Upgrading from Dynamics to Sage Intacct | Eastern Aleutian Tribe

Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Sage Intacct Saves Health Organization’s Business During COVID

In just the last 3 years, Eastern Aleutian Tribes has increased the number of state grants which has allowed them to expand their behavioral health sciences offerings to include services such as opioid tapering recovery treatments, peer support groups, as well as the Native Connections grant program. Anita Moran, Finance Director notes that, with over 8 remote clinics scattered across Alaska, “It’s a constant challenge getting supplies and patients back and forth - even just mail regularly.”

Issues with Microsoft Dynamics GP

EA Tribes had been using Microsoft Dynamics GP for years before Anita Moran joined as Finance Director. And while it may have served as an adequate financial management solution in the organization’s early years, once they started adding more clinic locations and increasing their workforce, it quickly became apparent that Dynamics GP was going to hinder further growth and bottleneck resources.

"Every purchase requisition ended up being a very manual process of duplicate entries, spread sheets, and documents, without a central location for them."

Anita Moran, Finance Director, Eastern Aleutian Tribes

Overly complicated and user-hostile system

When I first joined the company and started using GP, I immediately realized that there was no rhyme or reason to anything,” says Anita. The chart of accounts was extremely long. The lack of robustness in the software made it so that code schemes could be changed without triggering duplication warnings, making tracking different aspects complicated and confusing.

Manual, paper-based purchase requisition workflows

When it came to purchasing workflows, Dynamics GP seemed to be stuck in the 20th century. “Every purchase requisition ended up being a very manual process of duplicate entries, spreadsheets, and documents, without a central location for them,” says Anita. This is due to the fact that every purchase order would go through several different people scattered throughout the organization's different locations. Due to the fact that some of the clinics are remote, the manual nature of processing every purchase order would take a significantly longer time due to geographical factors.

Flawed reporting system unsuitable for grant management reporting

EA Tribes ran into major frustrations when it came to grant management reporting in Microsoft Dynamics GP. “To put it simply, Dynamics GP doesn’t let you run reports that cross the fiscal year… and since many of our state grants run from July 1 - June 30, and with the increasing number of grants we were getting, things quickly got out of hand,” says Anita.

Essentially, Anita and the accounting team were forced into a position where they had to run reports in multiple years, then add them together to make sure the grants were being properly reported. “This made it overly difficult to go back and reconcile to make sure nothing got accidentally posted after doing quarterly reports,” says Anita.

Infrastructure-intensive upgrade leads EA Tribes to Sockeye

The straw that broke the camel’s back came in the form of a forced upgrade of their existing ERP software. Since Dynamics GP ran on-premise and had considerable infrastructure to upkeep and maintain each of EA Tribes’ 8 clinics, this presented a major issue when making the decision whether to upgrade or move to a different solution.

But while it was imperative that the new ERP solution be top-notch, cloud-based, and provide a host of improvements on their previous software, Anita also had one very important request during discovery meetings with Sockeye. “I wanted someone that understood my language… the language of finance and accounting. And Sockeye absolutely delivered with Esther Goodstein, their Senior ERP Consultant.”

Implementation went completely without a hitch.

How Sockeye + Sage Intacct has made remote accounting seamless and easy in a COVID world

The introduction of Sage Intacct into the EA Tribes organization has created a plethora of efficiencies and improvements. The switch to the cloud-based, robust Sage Intacct ecosystem has allowed EA Tribes to continue working as optimally as possible - regardless of how remote their clinics already are from headquarters - under current COVID distancing protocols.

More specifically, some of the most meaningful improvements are detailed below.

Customized and streamlined grant management reporting 

After dealing with the horrors of reconciling grant amounts in multiple reporting years when previously using Dynamics GP, Anita can finally breathe easy. “Esther has programmed a function that allows us to customize our reporting period for our grants however we’d like. Grants can now start and end whenever they want to - it doesn’t impact our reports.”

Ease of use

According to Anita and the rest of the accounting team at EA Tribes, Sage Intacct is much more intuitive and easy to use, even for complete beginners. “But before we even went live,” Anita says, “Esther was there, on-site with a big whiteboard, holding training sessions to help our team get acquainted with the way Intacct works.” 

Electronic purchasing workflows

Sockeye has brought EA Tribes purchasing workflow into the 21st century with Sage Intacct’s purchase order management software. As previously mentioned, with Dynamics GP, purchase orders would go through a nightmare process where documents were written by hand, faxed, approved, rewritten, posted online, and finally entered in GP. Now, all purchase orders and their logical flows are handled in one centralized location - in the cloud. 

Ease of access, especially taking COVID into account

Given the COVID situation and taking into account that EA Tribes has 8 remote clinics - one of them being the westernmost city in the entire USA - perhaps the greatest advantage that the organization has gained from switching to cloud-based Sage Intacct has been the ease with which team members can access the application itself. “When we were using GP, everything was on-premise. The infrastructure, the servers… everything,” says Anita. “I have no idea how we possibly could be doing this if we were on GP. There’s no way.”

Dedicated, personalized service from start to finish - and beyond

If you were to ask Anita what her favorite aspect of this entire transformation is, her answer may surprise you: “Esther Goodstein, our dedicated consultant!” Because while using a robust ERP software solution like Sage Intacct can create major efficiencies, it’s only as powerful as the people that are implementing the system itself, and training the staff who’ll eventually use it on a daily basis. 

In fact, to really bring out all that Sage Intacct has to offer, it requires a professional who’s well-versed in both accounting and technology, fully dedicates themselves to a project, listens to the needs of the client, and provides active, in-person support on-demand. “I think it’s a huge advantage to have Esther, an accounting person, on the team. She’s dedicated to our business and that’s a really big deal to me and my company,” says Anita.

Want more? 

Read Sockeye's case study to learn more about how upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Sage Intacct saves Health Organization’s business during COVID. View, print, or share the PDF below.