Case Study: Easterseals
Based on the principle of being accountable, committed and caring, Easterseals UCP North Carolina and Virginia provides services to children and adults managing disabilities and mental health challenges to over 23,000 individuals and their families at their 150 locations in North Carolina and Virginia. By providing over nine million hours a year to adults and children, Easterseals UCP strives to create opportunities, promote individual choice, and change the lives of these individuals by maximizing their potential to live, learn, work and play in their communities
Abila MIP Fund Accounting
Annual Operating Budget
Number of Employees
2,600 Full- and part-time
Number of Users
100 employees with access
PowerPlan (On-premise Solution)
- Integration with Abila MIP Fund Accounting
- Organizational structure and cost allocations
- Workflow in a centralized system
- Ease of use and navigation
- User empowerment
- Reporting and scenarios
We spoke with Gina Selvaggio-Marquez, Director of Financial Reporting and Planning at Easterseals UCP to gain insight about the organization’s budgeting and reporting processes.
When Gina first joined in 2016, Easterseals UCP was using Excel for their budget process. This included multiple versions of spreadsheets, Word documents and numerous emails back and forth it. This was a very difficult process overall with no controls or validations for accuracy. Easterseals UCP knew they needed a better tool with the following criteria in mind:
- Workflow functionality to track budget entries across their 150 locations
- Intuitive and simple for staff to learn
- The ability to implement in a short period of time to meet their upcoming budget cycle
Easterseals UCP ultimately chose PowerPlan, Questica’s non-profit budgeting solution. Having a large staff, they needed to thoroughly examine and budget for labor costs. In addition, they needed to utilize a variety of formats to analyze their revenues and expenses with PowerPlan’s custom reporting features. PowerPlan provided the ability to have an organization-wide rollout of the system through its Workflow capabilities which enhanced Easterseals UCP’s process with controls that did not previously exist.
Integration with Abila MIP
PowerPlan includes built-in, bi-directional integration with Abila MIP Fund Accounting. The data is seamlessly transferred from one system to the other as often as needed. For Easterseals UCP, Program Directors utilize the PowerPlan system to stay on top of current spending and labor allocations ensuring that billing to funding sources is accurate.
Ease of use/navigation
Gina initially adopted and became familiar with PowerPlan, then rolled out the system to users across the organization. It was crucial for her Clinical Program Leaders to understand and accept the system as the new standard reporting process, as they run the day-to-day operations for Easterseals UCP.
“I’ll be honest it is so user-friendly. It’s allowed me to train staff and increase the financial IQ of our clinical team.”– Gina Selvaggio-Marquez, Director of Financial Reporting and Planning at Easterseals UCP
As an organization providing behavior and mental health services, labor is the major portion of the budget and needs to be calculated and allocated accurately. Gina has her clinical team enter their projected wage numbers into the system and PowerPlan calculates all taxes and fringe benefits. This not only ensures accuracy, but is also a huge time saver.
“We’re not starting from a blank piece of paper, [PowerPlan] can include prepopulated data. You can make assumptions based on where you expect next year to go based on what’s actually happened. That’s been a really big time saver for us and one of PowerPlan’s best features.”
– Gina Selvaggio-Marquez, Director of Financial Reporting and Planning at Easterseals UCP
Workflow with a centralized system
Working from a centralized system, Gina and her team are now able to assign Workflow stages to each cost center budget. Workflow enables the organization to view the current status of each cost center and control who should be entering or changing values at any stage of the process. With Easterseals UCP’s previous manual process, it was very difficult to understand the overall status across the organization. Now, they know if someone is ready for final approval or if a manager has not even started their budget.
One of the most important aspects of the PowerPlan system is how it organizes your data collection process by centralizing everything and applying structure. You don’t have to worry about inaccurate formulas or building links to get summarized rollups as you do with spreadsheets. The ability to view data from any level of the organization and quickly drill-down to supporting details provides a much more efficient way to navigate the month-end board meetings and reporting process.
Thanks to more efficient budgeting, Easterseals UCP is brilliant.