The marvelous dichotomy about partnering with Vault is that without abandoning traditional industry best practices, the firm is adaptive to the digital age. Many in the accounting industry can agree that transactional services are moving towards automated processes, and firms must adopt the consultative financial management component. Similarly, the modern-day executive is pursuant of interfaces and a team quick to close in on windows of information that validate their stance and can identify knowledge gaps before they manifest elsewhere.
Consistent with her role as the firm’s change agent, COO Amy Horner states adamantly, “You cannot grow if you cannot move on from the old ways of doing things.” Ever since she came on board during the firm’s sophomore year, she has worked alongside the leadership team to implement new operational platforms that improve the client experience on various fronts. A couple of years ago, the firm began terminating archaic environments and moving towards modern solutions.
Association clients like NACAS and OPEI have been the benefactors of said adjustments. “NACAS was able to launch a first of its kind benchmarking program for members, and it has had an impact on our value proposition,” remarks Donna-Jo Pepito, Director of Education and Research Strategy at NACAS. The half-century-old professional trade association represents the non-academic suite of campus services across the nation, which generate over forty billion dollars in revenue each year for the higher education industry. The association partnered with Vault to make it easier for auxiliary leaders to surface the numerical data underneath collegiate lore. The trailblazing benchmarking program is the first of its kind that captures all different types of auxiliary service data, from campus dining to laundry and parking to mail services. The interface Vault has supplied the organization allows auxiliary leaders to ethically manipulate, interpret, and present data.
The benchmarking program is just one of many that Vault has helped associations launch in the past five years. Other research programs that provide stakeholders the same innovative solutions are market share statistical programs. “They are always on the cutting edge with tools that keep us moving forward,” contributes Dan Mustico, VP of Government & Market Affairs at the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. The manufacturing association partnered with Vault to launch a revamped market share data program, allowing members of the manufacturing association to see their market share and make informed decisions. The modernized solution unearths opportunistic avenues for partners’ member bases. The user-centered functionality of the platform grants members a wide range of functionality. An example would be peer-views by state, so OPEI members – like brands commonly found at the Home Depot or Lowes – can easily see where their products are selling most.
Naturally, the firm’s outsourced accounting clients benefit a great deal from the IT priority on Vault’s agenda. Financial management client John Lyboldt expresses the relief and satisfaction the new tools provide the Truckload Carriers Association. “Our check/payment processing process was very antiquated, and Vault helped us implement a more streamlined process with new technology. This helped expedite audits and allowed us to manage the AP/AR process much more efficiently.” Nevertheless, where there is technological advancement, there still an appreciation for the traditional ways tax-exempt organizations conduct businesses. “They are Washington-based, which is important, and they have a broad depth of association clients with the same needs as us,” Mustico continues. With Vault having nearly 100 years of combined experience serving the not-for-profit sector, Vault’s partners can be reassured that the firm has the geographic-specific sophistication to practice and perform where so many not-for-profits and associations are headquartered.
Principal Wes Tomer commits much personal time and support to not-for-profits; like many other executives at the firm, he has committed his career almost exclusively to serving the not-for-profit sector. “[I am] proud to be within the tax-exempt community because they’re really mission-driven, and it’s important to help meet those goals.” Speaking competently about a breadth of association issues only comes with years of practical experience. At Vault’s core is a deep commitment to the missions and communities its partners serve.