Before getting Microsoft Dynamics GP we were understaffed and having difficulty keeping up with the work load. Now, with the same staffing level, we get all of our work done, plus some. Dynamics GP is definitely helping us do our jobs more efficiently.
Foundation Prospers With Microsoft Dynamics GP
The Kresge Foundation is a $2.8 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations. In 2008, they awarded 342 grants totaling $181 million. Unfortunately, accounting for all of that activity is not an easy task and it was made all the more difficult because of the limitations of the software they were using, MAS 200.
According to Carla Forkin, the Kresge Foundation's accounting manager, "MAS 200 had several limitations, including an inflexible financial report writer and poor integration with Excel. Furthermore, we wanted to integrate it with our other systems, but doing that would require considerable customization and it was going to cost us a fortune."
Faced with a situation where they were having difficulty managing their workload, Kresge made a tough decision. They either needed to add staff or they needed to replace their accounting software and find a way to operate more efficiently. The decision was made to replace MAS 200.
To ensure that they found the best solution, Kresge hired a local consulting firm to prepare an RFP and help them select a new accounting software package. The RFP was sent out to several vendors. Not surprisingly, most of the vendors came back with the same recommendation, Microsoft Dynamics GP. Dynamics GP's strong financial reporting, tight integration with Microsoft office and powerful tools for interfacing with their other applications are ideally suited for organizations like Kresge.
After evaluating the responses and talking with other foundations, Kresge quickly concluded that Microsoft Dynamics GP was the right solution. What wasn't quite so obvious to Kresge was who they should use as their implementation partner.
At the recommendation of their consulting firm, Kresge invited the top three Michigan-based Microsoft Dynamics GP partners to each make a presentation on the proposed software and their corresponding implementation services. According to Carla, "We were able to quickly eliminate one of the vendors following the presentations, but the other two both appeared to be very well qualified. In the end, we picked Maner Costerisan because they had actual CPAs on staff and seemed to understand our accounting issues better. They were also a little more down to earth. Despite the fact that they were farther away, we were very comfortable with them and their ability to support us."
"Our decision to select Dynamics GP and Maner Costerisan definitely was the right one," says Carla. "Microsoft Dynamics GP is everything we expected it to be and more. For example, in the past, we had to do all of our budget reporting in Excel. Now the reports are generated automatically by FRx and our managers have the detail they need to make decisions easier and more quickly. Dynamics GP has saved us at least a couple of days per month generating reports and answering questions."
Another benefit of Dynamics GP that Carla mentioned is the integrated Fixed Assets module. Kresge's former Fixed Assets application was not integrated with the Accounts Payable and General Ledger modules so information had to be rekeyed from one application to another. With GP, everything is tied together so it's automatic and much easier to manage.
"Dynamics GP was a wonderful choice, but it's more than just GP." said Carla. "It's working with the Maner team. They are phenomenal. They brought in both CPAs and technical specialists and everyone on their project team was extremely helpful and enjoyable to work with. They also had tremendous knowledge. For example, they were able to help us restructure our chart of accounts to simplify our reporting. Despite having a significant number of accounts, we can now instantly produce financial reports by account, department, program, investment type and/or fund. We could never do that before."
"Maner Costerisan was also able to configure a way to import our monthly investment entries directly from our custodian bank's files. That was particularly advantageous to us. We probably save 1 ½ to 2 days of time per month just from that one feature, said Carla.
Maner Costerisan is responsive and available. With our prior vendor, we had to call a help line in another state when we had issues. It is a huge benefit to have a local consultant available to provide technical assistance when we need it.
The Kresge Foundation, based in Troy, Michigan, awards grants to small, mid-size, and large nonprofit organizations in six fields of interest: health, the environment, community development, arts and culture, education, and human services. Working with their grantees, they endeavor to improve the life circumstances and opportunities for poor, disadvantaged and marginalized individuals, families, and communities.
Software and Services:
- Microsoft Dynamics GP Advanced Management Release 10
- Greenshades Electronic 1099 Processing
- Microsoft Office 2007
- Windows Server 2003 Enterprise
- HP ProLiant DL380 G5, Quad core Xeon CPU with 4GB of RAM and 4x72Gig SCSI drives