Specialized Dental Partners Accelerates Close, Speeds Key Insights to the Business Using Planful

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Specialized Dental Partners (“SDP”) is a doctor-led, doctor-driven specialty dental service organization that provides operational support to dental practices across the U.S. In 2021, the company partnered with a private equity firm to fuel growth. After a failed FP&A implementation that forced continued reliance on large Excel budget files, Specialized Dental Partners chose Planful to speed up financial reporting and optimize the budgeting process.

The Challenge: Excel-based FP&A solution resulted in inefficient budgeting process

The finance team at SDP was going through some changes, to say the least. During immense organic and acquisition-led growth, the financial reporting requirements required hours of manual work without the benefit of an efficient FP&A tool.

“To deliver the structured financial reports our investors wanted, we had to manually run tons of reports in Intacct, copy and paste them into Excel, and then use formulas to transform them into the reporting templates,” recalled Bradley Jones, Senior Director of FP&A at SDP. “If we needed to update the data, it required another 1 to 2 hours of work each time.”

SDP thought it had found a workable FP&A tool in 2022. But as that vendor’s software implementation team consistently failed to reconcile the general ledger, the 2023 budgeting process drew near. SDP decided to cut its losses and revert to a large Excel budget workbook while searching for a new, more capable financial performance management solution.

“Our prior FP&A software was a complete waste of time,” Bradley added. “I’ll admit, I had some scars going into the process of selecting a replacement.”

The Solution: Quickly deploy Planful’s intuitive solution with the help of Formos Consulting

SDP wanted a user-friendly solution that didn’t require someone with IT or coding skills to maintain and included robust budgeting capabilities. After some due diligence considering multiple vendors, the decision was made to move forward with Planful.

“Planful’s interface and syntax was familiar, like Excel’s, and it seemed very intuitive,” said Bradley. “Planful had great budgeting features. It had automation to map our numbers to a hierarchy, and when we saw the financial reporting we could do with Planful Spotlight for Excel, well, that was huge. Now we just hit refresh, and the numbers update automatically.”

Within 2-3 months, and with the help of Planful partner Formos Consulting (“The best implementation team I’ve ever worked with,” said Bradley), Planful was deployed and integrated with Intacct to pull GL data, and SDP was delivering key financial insights to its Divisional Operations Directors and individual practice managers in just a few clicks. Even more, its accounting team used Planful for close review and to create ad hoc financial reports.

The Results: Deliver critical financial performance insights to teams more than a week faster than previously possible

Where the SDP finance team once spent hours manually copying and pasting financial data for reporting, they now simply refresh the data in Excel using Spotlight to update reports. Another time savings not contemplated initially was the time it took to run certain reports in Intacct. Running specific reports by entity in Intacct used to take 1-2 minutes to generate a single report, whereas Planful now runs the same reports in seconds.

“Our Divisional Directors now receive financial updates throughout close with Planful so those teams can get ahead of any issues or questions long before financials are finalized. In Intacct, you’d have to run each report individually and send individual emails to each practice. Now, I just click a button.” Bradley said.

“Our President stopped me the other day and said, ‘Thank you so much for getting those reports out. We’ve been missing this for a long time.’ It was huge that something that seems so simple is a very, very big deal for our Operations team and Practice Managers.” Bradley said.

“If you take all the time Planful saves us, we are saving about one day’s worth of time per close,” Moving forward, I hope our understanding of Planful’s features will continue to evolve so we can continue to create even more efficiencies across our organization,” said Bradley.

“Our Divisional Directors now receive financial updates throughout close with Planful so those teams can get ahead of any issues or questions long before financials are finalized.”

Bradley Jones, Senior Director of FP&A at Specialized Dental Partners
Specialized Dental Partners logo on a light blue background.


Specialized Dental Partners provides comprehensive operational support services to more than 300 clinicians at over 200 locations across the country.









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