American Psychiatric Association

Written byBjørn Koding


1,000 hours saved annually reconciling expenses and enhanced visibility to real-time financials

As the largest organization of its kind in the world, The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is no small operation. Especially when the process for financial reporting isn't exactly digital. Controller Matt Fuller remembers a time when the finance team would get stacks of paper expense reports and invoices that had to be manually entered into the system one at a time.

That all changed in 2019 when they implemented a digital expense reporting platform, Chrome River. Although the association was thrilled about going paperless, the new process still required manual effort to get the data into their accounting system, Sage Intacct.

“Everyone much prefers the electronic expense report process than manual paperwork. It’s also much faster because the approvals are basically emailed from the system. The integration significantly streamlined this process by scheduling it to run automatically.”

Prior to the integration, the finance team would navigate to an FTP server to pull down a file from the expense system and import it into Intacct. Fuller indicated this process took 15-20 minutes per cycle at best, especially when multiple file exports were on the server. There was always a risk of pulling the wrong file or importing a duplicate one causing more inefficiency and messy data.

Fuller also pointed out that this process was only as fast as that individual had time to do it throughout their work day.

“Now, we don’t have someone having to constantly go back and forth between systems, so the information is far more timely and much less error prone,” he said. 

Another requirement of the integration was having the ability to view images of receipts behind individual expense reports. For Fuller and his team, being able to look at any given transaction from an image perspective—instead of having to log into multiple systems—is extremely helpful in quickly understanding what they’re trying to approve payment for. And since the association’s Intacct system feeds into its budget planning platform, Planful, staff can now drill down into transactional detail from one system. 

“It's saving us and our leadership team from having to log into two different systems when we’re reviewing budget and actuals. They can also drill down into the transaction details,” said Fuller, “It's really easy to find.”

All in all, Fuller estimates the new process saves the association upwards of 1,000 work hours a year as a result.

As for the relationship with Venn, Fuller said he came away from the project really pleased with the outcome. “We knew exactly what we wanted but Venn was good at probing and making sure that we had thought through everything,” adding, “It was one of the smoothest integration projects I’ve done.”

Venn is pleased to have been able to advance APA's mission to promote the highest quality care for individuals with mental illness and promote education and research in service to approximately 38,000 members and psychiatry professionals worldwide.

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).