Since opening its doors in 1991, the Nashville Zoo has grown from a small, private operation to an AZA-accredited facility that welcomes more than one million visitors each year. Although the private nonprofit organization collects admissions and event fees at its 188-acre location, it is also funded by donations. As the zoo experienced rapid, continued growth in recent years, its leadership looked to the future and made big plans to develop new animal habitats and unique visitor experiences.
However, the finance team initially worried about whether they could support the planned expansion, because of their heavy reliance on paper-based processes and some limitations with their Sage 50 accounting system.
“Until COVID-19 hit, we had been on a straight upward trajectory, and this made it hard to shed some of the old ways of doing things,” remembered Kim Pridgen, chief finance officer at Nashville Zoo. “Yet, we knew we had outgrown the reporting capabilities of our legacy system and needed to embrace new technology.”
After conferring with several other zoo CFOs and evaluating solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, Oracle NetSuite, and Blackbaud, Sage Intacct rose to the top of Pridgen’s list. She selected the cloud-based financial management solution for its easy-to-use reports and dashboard capabilities, as well as its partnership with LBMC Technology Solutions for reliable consulting services. After upgrading from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct, the organization slashed its monthly close in half, boosted efficiency, and saved thousands of dollars through improved spend analysis.