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Financial Systems Consultant

About the Rainforest Alliance:

We are building an alliance to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal.

The Rainforest Alliance works at the intersection of business, agriculture and forests. By bringing diverse allies together we are making deep-rooted change on some of our most pressing social and environmental issues. Together, we amplify the voices of farmers and forest communities, improve livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and help people mitigate and adapt to climate change in bold and effective ways.

Our alliance needs you, whoever you are and wherever you stand. By joining forces with producers, businesses and consumers, we can transform our relationship with the land and forests we rely on. We can make that relationship work better for all.

Together, we can achieve our vision of a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.

Position summary:

Rainforest Alliance is seeking a Consultant to advise and assist on its project to select, build, and implement a new accounting system and related ancillary systems for the organization.

Context for the Project

Rainforest Alliance, a New York-based 501(c)3, and UTZ, an Amsterdam-based foundation, merged in 2018. Together, the new Rainforest Alliance is now a $60 million per year organization with offices in 17 countries (and growing) and over 300 staff. The merged organization has two headquarters—one in Amsterdam and one in New York City—and two primary accounting systems. Utilizing two accounting system is not cost-effective or efficient and requires RA to consolidate its financials by exporting financial data into a reporting tool (BI360) to appropriately understand its business.

Consultancy Objective

The goal of this consultancy is to identify, implement, and deploy consolidated financial systems worldwide. The Consultant or Consultant Firm will work closely with the internal Rainforest Alliance project implementation team, including a dedicated Project Manager, to execute the project. The Consultant or Consultant Firm will provide advice, best practices, and guidance throughout the four phases of the project (see more below).

More General Rainforest Alliance Information

Rainforest Alliance Legal Structure

Funding for the organization comes from two primary sources: 1. Contracts/Grants and other donations (some of which is restricted to execute certain projects worldwide) which is roughly 40% of revenue; and 2. Royalty revenue associated with the Rainforest Alliance seal which is roughly 60%. Rainforest Alliance is funded by governments, corporations, foundations, and individuals and has multiple legal entities that accept donations.

Rainforest Alliance is organized under a holding company, Rainforest Alliance Holding, Inc, a pending 501(c)3 registered in Delaware. The holding company has no financial transactions but serves to legally unite the two merged organizations together. More information on the three main legal entities is presented in the following table and graphic.

Name

RA Holding

RA Inc

RA ST/BV

Registered name

Rainforest Alliance Holding, Inc.

Rainforest Alliance, Inc.

Stichting Rainforest Alliance (Formerly Stichting UTZ) and Rainforest Alliance B.V. (Formerly UTZ B.V.)

Registration status

A Delaware not-for-profit that is exempt under Code Section 501(c)(3)

A New York not-for-profit that is exempt under Code Section 501(c)(3)

Dutch Company that has exempt status of a public benefit organization (“ANBI”) pursuant to Dutch law

Year Founded

2018

1987

2001 (Stichting)

2012 (B.V.)

Fiscal Year

CY (1 Jan – 31 Dec)

CY (1 Jan – 31 Dec) as of Jan 1, 2018; Prior FY (1 Jul – 30 Jun); field office FY’s vary

CY (1 Jan – 31 Dec)

Accounting Principles

US GAAP & GAS

US GAAP and GAS

Dutch Accounting Standards

Current Accounting System

None

Dynamics SL and other field office systems and/or Excel

AccountView and Excel in field offices

Ancillary system

None

·  Concur- for business expenses and travel booking

·  BI360- for financial reporting

·  Dynamics SL Web Apps timekeeping

·  Other systems not connected to Dynamics: Luminate, ADP

·  SQL reporting

 

·  Easy Invoice- for processing invoices and declarations

·  Scansys, for digitizing the invoices

·  Time Management (developed by Utilize Business Solutions BV)-for timekeeping

·  NMBRs (HR system)

·  SQL reporting

 

Traceability[1] system

None

Marketplace 2.0 (Chainpoint hosted database) and excel

 

 

MultiTrace (created in-house and hosted by Outsystems)

GIP

Grants & contracts system

 

Salesforce

Salesforce (rollout in process)

Resources

 

FY17 Annual Report

FY17 Audit

FY17 Annual Report

FY17 Audit (by request)

 

 

[1] RA’s traceability systems track the volumes of agricultural product (such as tea or coffee) that is sold as Rainforest Alliance certified. These systems show the supply chain of these certified goods from producer to ultimate buyer. RA uses the systems to calculate the royalty that must be paid by each certified client. The royalty compromises a majority of RA’s total revenue and many invoices are issued from these systems. Therefore, integrating these systems to RA’s new financial systems will be an integral part of this project. 

 

RA’s global registrations are in the following countries:

Country

Current Accounting System

Brazil

Sage Gestão Contábil & Excel

Cameroon

Excel

China

Excel

Costa Rica

Enlace

Cote d'Ivoire

Sage

Ghana

QuickBooks

Guatemala

ASPEL (then entered into Guatemala Dynamics)

Honduras

ASPEL

India

Excel

Indonesia

MYOB & Excel

Kenya

Quickbooks & Excel

Mexico

Dynamics SL (exported to CONTPAQI)

Peru

PROFITCONT

United Kingdom

Dynamics SL 2015 (not connected to HQ Dynamics)

Vietnam

Excel

 

All field offices report into HQ accounting systems via Excel reports.  

 

Project summary:

This project will be completed in four (4) phases:

Phase 1

Needs assessment for financial systems and analysis Selection of new accounting system. Target dates for completion: August 2019

Phase 2

Design, configuration, testing, and pilot of new accounting system and ancillary modules. Target dates for completion: February 2020

Phase 3

Deployment of accounting system in the two Rainforest Alliance headquarters. Target dates for completion: June 2020

Phase 4

Global rollout of system to field office locations. Target dates for completion: December 2020

The financial systems will include a global accounting system and any additional ancillary systems that were identified in the needs assessment phase. This may include timekeeping, invoicing, reporting, etc. Some of these ancillary modules may be launched after Phase 3 or 4 depending on capacity of project staff.

RA has identified the following needs for the new accounting system during initial brainstorming:

  • A module-based, user-friendly, consolidated financial system for the whole organization
  • Multi-currency functionality
  • Multi-company functionality with ability to handle local bookkeeping requirements
  • Cloud-based with offline functionality
  • Integrations with RA bank accounts
  • Document attachments to transactions for strong auditability
  • Connection with organizational CRM
  • Connection with traceability system
  • Timekeeping/leave-tracking solution
  • Workflowed invoicing for payments
  • Fund accounting & revenue recognition
  • Project accounting
  • Reporting and dashboarding to meet local and international requirements
  • Allocations functionality

Selection Criteria

Rainforest Alliance will consider the following when selecting this consultant:

  • Cost (15%)
  • Prior success implementing financial system(s) at similar sized non-profits (30%)
  • Experience working with international organizations with global footprint (20%)
  • Availability (15%)
  • Project team (20%)

Proposal Process and Format

Proposals must be sent to the Project Manager, Megan Fries at mfries@ra.org by April 30, 2019 11 PM EST. Tenderers may contact Megan Fries with any related questions by April 26, 2019.

Finalists will be notified by May 14, 2019. Selection will be made no later than May 31, 2019. Incomplete proposals may be rejected by RA at its discretion. RA is at liberty to make multiple or no selections as part of the proposal process.

  • Proposals must include the following:
    • Brief description of Consultant firm, including incorporation date and location, annual revenue, number of employees, contact information, and disclosure of any existing VAR/business relationships with accounting software solutions.
    • Work plan detailing project approach and process, with timeline broken down by phase
    • Cost proposal broken down by phase
    • Project team (if Consultant firm) and Current C.V.(s) including managing partner on project team
    • Table of relevant previous international, non-profit engagements with the following metrics: non-profit sector, legal structure, employee count, office count, office locations, revenue, revenue sources, currencies, consolidation method, system implemented, project duration
    • Lessons learned to make this type of project successful
    • References (at least 3, include email and phone number)
  • RA will give preference to fixed-fee cost proposals.
  • Contracts will be awarded by phase.