You know the saying, if you want something done better, do it yourself? Triple Crown Sports’ founders took that message to heart when they launched their sporting event management company back in 1982. Now in the hands of the founders’ son, the company employs nearly 60 full-time staff and hires approximately 400 seasonal employees to facilitate the production of some 200 events each year. Running a successful event management company is not all fun and games, though. It takes serious financial management software and a skilled partner to drive the efficiency and agility Triple Crown Sports needs to win.
"We don’t want to work with vendors. We want to work with partners. BT Partners shares that goal. They are great to work with — always helpful, offering strategic advice, and teaching us to be self-sufficient."
“We met BT Partners in 2017,” recalls Jason Nowak, Triple Crown Sports’ CFO. “At that time, we were looking for a financial management software replacement for Sage 50, which we’d outgrown. A consulting firm helped us evaluate several applications, including Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics, and Acumatica. BT Partners represented Sage Intacct, and they impressed us from the start. In fact, they are the main reason we selected Sage Intacct over the competition.”
Nowak outlines the company’s goals for its new application. “We needed better reporting, automated workflows to reduce all the manual entry, integration with our eCommerce site, remote access capabilities, and capacity to grow. BT Partners has helped us realize all of that and more.” Nowak says that BT Partners’ value lies in its people and its processes. “The consultants are highly knowledgeable and strategic thinkers. They worked with us to determine our needs and goals and developed a plan to get us there. They stuck to their timeline and honored their cost estimate. There were no surprises — which is exactly what you want with a software implementation.”
Triple Crown Sports developed its own eCommerce site to collect event registrations and fees. Previously, the company had to manually re-enter each transaction into its financial management software.
“It took an average of two hours every single day,” Nowak notes. “Using Sage Intacct’s APIs, BT Partners connected the two and now it takes 30 seconds. Plus, the data is validated as part of the transfer so we don’t have the errors we used to have to resolve.” The company provides travel services for the teams and clubs it works with. The travel invoices are generated by a third party and uploaded into Sage Intacct. “BT Partners showed us how easily we can connect other applications to Sage Intacct,” explains Nowak. “We’re also bringing in credit card expense data automatically. It’s game-changing efficiency — activities that would take hours now take no time at all.”
BT Partners demonstrated how Triple Crown Sports could use dimensions in Sage Intacct to simplify its chart of accounts while providing better data for reporting and analysis.
“Each event we host has its own budget,” explains Nowak. “In the old system, we had to set up new account numbers for each event — and we run more than 100 a year. Now we use dimensions to distinguish each event. As a result, we get better, more granular data and our chart of accounts doesn’t get bloated.”
Triple Crown Sports treats each event as an individual cost center, with an event director charged with managing all aspects of the event, including budgeting. Previously, the directors struggled to get the data they needed to understand their event’s standing. BT Partners introduced the company to Limelight, a budgeting, forecasting, and reporting application
available through the Sage Intacct Marketplace.
“This product is saving us hours,” Nowak says. “It’s easily saving our directors and our finance team a couple of hours each day and another 10-12 hours at the end of each month.” Using Limelight, event directors can view and maintain their budgets, drill down into transactions, and print event reports, including a profit and loss statement.
Triple Crown Sports has honed its financial operations to such a degree that it’s considering offering its services to other companies in the industry. “We’ve talked about offering accounting, marketing, travel coordination, and merchandising services for others,” says Nowak. “That’s what more time in our day has given us — a
Additionally, Nowak says that he now spends more time working on the business rather than in it. “Before, day-to-day operations kept me too busy. I didn’t have time for deeper analysis. Now I feel like I’m out in front and able to provide management with insight into trends and opportunities that help us remain successful and profitable.”
Previously the company employed four full-time accounting employees. When one individual retired, Nowak found they didn’t need to replace them. “It’s due to the efficiencies we’ve gained,” he says. “We’ve grown significantly in the past three years yet we are saving the cost of one FTE.”
Triple Crown Sports takes teamwork seriously. “We don’t want to work with vendors. We want to work with partners,” says Nowak.
“BT Partners shares that goal. They are great to work with — always helpful, offering strategic advice, and teaching us to be self-sufficient.” BT Partners and Sage Intacct have helped Triple Crown Sports simplify and streamline its entire financial operation.
“We had so much data outside of the accounting system before,” Nowak concludes. “It was increasingly difficult to get the event-level data we needed. BT Partners has helped us bring all of that data into Sage Intacct and then designed reports and queries to help us better understand it. So where previously we felt like we were reactionary — just trying to keep up with transactions, now we’re able to be proactive and see how those transactions form the big picture of our business.”