Dara Purcell is a CPA and cash analysis manager for Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings in Lexington, Kentucky. The guiding focus of Stonestreet is to produce Thoroughbreds with strength, stamina, and class. The organization has been exceptionally successful in that endeavor: In 13 years of operation, Stonestreet has produced the winners of over 100 graded and listed stakes races.
I recently spoke with Dara about Stonestreet Thoroughbred’s experience on Microsoft Great Plains, the cost-savings that they’ve experienced with Sage Intacct, and why she thinks the real-time information provided by Sage Intacct is, “The best thing since sliced bread.”
Andrew Sevillia: Dara, can you talk about the software that you were using prior to Sage Intacct and what led Stonestreet to making a switch?
Dara Purcell: Before Sage Intacct, Stonestreet was using Microsoft Great Plains. We have four entities and we operate our business from a total top-level perspective, but we could not look at anything on the top level in Great Plains. You had to login to one company, print out whatever report you wanted to look at, login to the other company, then print it out. Our month-end close packet was an Excel spreadsheet that was 28 tabs long.
Stonestreet had worked with Dean Dorton, a Sage Intacct partner, several years before their official Sage Intacct implementation to build a cloud based solution with Amazon Web Services, and when we finally installed Great Plains on AWS, we found that it was clunky and slow.
Andrew: That’s unfortunate to hear, but we’re so glad you made the change! How did you go about getting executive buy-in to switch from Great Plains to Sage Intacct?
Dara: We are very, very, very fortunate that our CEO is also a CPA. She has always understood the value of accounting and good financial information and how that works in your favor for decision-making. I've built seven custom dashboards for her, so she has access to anything she could possibly want.
She thinks it is absolutely fantastic. She even said, ‘Now I know why you've been geeking out about this software for the last three months.’ She gave me free reign to implement as I saw fit and was really pleased with the end result.
Andrew: That is fantastic! Thank you for sharing that. Can you speak to some of the benefits that you’ve seen since implementing Sage Intacct, Dara?
Dara: Absolutely; there are a lot! First, it has been a huge benefit for us to move to Sage Intacct and be able to operate from a top-level perspective. Also, we think that over the course of the year, we will be able to save about $20,000 because of the time savings that we've realized by implementing Sage Intacct.
When we had Great Plains, it took us about ten days to fully close our books, make our financial packet, and get that packet out to our CEO for review. Now that we have Sage Intacct, I think we are down to a three to four business day close. That equates to time savings that I can spend doing other things that are much more value-add rather than time spent keying nonsense into Excel.
Sage Intacct is going to streamline all of our accounting operations. It's going to let people scale back the amount of manual work that they need to do, work from home, and be able to take their kids out for the afternoon or travel and not worry.
The real-time information is huge. Everyone has their own dashboard with their own budget to actual or department-specific reports. They're able to look at all of their information in real-time. I'm telling you, that's the best thing since sliced bread. When we went to the beach this summer, I sat on the beach and approved payables and issued checks. It was great!
Sage Intacct has made a huge difference in the number of things that I can get done in a day.