The Challenge: A Small Accounting Department With a Big Job

“We had outgrown our old systems. We had three separate companies with two different accounting packages – ACCPAC for DOS for Canada and the US, and Sage 50 in the UK,” said Steve Kirstiuk, chief financial officer of Advantage. “There were limitations on the number of account segments, two different Charts of Accounts, and needs in the areas of consolidation, product profitability and budgeting. Plus, a very small accounting staff to deal with receivables from over 2,000 dealer franchises.” Advantage also calculates sales commissions for more than 65 of its employees. “We needed an accounting platform that allowed us to perform the basic accounting functions, plus the ability to grow into more sophisticated uses later.”

The Solution: Sage 500 ERP Implementation and Integration

Working with The Answer Company, a Canadian consulting firm with over a decade of experience, Advantage evaluated a range of accounting packages. They focused on three product options, then selected MAS 500 from Sage Software, an enterprise-level business management system with the features, speed, and ease of use Advantage sought.

Shawn Ostheimer, president of The Answer Company, devised an effective deployment plan. “We provided implementation and training services over a five-month transition period.” The project also required links to existing systems. “Advantage has its own proprietary customer relationship management (CRM) application,” said Ostheimer. “MAS 500 offered a solution that could be tightly integrated to their CRM system because they both store information using Microsoft’s SQL Server relational database.”

The Benefits: Improved Reporting, Consolidated Accounting, Better Profits

MAS 500 can accommodate a number of account segments, and has allowed Advantage to restructure the Chart of Accounts to share a single accounting system – with identical accounting policies – across the company’s three divisions on two continents. Since Sage 500 ERP brought all three divisions together, and quickly linked to the company’s other software, Kirstiuk of Advantage began to see benefits immediately after it came online.