I recently had the chance to sit down with Tim Welsh, Systems Analyst for Local Government Federal Credit Union.
During our conversation, Tim shared why Local Government Federal Credit Union selected Sage Intacct, their impression of Workday and Oracle NetSuite, and how Sage Intacct Collaborate has increased communication and productivity across their team.
Andrew Sevillia: Tim, thank you for chatting with me today. Can you please tell me a little bit about your organization?
Tim Welsh: Absolutely, Andrew, thanks for having me. The Local Government Federal Credit Union is a credit union based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was a split off of State Employees Credit Union.
Our field of membership includes police, fire, parks, and rec, and one of our priorities is to work with local institutions and local entities.
Andrew: Can you tell me about the financial application that you were using prior to Sage Intacct?
Tim: Sure! The application that we were using prior to Sage Intacct was Sage 50. It didn't have the level of controls that we wanted. There were some security concerns and we wanted to be able to build dashboards for our executives and Sage 50 just didn't have a way to do that. We wanted a cloud-based application that could help us with those things.
Andrew: Okay, Tim, talk to me about some of the limitations. What are some of the challenges that you had with Sage 50?
Tim: One of the things that came up routinely was our monthly close. We would run reports and the system would lag; It would slow everything down. Sometimes we'd have to do reboots and shut people out of the system, so there were a lot of performance concerns and issues.
The other thing was the control; people were able to go back and post into prior periods and we didn't want to have that. There wasn't a systematic control in place which makes everyone feel better when you have that. That's what we were looking for.
Andrew: It sounds like security issues and not having those controls was really a critical area that you wanted to improve upon. What about the inflexibility or the challenges that you had with having an on-premise application?
Tim: Definitely. One of the challenges with having an on premises application was the management information systems IT resource involved with that. It was a drag in terms of man hours for them. We were looking for something that would lighten that footprint on MIS and it required a lot of specialty on their behalf and then the downtimes that we incurred, it just became just unacceptable.
Andrew: That sounds very challenging. Switching gears a bit, Tim, can you talk to me about the Oracle implementation and the challenges that you had there?
Tim: Yes, some of the challenges that we had during our Oracle ERP cloud implementation was that it was very heavy in terms of the number of consultants and subject matter experts that were required to implement all the different facets. We would have a subject matter expert for AP and GL, and planning and budgeting as well. Everything was very heavy in terms of the number of hours and consultants, and then the timeframe that the project was to take place was extremely long.
The Oracle ERP cloud implementation was very stressful. It was time consuming and took up a lot of man hours and it was extremely expensive. The project timeline kept getting pushed out and we weren't able to hit our goals or our deadlines. Once that kept going out, we didn't have a product ready for users and the implementation just fell apart.
Conversely, when we went to Sage Intacct, the implementation was much smaller and much more manageable for our organization.
Andrew: The Oracle implementation does sound stressful. Once you made the decision to switch solutions, did you look at any other options before selecting Sage Intacct?
Tim: Yes, were also evaluating Workday and NetSuite simultaneously. We came to a decision about Workday early on that it wouldn't work for us. It was too heavy on the HCM side and they were too new to ERP, so we quickly ruled them out.
In terms of NetSuite, they had just been purchased by Oracle and we had had a bad experience with Oracle ERP and that clouded the way we viewed NetSuite.
When we were evaluating Sage Intacct, one of the things that we noticed very quickly was the ease of use that our users would enjoy. It was very intuitive and that stood out quite a bit.
Andrew: Since implementing Sage Intacct, what benefits or process improvements has your organization seen?
Tim: There are a lot of things that we can do now that we couldn't do before. Since we've gone live some of our process improvements are that we have been able to reduce our close by one to two days.
We also have peace of mind that it is a secure system and the proper controls are in place in terms of roles and permissions.
We've been using Sage Intacct Collaborate to increase communication between different areas: Budgeting can ask a question of AP or the GL area and they are able to document and have everything right there on a journal entry or on a bill and instead of going through email. Everything is right there in one place and it pertains to exactly what's in the system. That's been a huge time saver and everyone loves that feature.
Also, one of the nice things about Sage Intacct is the dashboard feature. We've found that they're easy to create and set the permissions, and we're excited about that ability. Conversely, our experience with creating the dashboards with Oracle ERP was dismal. It was very difficult.
One of the dashboards that we created in Sage Intacct is a cash management dashboard so that our treasury can keep an eye on how much are in our bank accounts. Now we're able to create a dashboard for cash management financial analysts to view, keep up on how much cash we have, and also use for their analytics. We’re confident that what they're seeing is exactly what they need to see and nothing more, nothing less.
Andrew: That sounds like it’s been a powerful tool to have at your fingertips. Are there any other benefits that are top of mind when using Sage Intacct?
Tim: Yes, so many of our users are benefiting from the fact that we are now on a cloud application. They're able to do a work from home when need be or necessary, and that frees up people to manage their lives and their personal goals better. It’s liberating and incredibly empowering for our employees.
For more information on how Sage Intacct has impacted LGFCU, be sure to check out their video here.