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Case Study: Association of the United States Army (AUSA)

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Since the implementation of Dynamics GP and a collaborative effort between BroadPoint Technologies and our IT department, the staff has been empowered to produce their own reports

For more than 50 years, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) has served America’s Army – Active, National Guard, Reserve, Civilians, Retirees and family members. A non-profit educational organization with 125 chapters, AUSA supports all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of America’s Army and the men and women who serve.  AUSA’s own army of volunteers provides recreational and educational opportunities to soldiers in the field and assists families left behind. Over $1,000,000 in awards, scholarships, and support of soldier and family programs has been distributed by the AUSA. The success of the organization is in large part due to strong fiscal management, ensuring that every dollar possible be spent on programs to support the organization’s mission to serve soldiers and their families.

Background

Dependent on an aging AS/400 operating system accounting software, even the simplest changes required an upgrade project and the over customized system meant that upgrades were long and costly. The association began to make do with the system as it was, resulting in compartmentalization and producing fragmented information that could not be shared. The management team had no consolidated view of the association’s finances.

The steps required to retrieve even basic data from the software were noticeably affecting the association’s productivity. When executives requested financial information, it was extremely difficult for the accounting staff to deliver. The burden of reporting fulfillment and delivery fell to the IT department through hand delivered hardcopy reports. Creating one report could take a whole day and by the time the data got to the staff it was outdated.

Analyzing and maintaining financial insight into the worldwide chapter operations was difficult since the old applications did not easily integrate with other technologies. Financial data from each chapter had to be manually consolidated into spreadsheets and reports which was time consuming.

With so many chapters, programs and support programs AUSA’s outdated accounting system had become a hindrance.As the challenges of the legacy system increased, AUSA began evaluation of alternative solutions to serve their needs and allow them to build for the future. With the help of Microsoft Gold Certified Partner BroadPoint Technologies, AUSA first defined the requirements of the organization. Some of the key requirements defined included:

  • Integration with the Association Management System
  • The ability to integrate to other systems used by the Chapters
  • Real-time reporting with the ability to drill down to transactional detail
  • Easy and accessible budget creation and tracking

Project

With the requirements defined, AUSA chose to implement Microsoft Dynamics GP leveraging BroadPoint’s extensive experience working with Non-Profit organizations. The success of the implementation was in large part due to the partnership of the two organizations.

As BroadPoint Project Manager, Cathy Fregelette noted, “The commitment, collaborative effort and support by AUSA from its Executive Management, Project Manager, IT and Finance/HR team was a critical factor in the great success of this engagement.”

In addition to Microsoft Dynamics GP financial management solution, financial reporting is handled through Microsoft FRx and the BroadPoint Budgeting Tool manages the budget process. AUSA sees tremendous benefit from the tight integration between Dynamics GP and the Microsoft Office applications that their teams use every day.

Seamless integration

AUSA’s association membership management is now directly linked with the financial management system. Integration Manager imports transactions from AUSA’s current association management system to update their general ledger, as well as vendors and payables transactions for refunds.

Better information from chapters

Integration Manager enables better communication between chapters and headquarters with chapter balances communicated to Microsoft Dynamics GP at year end via a web interface. The easy to use interface allows chapters to submit information in far less time.

Everyone on the same page

Department managers have full access to real time summary information with drill down capabilities via FRx Webport. Staff are also able to access the information that they need and can create their own reports based on secure, role based access to appropriate data.

Tracking and reporting on budgets made easy

BroadPoint’s Budgeting Tool facilitates AUSA’s budget creation and update through an easy to use tool. Managers simply enter their department’s budget for next year and forecast for current year which automatically uploads the budget into Dynamics GP. With BroadPoint as its trusted advisor, AUSA continues to expand and enhance their use of Microsoft Dynamics GP. The association now extends real time access to relevant and timely business intelligence to key managers, using a variety of centralized tools from Microsoft. AUSA looks forward to the benefit of easy upgrades, new features and a long future with Microsoft Dynamics GP.