MT. LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA
The township of Mt. Lebanon is spread across more than six square miles in the south hills of Allegheny County in western Pennsylvania. Originally part of St. Clair, then Upper St. Clair and later Scott Townships, Mt. Lebanon was created as a separate township on February 6, 1912 and today has roughly 30,000-plus residents.
THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE
The Mt. Lebanon Finance Department ensures that all resources of the Mt. Lebanon Municipality are managed and accounted for effectively and efficiently, and that all financial records are presented in a timely, accurate and meaningful format. Finance Director, Andrew McCreery, likes to use the latest, leading edge technology for conducting financial and accounting tasks. Therefore, when he was hired at Mt. Lebanon in 2013 and saw the township was using a legacy AS/400 system for managing finance and accounting, as well as other municipal departments, he knew a change would have to be made.
“It was our ERP (enterprise resource planning) system and it functioned very well, but it was outdated,” explained McCreery. “We wanted to expand our capabilities and services, and moving to another system was the only way to achieve that. However, the new system had to enable us to do everything we were doing with the current system, including serving all the departments, and it had to be cost-effective.”
McCreery was looking for a system that would improve automation, have the ability to scan documents, generate customized reports and publish them in PDF format. He had experience with the AccuFund Accounting Suite from working in the finance department at the Township of Upper St. Clair and knew it would be able to meet all of Mt. Lebanon’s needs. When the Mt. Lebanon IT department approached him two days after he was hired to obtain his feedback on purchasing AccuFund, he said “Let’s make the move.”
THE ACCUFUND SOLUTION
Mt. Lebanon uses nearly all the AccuFund Accounting Suite modules for local governments, plus the Employee Portal. At this time, the organization doesn’t use the Time Clocks module, however AccuFund integrates seamlessly with Kronos, Mt. Lebanon’s time clock software, to export staff time over to the AccuFund Payroll module.
Mt. Lebanon has eight primary users of the AccuFund Accounting Suite ─ the seven members of the finance department plus the public works secretary ─ however, there are 40 users altogether, including the department directors, all administrative assistants and clerks. The township has 400 employees who are using the Employee Portal for entering and maintaining employee records and human resources and payroll information.
“The response from our AccuFund users has been very positive,” said McCreery. “The system is very easy to navigate, very adaptable to whatever your processes are and allows you to customize most of what you are working on. We don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get things done because we have the flexibility to do everything ourselves. Also, giving our users the ability to run their own reports and create reports on the fly through the browse screens has been paramount to reducing the number of requests to the finance department for information. With AccuFund, users have that information right in front of them.”
ACCUFUND LEADS THE WAY
Using the AccuFund Accounting Suite, the Mt. Lebanon finance department has reduced the amount of time spent on several tasks. Entering payroll data on their 400 employees was a manual task taking over a day and a half with their previous accounting system; with AccuFund, they are saving at least half a day by automatically importing this data. AccuFund’s efficiency with running accounts payable checks each week enables another half day of time savings.
McCreery estimates the AP administrator is also saving about 20 hours per year by having the ability to scan invoices into the system instead of pulling the invoices together, scanning them and sending them off to staff. Those staff members can now see the invoices at their desks via AccuFund.
The number of year-end accounting entries that Mt. Lebanon needs to do to balance accounts, move accounts payable and post accounts receivable used to amount to over 500 entries with the township’s legacy system. They now have less than 100 year-end entries with AccuFund.
McCreery reports that his assistant also saves about two hours per month by not having to balance entries, as AccuFund is a self-balancing system that addresses balancing through its Cash Management module.
Most importantly, the AccuFund Accounting Suite now enables Mt. Lebanon to customize their financial reports without having to hire a programmer to do it.
“The beauty of AccuFund is that you don’t necessarily need to print a report or print it to PDF; you can actually drill down in the report and see the source data,” said McCreery. “That’s the expandability that AccuFund has allowed us to achieve with the general ledger reports. With the transactional reports we need to pull from Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Cash Receipts, AccuFund has provided us with numerous reporting capabilities we didn’t have before that make our report creation much easier.”
“I don’t know if you can get any faster or more efficient than AccuFund,” concluded McCreery. “If you’re looking for a core financial system, this is the one to go with. AccuFund is what you need.”