CFO Central Coast YMCA, Salinas, CA
""Our relationship with the SGA Sales team began with rejection. Twice. If we were dealing with anyone else, that would’ve been the end. Our experience with SGA Accounting was so profoundly wonderful that we asked SGA about a conversion to SGA Sales. At the time, SGA Sales had been rolled out to a select few YMCAs. SGA explained that ensuring premier functionality and customer service took precedence over growth. They were not ready to take us on and compromise the ability to deliver. For this unwavering commitment to paramount standards, I only have the deepest respect.
A couple years later, we desperately needed to switch our Sales & Membership system within an extremely short timeframe. This was during the holiday season to boot. For the second time, SGA rejected us – with grace and compassion of course. In this case, the obstacle pertained to their success in lining up continuous customer implementations over an extended period. We had checked with SGA’s competition too, only to be told this rapid conversion was “impossible”. Unbeknownst to us, the SGA Sales team reconvened, to see if even the most unconventional and narrow path was achievable. They brainstormed creative solutions, considered what they knew of us as a customer, and called the day after we had reached out. Forget the impossible: SGA said they could make it happen!
What followed was perhaps the most impressive, successful, and unthinkably fun experience of my 25+ year career. SGA’s technical prowess and capacity for smooth implementation is unrivalled. The system’s ease of use, time-saving automation, flexibility (crucial during disruptive events such as Covid), and SGA’s stellar customer support are dazzling. Yet, the powerful core of our relationship with SGA is their heart, optimism, caring manner, and a sense of being a part of their spirited family. Rejection has never felt so good.""
CMO YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Chesapeake, VA
"When we opened 2020, we began contract renewals with our former operations software provider. As the pandemic ensued and as our future became less certain, we felt it necessary to pursue other avenues. There were pain points present with our prior service and frankly, our organization needed a different level of features and support. Our Y had been a long-standing customer of SGA using accounting software for more than 10 years. We had watched and followed their progress over the last 4 years as they developed a sales software that matured into a robust platform.
Many Ys will tell you that we just do things differently than the rest of businesses and there is truth to that. Ys have unique business practices and SGA has invested the time and talent to develop their team and product in a way that truly supports Y needs.
We loved the opportunity to sign on with SGA and collaborate with them on possible future features, but also to work closely on customizing our SGA Sales experience to match what our Y needs. Internal conversations surrounding our decision making to shift operations softwares was rooted in which provider could serve us for our future.
The SGA and YMCA teams were presented with an unprecedented (2020 buzzword) challenge. We needed to implement a new software, work intimately with the core Y and SGA teams, train our staff – all remotely, all without any in-person interaction. Both teams were up for the challenge. It didn't come without bumps in the road or things that would have been just plain easier to do in-person, but that's to be expected.
A colleague gave me some advice before we started this process. Beware of the trough of disillusionment – the moment you question why you're doing this and what the heck were you thinking. Every software conversion will have that moment and we had plenty of those times when workload was overwhelming and everyone was learning something new, together. Both SGA and our Y were presented with challenges neither team had experienced before and together were able to push through.
Every staff member in our organization is learning a new software. We were with our prior provider for 18 years and it had been a while for some and a new experience for most to have this level of disruption to a core operations software used daily by our staff. Our staff teams were and remain excited to learn the new system. Our front line training was reduced by 75% from 8 hours to 2 hours – direct savings for our Y. The system is easier for our part time staff to learn and understand. That alone is a huge benefit for all Ys, always but especially now. The customization available in the system to match business practices is refreshing and exciting.
We have a lot to learn. We have many features to explore. We know SGA will continue to be there with us to have thoughtful conversations to support our growth and recovery. The dedication to system improvements is commendable. We can't wait to see what's next. "
CEO YMCA of Columbia, Columbia, SC
"I use SGA on a daily basis and I am very pleased with the consistency of the hosted software. I never have to worry about how long a task will take, because the performance of SGA is both fast and dependable."
CFO YMCA of Greater Richmond, Richmond, VA
"We have been extremely pleased with our decision to convert to SGA Accounting. SGA is the third accounting software product I have used while working for the YMCA of Greater Richmond, and also the second accounting software implementation I have participated in at the YMCA. Overall, we have been thoroughly satisfied and impressed with all aspects of the SGA product, implementation, service and cost. We reviewed five different products prior to making our decision, and found that SGA was clearly a superior product for Richmond. The conversion went smoothly and quickly, and the support staff worked closely with us throughout the process. We received a great deal of positive feedback from staff users at all levels as we began our budget preparation process immediately following implementation. The use of SGA has greatly improved the budget process for both branch users and accounting office staff. In addition, the flexible reporting and drilldown capabilities have provided powerful tools for management to quickly and easily access financial data. And lastly, the ongoing customer support has been outstanding as most requests are answered or resolved within the same day. I would highly recommend SGA to other YMCA’s and look forward to working with SGA in the future as they continue to enhance their product and provide such outstanding service."
CFO YMCA of Virginia's Blue Ridge, Roanoke, VA
"When I call SGA, it’s always a live person that picks up the phone. That’s huge. Someone is going to answer who seems to always ask about my day, and then is going to do whatever it takes to solve my issue. And I like that it’s always the same people; the support team is small enough that we get to know them, and they get to know us. It feels like family. Working with a smaller company has been an absolute positive. They’re big enough to get it done for everyone, but small enough to give individual attention. My suggestions, requests, and problems get immediate attention. There’s no red tape. There’s no bureaucracy. It’s the same core group of people making decisions. And they’re making good decisions.
“Before we transitioned to SGA, our accounting system and all of the financials were completely centralized in the finance director’s office. In order for any branch staff, program director, or membership director to get financial information, it had to be given to them by the finance director. It was a single sheet of paper. When we put in SGA it was a complete paradigm shift for the staff. I cannot tell you how much they appreciate the transparency. They never had access to their own numbers before. Now they do, and having access to all of this underlying transaction information has completely changed the way they manage their financials.
“I can’t think of anything that I haven’t been able to solve with the Detail Report Writer. I’ve been able to get every single report I’ve ever needed. I’ve been able to build it, either by myself or with the help of SGA’s support staff. The software is beyond functional. It’s great software as it is. I’d continue to use it for 6 months or even two years from now if SGA were to go out of business tomorrow. I feel like even if SGA went away, I’d be ok.
“Having the SGA accounting platform has literally changed my day-in and day-out routine. It’s made my actual accounting and finance work easy enough that it gives me more time to focus on strategy and how to move my Y forward, as opposed to spending my time figuring out how to run reports for example. As a finance director, I can focus on the big picture things that need my attention as opposed to the daily things that can be so beyond time consuming when you have inefficient software.
“Working with SGA feels like a true partnership, not at all like the normal vendor/client relationship. Having SGA means feeling like you have someone in your corner."
CFO Treasure Valley YMCA, Boise, ID
"Our YMCA switched to SGA in 2010 from Y-Vision. We had hopes that it would be an upgrade, but had no idea how much of an upgrade! The program is very efficient and our staff love it. The best testimonial we received was from a youth director who is better with kids than with technology, when he said “I can really understand our accounting program for once!” The ease of use of the program has made it possible to have our staff enter their own budgets and track their own financials each month. The staff love the different budget templates for membership, programs, and payroll, and don’t even need to know that they were very easy for the accounting office to set up. Our favorite feature is one that we didn’t even notice during the sales evaluation – the drill-down feature. Branch managers love the ability to see the financial statement for the entire branch, and then just right-click to see category details by department or program. As CFO, I love the ability to analyze the entire Association in this way. Although I would love to see SGA develop a membership module, any membership program that can export to an Excel file can work with SGA. Our payroll data also easily imports in from ADP. This is one of the reasons we chose SGA. The support team at SGA is also top-notch. Most organizations brag about their support, but SGA follows through on their claims. We almost always get same-day solutions to any question or problem we have. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend SGA to another Y. I think anyone that chose SGA would be pleasantly surprised with the functionality and productivity gains they experience. Have them call me if they want more reasons to choose SGA!"
Assistant Controller YMCA of Florida's First Coast, Jacksonville, FL
"Committing to a change in software can mean a lot of up front work. Since we are all short on time, it seems "dealing" with the current system is the best decision. However, converting to SGA Accounting and Accounts Payable software has been such a positive change for my department and the YMCA of Florida's First Coast as a whole. The conversion went smoothly and as we were trained on the capabilities of the system, I wished we had converted to SGA a long time ago. There are so many aspects that are great improvements from the software that we used previously. The ease of getting instant information, ability to e-mail monthly financials, the option to change and write reports, the budget program and real time interaction of the G/L, Accounts Payable and Purchase Orders are just a few of the aspects I like. The software is very user friendly and easy to navigate, even for those staff at our YMCA who are not so "computer literate." One final important area that I am pleased with is the support we receive from SGA. All of the patient staff are quick to respond to our needs and questions and are open to ideas of ways to improve the system. I hope to continue our relationship with SGA for many years to come."
CFO YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
"Before we had SGA, our association was managing finances 4-6 weeks behind. We would distribute financial information about a month - two weeks into the following month. Our reaction time to trends and problems was way too long. SGA allowed managers at our branches to access up-to-date financial information during the month as we posted payroll, invoices and revenue 2-3 times weekly.
"In budgeting, branch managers used to put budget information into Excel and send to the corporate office to be entered. Now, budgets can be entered by the branch staff responsible for them. More calculations and information lines can be used to backup budgeted numbers. We have used the budget components and the forecasting tools to enhance the financial management of our association. Also, unlike before, a new employee can go into SGA and see the rationale and justification behind the budgeted numbers.
"SGA's customer service has been very beneficial. I can talk directly to the people that wrote the software when I have a problem. I would definitely recommend SGA to YMCA's and any other small to medium-sized business."
VP of Finance, Controller YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, Detroit, MI
"Converting to a new general ledger and accounts payable software package has been a top priority for the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit in recent years, particularly as it became more and more obvious how inefficient and antiquated our current system was. After a very thorough and comprehensive RFP process, SGA stood out among all of the software vendors that we researched on a number of levels, including software functionality, customer service, and value and price. We were highly impressed with how well SGA met the unique needs of our YMCA.
"Having never gone through a software conversion and implementation, I was expecting an arduous, time intensive and complicated process. Working with SGA, the conversion and implementation went smoothly and efficiently. While there is a significant amount of time that is involved in any software conversion, the SGA team and the user-friendliness of the software helped to make the process as painless as possible. At the end of the project, we were both surprised and extremely pleased with how well things had gone.
"Now almost a year later, we continue to be pleased with SGA and the choice that we made. Staff throughout the Association have commented on how much they like SGA, the ease of use, and the quantity and quality of financial information available to them. The implementation of SGA has raised the financial awareness and acumen of staff across the Association. We particularly like the G/L Online Financial Statements tool, which allows us to create tailored financial statements and reports to meet a variety of management needs. The drilldown capabilities within Online Financial Statements provide powerful analytical tools for reviewing and understanding the financials. The budget development process has also improved dramatically with SGA, allowing for more realistic and accurate budget expectations.
"I look forward to our continued relationship with SGA and the ongoing improvements and software developments that will aid us in the fiscal management of the organization."
CFO YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN
"As the CFO of the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, I had been thinking of and on about replacing our general ledger, accounts payable, and budgeting software. As many people do nowadays, I did an internet search and came across SGA. After looking at the list of YMCA clients, I decided to contact a few of them. Amazingly, not one of them had anything negative to say about the people at SGA or the product.
"After making the decision to go with SGA, the conversion process couldn't have been easier. They had us up and running in about 1 month. All of our data came over from our old system without a problem. I initially had some hesitancy since I made the decision later in the year knowing that budget season and end of the year reporting was fast approaching.
"The software is very user friendly. The functionality of the software is impressive, from the drill down capabilities of the Online Financial Report, to the report writer features, and to the budgeting features. All of the staff has been very happy with the change.
"Equally important has been the great customer support we get from them. Contrary to what sometimes happens after the sales has been made, there has been no drop off in the availability of help or timely response to any of our questions.
"If you are seriously looking at making a change to something better, I would highly recommend you give this a look. "
Vice President of Accounting and Controller Gateway Region YMCA, St. Louis, MO
"We are very happy with SGA as a product and with the support we have received. The software is capable and easy to use. Support questions get a quick turn around by a knowledgeable staff. Enhancements that we have requested have been completed quickly and within a reasonable budget. If we find a bug when testing enhancements, the fix is usually received that same day or the next.
"Before using SGA we did our budgeting using Microsoft Access at twenty-one locations. Administration of this product was a nightmare for the IT department and loss of data was a common occurrence. SGA has stabilized this process and made it easier for IT to administer and allowed us to use Trending and Averaging in our budget philosophy. Before SGA, General Ledger and financial reports were printed at our Corporate office and sent to the branches via the mail. Now we allow each branch to print only the reports they want as often as they want, saving time and paper.
"Through SGA our branch staff now have the capability to look up the status of their own payables and history of their accounts. Before SGA, it would have taken a phone call or email to get the answer. This has saved a lot of time for our Accounting department."
CFO Robert K Fox Family YMCA, Lancaster, OH
"“We affectionately tease one of our branch directors about not being so “IT-Fabulous”; Of all the people, he was the one that sent me an email telling me how much easier SGA was for him to use, even learning it as a new system. That spoke volumes to me and my executive director. We knew we’d made the right choice. Even in the process of learning the new system, we haven’t had to call SGA support for everything. If there were little things we didn’t know how to do right away, we were able to figure them out on our own in short order.
SGA support is just awesome. I love that when I call I always talk to a real person. When someone does need to call me back, it’s really quick. I always get my answers almost immediately. I’ve gotten to know the folks at SGA to the point of recognizing their voices; it’s such a relief to deal with the same core group of folks when I call. There is such continuity within SGA. It’s in such stark contrast to what I’m used to dealing with. I don’t have to speak to 5 different people, explaining myself again to each of those 5, and then be given several different ticket numbers in the process.
I love what we got for what we paid with SGA. SGA was upfront with me from the beginning about what I would be paying and what I would be getting for it. There was nothing hidden, and no ambiguity in what the costs were. I can budget for it without guessing.
The conversion was shockingly easy, and I was able to immediately cancel my plans for what I thought were going to be many long evenings of manually re-keying data into the new system! I don’t think we had more than 10 hours invested in training during the whole process. I like the fact that I can tell the system very specifically what I want pulled in a given report, and that it’s really easy to do. I also like the fact that I can start with one of the 250 “canned” reports that SGA provides and change it to what I want it to be. I can’t believe how much information got pulled over in terms of account information and vendor information, and now our account structures are matched up pretty well with how the reporting is set up. Now I can get back to the board after a meeting the same day or night when they ask for more information or detail because of how easy it is to pull information in the reports.
The impact SGA had on our organization was like flipping a light switch. As soon as they were implemented live, it was real. I literally save hours per month doing my monthly financials over what it used to take me. I can now focus on getting into grant writing, analytical reviews by department, making directors aware of things as I become aware of them, and getting financials out the door so much faster than ever before. But in terms of efficiency… having SGA is making a direct impact on the mission of our Y, for the better. It’s hard to measure just how much we save now.
We truly trust SGA, and we feel that they truly are a partner with us."
CFO YMCA of Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
"I was expecting the conversion to follow suit with other conversions: time consuming and filled with trial and error, but it was nothing like that. It was very streamlined, and very little was required on our part which was nice. It didn’t require a ton of training, and it was just a super-smooth process. I can’t say enough good about it. Both my staff and I are very pleased with the end result.
We had several things we wanted to implement in the new system in terms of paying some of our vendors though ACH, importing data, and several other things. They have all worked really smoothly. We are able to easily get things set up, and SGA was very helpful. We were able to check several of those things off our list that we had been talking about for a very long time. We’re all very excited, and we’re seeing a lot of things now that we both can do to streamline our processes and just make more efficient use of our time.
I actually think that in real life, what we’re getting from SGA is even better than what was presented to us before we signed on. I didn’t need much training; SGA is laid out very well, and I think it just intuitively makes sense to finance/accounting types of people. It’s simplistic and yet very powerful. The combination of those two things is just wonderful. There is probably more power and functionality there than we even realize.
The thing that I have loved about SGA is that the customer service is just fabulous. I call. They answer the phone. We get to talk to somebody. We get our answers fixed. You just don’t always get that with other software companies. I just love the personal service we get. SGA’s willingness to help us transition was also just very helpful. I cannot say enough good things about SGA. I have become a very big fan of SGA Accounting.