How First Tee transformed its bookkeeping and saved time with PwC and Ramp

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"The efficiency of using PwC Bookkeeping Connect, coupled with the Ramp platform, has probably been about 75% time savings. Instead of every hour I would have had to spend on bookkeeping, I’m probably having to spend maybe 10 or 15 minutes.”
Dan Burke, CEO, First Tee San Francisco
The problem
A fragmented approach to spend management led to inefficient, time-intensive bookkeeping

Multiple growing chapters within First Tee recognized the need to enhance their accounting practices. Dan Burke, CEO of First Tee - San Francisco, explains why he decided to bring on PwC.

“We really needed to either provide more resources for internal accounting by adding staff or bring in an outside collaborator to do our day-to-day accounting,” says Dan. It was through PwC that Dan learned about Ramp. 

Historically, First Tee - San Francisco relied on multiple banking institutions for various purposes, and its lead banking institution did not offer traditional credit cards. “That was a logistical and bookkeeping pain,” notes Dan. “Bringing in PwC, an outside reputable bookkeeping service, was another big win.”

With industry-leading technology managed by PwC’s CPA-led team, First Tee can trust that their books are consistent, up-to-date and on time. Accurate and timely data lets First Tee see a more holistic picture of their financial health, allowing them to make the right strategic decisions.

Bill Hyndham, CEO of First Tee - Philadelphia, had a similar experience. “I had to act as our accountant for about a year, and reconciling credit cards was something that took a lot of time,” he explains, estimating that reconciliation took about five hours. “Ramp has totally streamlined our credit card process. It’s a great, great option.”

Brett Wherry, director at PwC, manages the team responsible for accounting for several First Tee chapters. As a strategic accounting partner to its First Tee clients, PwC actively advises Dan and Bill on ways to improve efficiency and increase the likelihood of success.

Timely, accurate bookkeeping and accounting is the foundation for trustworthy data that can help drive better decisions—faster. First Tee can make decisions based on real data, knowing their books are up-to-date and close at the same time—month after month.

The solution
A centralized platform that streamlines bookkeeping and adds transparency

First Tee - San Francisco and First Tee - Philadelphia worked with PwC and began leveraging Ramp for corporate credit cards and spend management. Right away, Ramp’s ease of use resulted in time gained, as Brett and the PwC team were able to code transactions more quickly and efficiently. 

“We’re not waiting. We close faster. And because we close faster, we can get Dan his results faster,” says Brett.  

Using Ramp has helped First Tee institute that integrity around card controls, which enabled the organization to tighten its spend management. “I didn’t anticipate how good that functionality was going to be for us,” says Dan. “The fact that it’s tied to PwC and QuickBooks…that’s where the big win is. Everything is now centralized within one institution: I can look at it, I can track it, and I can adjust credit as needed.” 

That centralization has generated efficiencies and cost-effective practices that have been impactful for First Tee. “Industry leading spend management centralizes efforts and gives you greater visibility into what you’re doing,” says Brett.

PwC and Bookkeeping Connect reimagine bookkeeping so First Tee’s leaders are free to focus on growth. The firm’s expert accounting staff handles the daily accounting grind so First Tee can spend more time expanding their donor base and their mission. And they can do this while having visibility into their financials empowering them with proactive strategies for future success.

The result
75% time savings, refocused resources, and improved compliance

Implementing Ramp has yielded material time savings for Dan and his team. “It’s all about time efficiency,” says Dan. “The efficiency of using  Bookkeeping Connect, coupled with the Ramp platform, has probably been about 75% time savings. Instead of every hour I would have had to spend on bookkeeping, I’m probably having to spend maybe 10 or 15 minutes.” 

Bill agrees. “In combination with PwC, [we’re] probably saving 25 hours a week,” he says.

Those time efficiencies accrue on a compounding basis, which means these First Tee chapters can reallocate significant time away from frustrating manual bookkeeping tasks to higher-value initiatives. In Philadelphia, the time saved has allowed First Tee’s Director of Finance to focus on more important strategic work. “We are working on cost-saving measures: looking at different vendors, identifying where we have inefficient spending and where we could buy products more cheaply,” says Bill. 

That benefit applies to the PwC team, too. The time saved enables PwC to serve as a true advisor, notes Brett. “We’re able to provide granular insights, deliver donor reports, and improve  Board reports, so that instead of just getting very high-level financials that are three months behind to the board, First Tee is receiving a monthly package they can trust. With more impactful data, First Tee can answer more questions faster, identify any, point out issues and action them more quickly as well as report to their boards with more efficiency and accuracy,” says Brett. “We’re able to leverage PwC’s knowledge across First Tee’s needs as a non-profit—with donors, investments and grant reporting—while also having specialists in the area of Retail and Point of Sale needs for their golf course operations.”

“When you’re a non-profit organization, your time and resources should be in service of the organization’s purpose. Your resources are precious. Automating bookkeeping can help put more time and money toward your main mission,” adds Brett. There are lots of bookkeeping solutions on the market, but most are just software. Bookkeeping Connect is powerful software backed by experienced accounting professionals at PwC. “We created Bookkeeping Connect so nonprofits like First Tee can better manage their accounting and bookkeeping while leveraging impactful financial insights from our team of specialists.”

The insights automatically generated by Ramp and Bookkeeping Connect also enable First Tee to demonstrate a different level of compliance and spend awareness, which makes the organization a more attractive donation target. “There’s a lot at stake in nonprofits,” says Dan. “Nonprofits are a hyper-competitive market for donor dollars. You can’t make mistakes.”

Ramp has added guardrails that give Dan—and, by extension, First Tee donors—peace of mind. “When you’re efficient at managing your organization to the highest level, that's a good return on investment for the donors,” says Dan. “[Ramp is helpful] not only for efficiencies of running the organization, but it’s increasing the investment our donors are making.”

Company name
First Tee
About the company

First Tee is a nonprofit organization that empowers kids and teens through the game of golf. They offer personal growth and junior golf programs that make golf affordable and accessible to a variety of kids, and help participants build self confidence and participate more actively in leadership opportunities and events, community activities, and college scholarships. With hundreds of distinct, independently operating entities located across the country and around the world, First Tee reaches 3.4 million youth each year. Two First Tee chapters—First Tee - San Francisco and First Tee - Philadelphia—collaborate with PwC for their accounting.

About PwC Bookkeeping Connect:

PwC’s breadth of experience gives not-for-profits like First Tee, SMBs, family offices, private companies and service firms access to solutions that can be tailored to their specific business needs. Bookkeeping Connect, a PwC product, helps bring the firm’s 170+ years of excellence to these clients.

Bookkeeping Connect brings together PwC’s proprietary technology and their experienced professionals to automate processes and simplify workflows so First Tee can focus on the kids and teens they serve. This solution integrates with the financial tools First Tee uses every day and helps them discover new ways to streamline their business processes—and get real-time insights so they can make data-driven decisions with confidence.

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