with DSA’s IT team to design and deploy the latest application and database software available on virtual infrastructure.

This effectively doubled the system operational speed and provided Tier-1 application fault tolerance. “BTerrell was instrumental in upgrading to the latest version of Accounts Payable and Microsoft SQL running in a VMWare environment,” says David Lane, director of IT for DSA.

Working in concert

BTerrell provided the Dallas Symphony Association with cross-functional solutions that address the organization’s current challenges and set the stage for continued future efficiencies.

The accounts payable administrator concludes, “The recommendation to upgrade, along with the Accounts Payable automations, have reduced our total weekly check processing time by more than 50 percent. With BTerrell’s expertise in mid-market finance and accounting software, and their commitment to excellence and innovation, we know we have many opportunities to further automate our financial processes in the future.”