What do rooftop gardens and rain barrels have in common with bookkeeping? They should all be low-maintenance.

dc greenworks is at the intersection of two important and fast-changing worlds: driving economic growth and jobs by promoting and delivering low-maintenance, water- and energy-saving solutions such as green roofs, rain barrels and rain gardens.

In fact, “low maintenance” is a trait that both dc greenworks and Consultance have in common.

According to dc greenworks’ Executive Director, Peter Ensign, LEED AP, “Consultance has been low-maintenance from the start – in part because they invested so much time up front in understanding our business and defining our requirements.”

Read their story to see how Consultance can help businesses who need a next generation accounting firm to achieve financial sustainability.

The Challenge

Consultance set the tone for its engagement with dc greenworks before it even started, according to the organization’s Executive Director Peter Ensign. “We had contacted a few firms about our bookkeeping needs, and Consultance’s owner was the only one that made a point of asking to meet at our offices on H Street in Northeast DC. He said he wanted to get a feel for our business and that was the best way.”

“Their approach sent a message that Consultance probably wasn’t going to deliver a generic, off-the-shelf solution, which they didn’t,” says Ensign. “Their proposal had far more specificity and detail than the other proposals we reviewed.”

According to Consultance Founder and Owner, Orin Schepps, “Investing time getting to know the client’s business up front pays off down the road, since it helps all parties start a new engagement on the same page.”

The Solution

“Consultance designed a solution with several tiers that fit our organization,” says Ensign. “Day to day bookkeeping combined with accounting oversight, which gives us confidence that the right checks and balances are in place.”

And according to Ensign, the numbers are, of course, important, but there’s something else that makes a service provider like Consultance stand out. “Great communications. Being clear and available. Those are absolutely differentiators to us.”

“With that said,” continues Ensign, “our bookkeeping and accounting functions needed an upgrade. Consultance did a great job of improving visibility into our financial operations. They set up employee classifications, which gave us a critical baseline on where our time is being spent between fundraising and administration vs. building green roofs and teaching skills.”

DC Greenworks Challenges

  • Reduce dc greenworks’ staff time on bookkeeping functions.
  • Define and improve visibility on key financial and accounting metrics.
  • Reduce number of steps and amount of staff time required for accounting and bookkeeping functions.
  • Improve grant tracking.
  • Need for functional expense classifications.

The Consultance Solution

  • Implemented paperless document management system.
  • Set up online version of QuickBooks to enable secure, remote access.
  • Created recurring tasks/processes for all bookkeeping related functions.
  • Created customized financial reports to track key metrics.
  • Researched and provided guidance on how to track and report grants.
  • Created new process to classify and track functional expense allocations

The Outcome

  • Reduced amount of time Executive Director spends on administrative tasks.
  • Executive Director can review and reallocate resources based on cost analyses by job function and project.
  • Improved Grant tracking of income and expenses
  • Better and faster financial and business decision-making due to accurate, real-time financial information.

The Bottom Line

“Consultance has been low-maintenance from the start—in part because they invested so much time up front in understanding our business and defining our requirements.”

—Peter Ensign, LEED AP
Executive Director
dc greenworks

About DC Greenworks

dc greenworks is growing a green economy to improve the environmental health of our communities across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by teaching, training, building and maintaining green infrastructure practices—unlocking long—term economic opportunities for the region and its inhabitants.