Equitable Facilities Fund Saves Time & Gains Insight with Quantrix
We recently talked with one of our customers, Brian Kates of Equitable Facilities Fund. Listen to our discussion below:
Brian Kates has been working in the education finance industry for almost 20 years. His passion for working in the nonprofit social impact space along with his Master’s in Finance led him to his role at Equitable Facilities Fund. As he puts it: “I started as a consultant, [and] never left because I really loved the organization and the impact that we can have.” Currently, Brian is the VP of Finance and Data. In addition to managing back-office operations, Brian focuses on strategic finance work.
About Equitable Facilities Fund
Low-Cost. Long-Term. High-Impact. If you visit the Equitable Facilities Fund website, you’ll see these words displayed prominently, as they are at the heart of their mission.
Equitable Facilities Fund is a nonprofit corporation that is “proud to support positive education outcomes for students across the country with unparalleled charter school facility financing options.”
As Brian puts it, “the concept has always been to provide long-term low-cost capital to schools.” The first loan was made in 2018, and while their core beliefs remain unmoved, Brian is proud to mention that the mission has been refined to help address gaps in access: “we have a strong initiative internally to fund schools that are predominantly low income and students of color.”
Challenges with Excel
Equitable Facilities Fund was using Excel but ran into a couple major issues that led them to the decision to make a change:
“I think there were probably two big things that led to the decision. The first is the most obvious, which is that the Excel file was like 58 megabytes and I had to shut down everything in my computer before I opened it up… I had to turn off Autocalculate and every time I wanted to recalculate something I’d have to leave and go grab a cup of tea because it would take 5 minutes and that’s if it didn’t crash”
How have things changed after Quantrix?
Today Brian has been using Quantrix for a little over a year. He has seen some major improvements. “I spend a lot less time on financial modeling.” Brian continues: “I think the other piece is that I feel like I have a lot better insight into what’s going on.”
Quantrix structure is designed to grow, even when faced with new scenarios. This is another theme that Brian noticed:
“I just met with our CEO a couple weeks ago and he had a couple of changes he wanted me to make in the model and in the Excel world, this would have taken me 20 or 30 hours and instead it took me 2 hours and most of that was just me double checking that things worked the way I wanted them to”