The unique structure of MakeWay presented a difficult problem for their financial team. Many accounting systems create balance sheets at the subsidiary level—that is, for the entire company or organization. But MakeWay needed a method to generate balance sheets for each of the dozens of programs they’re partnering with.
They were already in the process of migrating to NetSuite from their previous system. Chris Little, CFO at MakeWay, explains the reason for this migration: “Our old system was heavily, heavily customized, to the point where it was tough to do any updates. What we wanted was something with more flexibility, something that was in the cloud that we could easily integrate with other systems.” For this, they turned to NetSuite, which gave them all that, as well as “a CRM, online storage, a new expense and invoicing system, new payroll system, the whole thing.”
In the process of implementing NetSuite, they came to realize they needed a way to extend some of NetSuite’s functionality. Little explains, “We needed fund accounting on the balance sheet, which is not something most charities need, but we do, because of our structure. We provide a shared platform of support to around 65 projects across the country, and they each need their own suite of financial statements, with a balance sheet to know what their cash is, their accounts receivable, and all those things.” So MakeWay began investigating how to extend NetSuite’s functionality to give them that added fund accounting ability.