Industry Insights: Nonprofits Prepared for Change

Jim Janetzke is the CFO of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. CCSEM provides compassionate, quality, professional services and support to people in need through programs such as behavioral health counseling, Hispanic outreach, senior citizen services, a soup kitchen and food pantry, and adoption, foster care and family support services.

SCOTT JACKSON: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Jim, I know you have a super busy schedule.

JIM JANETZKE: Yeah, it’s great to sit down and talk a little about what’s going on in the non-profit world.

SJ: So let’s start by talking about what CCSEM is taking on today, what are you guys up to?

JJ: We have seven main programs with the goal of moving people from dependence to healthy, self-sustained livelihoods.  Annually we serve over 20,000 people in need in the six counties of southeast Michigan. Our programs include:

  • All Saints Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, serving patrons in southwest Detroit
  • Hispanic and Newcomer Outreach, providing support and education to help those new to the United States become self-sufficient
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling for individuals and families
  • Project Hope, providing support and resources for expectant mothers from birth and beyond
  • Senior Volunteer Services, offering three programs for adults age 55 and older to serve in their communities
  • Adult Day Health Services for those with dementia and similar cognitive impairments

Adoption and Foster Care Services

SJ: Now CCSEM is a non-profit that is helping people and communities in a ton of different ways. Have you noticed any changes recently in the non-profit landscape?

JJ: The biggest changes for us are just keeping up with the laws, regulations and rules from each of the many contracts we have with the federal, state and local governments as well as private funders.  This requires us to be able to report in various different ways.

SJ: You made the big switch to a cloud accounting platform. How smooth was your transition to Sage Intacct?

JJ: Moving to a Sage Intacct was actually pretty easy.  Our old system was very antiquated, so our accounting team was really looking forward to the major upgrade in systems.  When you focus on the benefits you gain by making the switch it really eases your mind. You also have to put a lot of trust in your transition team which ours did a phenomenal job. Alta Vista also does a great job with post-implementation support.

SJ: Post implementation support is an important job! Now with the changing landscape, how are non-profits like yours benefitting from moving to a cloud system?

JJ: A big change is not needing the IT support for updates and upgrades. With the cloud system all of the updates are done automatically. You also don’t have to sink money into hardware because Sage Intacct owns and runs the servers.

SJ: Has your switch impacted the speed of your accounting process?

JJ: It has in a big way. Automating our systems has saved hours manually entering information. When all your systems integrate it’s a beautiful thing. A job that used to take 2 hours to do may now take 20 minutes. These are hours that we can put back into the day to assist more people.  Our month-end close has been reduced by almost a full week.

SJ: So what does the future look like for CCSEM?

JJ: As a nonprofit, we are always working to stay funded. We receive some of our revenue through insurance reimbursements and sliding scale payments from clients, based on their ability to pay.  We also pursue grants funding, state and federal contracts, and solicit donations. For example, we have a huge fundraising event coming up on April 27, our Annual Celebration gala.

SJ: Any final thoughts?

JJ: The non-profit world is constantly changing. New reporting that has to be done, new laws and regulations, new tax information. With a system like Sage Intacct making all these changes is a breeze. People can be afraid to make a change this large, one that impacts their business on this level. You need to look at the positive impact in the end. It may look daunting at the beginning but trust me, the change is well worth it. When everything almost runs itself and you get better visibility into your data and how to use it, it’s a game changer.

SJ: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today Jim.

JJ: No problem Scott, we’ll have to do it again soon.

You can check out everything that CCSEM is doing for the community over on their website. If you want more information about how Sage Intacct can help your nonprofit tackle your financials, give us a call at 855.913.3228, email us at, or fill out our contact page! At Alta Vista Technology we take pride in being part of your solution!