American Marketing Association

Written byBjørn Koding


Discover why Sage is showcasing AMA’s new Intacct accounting platform and how Venn integrated it with Salesforce to better serve AMA’s members.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) has an 80-plus year history of being a trusted clearinghouse of marketing industry information and proponent of the profession, offering unrivaled scholarly journals, award-winning publications, and well-attended, trend-setting events.

The AMA went through a change in leadership in 2016 and with that came a new vision for how technology could further scale this organization that serves tens of thousands of members and hundreds of professional and collegiate chapters around the country. 

According to AMA chief operating officer, Jeremy Van Ek, when he arrived on the scene, the association’s aging technology was not well integrated and problematic. So, the team set about changing that.

“As a membership association, how we serve members is critically important to us. The more we know about them, the better we are able to provide the right services and resources.” - Jeremy Van Ek

Nothing about this from-the-ground-up retooling was going to be simple. Functioning both as a B2B and B2C in terms of its payment transactions, AMA’s five lines of business—memberships, publications, live events, professional certifications, and corporate sponsorships—add exponentially to the complexity of the organization’s data integration and reporting challenges.

The right accounting platform was pivotal to the project’s success. So, after reviewing the top competition, AMA chose Sage Intacct.

In Sage Intacct's AMA case study, Van Ek stated:

”We wanted a modern, cloud-based financial platform that integrated easily with Salesforce,” said Van Ek. “We chose Intacct because it works like a financial system should.”

For Venn, this was hardly a “vanilla” integration. For example: because a portion of the dues AMA collects go to one or more local AMA chapters, a payable needs to be generated along with every membership sale. In some instances, membership dues are paid up front via credit card; in other cases by mail at a later date.

A challenge? Yes.  But, the elegant integration across Salesforce and Intacct that Venn built easily handles the volume of complex monthly transactions, addressing the organization’s revenue-recognition needs across revenue streams, and automatically disburses payables out to the local chapters. The beauty of it is that, in the end, it’s all automated—not a single keypress required. 

According to Van Ek, these integrations have saved both him and his team countless hours each month that were previously wasted moving data back and forth manually and financial analysis performed by hand in Excel.

“I was impressed with the Venn team’s knowledge of Salesforce and Intacct and their ability to adapt, create, and troubleshoot each problem till everything was working smoothly,” said Van Ek.

Venn is pleased to have contributed to AMA’s pursuit of constant improvement. AMA promises that no other organization provides more ways for marketers and academics to connect with the people and resources they need to be successful. We are pleased to have played our modest part in making them the essential community for marketers.

Bjørn Koding

About the Author

Bjørn Koding

Bjørn hails from Tallinn, Estonia, and wears multiple hats here at Venn (mostly fur). He's got a knack for making the right connections and having the right conversations—which, in our business—is the name of the game. He's a blast to have around the office and brings a fresh new perspective to the party. Now, if we can only get him to leave the thermostat alone (55° is a tad low for us Texans).