The Diocese of San Bernardino oversees more than 120 parishes and schools, along with a Pastoral Center that houses diocesan leadership. When Jorge Montenegro, Chief Financial Officer, reached out to Martus, the parishes and schools had recently implemented Sage Intacct, but the Pastoral Center was still using an AS400-based accounting system.
“For any diocese, budgets are a key tool to understand where we are financially,” said Jorge. “It is vital that we have a clear picture of the financial health of every parish, school, and outreach ministry so that we can effectively receive and distribute funds to meet our mission and serve our communities.”
While implementing Sage Intacct was a significant step forward for the diocese, local parishes still faced challenges in trying to use and understand complex accounting software. The diocese needed a solution that would bridge the gap, providing an easy-to-use budgeting and reporting tool for local parishes while offering the detailed data that diocesan leadership needed to see for effective reporting.
Fortunately, Jorge had worked with Martus at a previous diocese, and knew firsthand how easy it is to budget in our cloud-based solution.
“Martus is the perfect solution because it’s so simple and intuitive! It’s a well-designed database,” said Jorge.
Because Martus looks and feels like a spreadsheet, all budget managers were able to learn the system quickly. In just a couple hours, over 185 users were able to see and update their budgets in real time. Customized user permissions ensure each individual sees only what they need to create and review their budget. Martus’ standard financial reports (available out-of-the-box!) empowers local leadership to see their real-time financial status at a glance, giving diocesan leadership the data they need to better assess funding requests.
Better Budgeting and Reporting for Stronger Financial Health
The Pastoral Center, along with all parishes and schools, began budgeting with Martus in 2022, providing a unified budgeting solution despite working with two different account systems. When the Pastoral Center transitioned to Sage Intacct several months later, their Martus reimplementation was seamless.
Jorge says the results have been overwhelmingly positive at all levels. Users are more responsive and the diocese has seen an uptick in budgets being prepared and submitted on time. Reporting has become easier, too, with both local and diocesan leadership able to view their budgeting and reporting data, even when traveling. Jorge said this has been especially helpful in both team planning sessions and 1:1 meetings, where he can see and discuss financial reports in real time.
With Martus, the Diocese of San Bernardino has increased responsiveness, streamlined budgeting for their 185+ users, and saved up to 40 hours per month – time the central office previously spent creating, printing, and sending individual financial reports to more than 100 locations. Most importantly, the diocese now has a clear understanding of their finances, enabling them to better understand their parishes, schools, and community ministries’ needs as they carry out their core values of hospitality, collaboration, faith sharing and reconciliation.