The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) assists more than 128,000 individuals, acting as their fiduciary agent, or guardian, in managing their finances. About 2,000 people handle these financial management tasks, in more than a dozen locations around the state.
After 30 years of hand-processing financial transactions for thousands of state residents, OPWDD implemented Acumatica in 2015, improving the connection and transparency between offices and strengthening the accountability and security of financial data.
About New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
Location: HQ in Albany, NY, plus 12 locations around state
Acumatica was very attentive to our needs. They’re very good, and I believe this is only a small part of the state (government) that can use this system.
Senior Business Analyst
- Improved accountability and responsiveness through integrated, web-based system
- Time savings of weeks—in some cases, months—in managing client financial transactions
- Multi-level security ensures clients’ finances remain safe
- Much improved communication and integration between their 15 offices/facilities across the State
- Upgraded security for their clients’ finances
- Multi-level reporting
“We looked at a number of companies, and Acumatica came out on top. When we needed to get to user requirements… other proposals fell apart, or the price started to skyrocket.”
Senior Business Analyst
To help find a solution to OPWDD’s challenges, New York State’s Information Technology Services (ITS) brought in two consultants, Senior Business Analysts Wayne Wylie and Len Baglia. The two consultants researched several “off-the-shelf” ERP options, including Intuit, NetSuite, SAGE, AccuFund, Intacct and Microsoft GP and Nav. “We looked at a number of companies, and Acumatica came out on top,” he says. “When we needed to get to user requirements—as far as individual ledgers, banking modules, checkwriting, multi-level screen and role security, multi-level reporting—other proposals fell apart, or the price started to skyrocket.”
The Acumatica licensing model, allowing unlimited users, also impressed them. Wylie reports, “That was the anchor we used to pitch the system to stakeholders and the system owner. We weren’t going to start with 2,000 people, we would build up to that point. The way Acumatica is set up, you can add on. They gave us a number of options; other places didn’t have those options.”
Wylie and Baglia also appreciated being able to demonstrate to the stakeholders how the new system could work: “That’s one thing that really sold us, because Acumatica allowed us to test-drive it, and they answered questions. They helped us to build what we knew that we needed to sell it to the stakeholders.”
The State decided to purchase Acumatica with the Financial, Project Accounting, and Distribution suites, on a perpetual license. Because it’s located on-premises at their server farm, Wylie reports, “The state didn’t have to invest any more OPWDD launched Acumatica in February 2015 and has implemented the new system in about a third of their locations.
He appreciates that users can have access to their Acumatica system from anywhere. Says Wylie, “It’s web-based, that’s what makes it unique.”
Acumatica’s connectivity has given OPWDD staff huge time-savings, Wylie reports: “I would say it saves literally days and weeks.” The biggest complaint about the old system centered on time involved in processing payments, he says, adding, “The old system was mostly manual, a lot of paperwork and forms.” Processing a purchase order would “sometimes take a week to two weeks,” he says, “but if there was something wrong with the paperwork, it would have to come back and go through the process all over again.”
Now, Wylie says, “Acumatica has made it so we can do it immediately. They send an email through the system … they’re up and running within half an hour or so. And the State can track the transactions, inventory and audit in real time.”
Acumatica’s integration of previously disjointed systems has also dramatically reduced the time involved in managing clients’ finances and their personal property inventory when they move. Wylie reports, “Acumatica will encumber the amount of money to pay bills, and send the rest of it, along with the whole inventory, to its new location that same day.” In the past, Wylie says, that process “would have taken about two months.”
The ability to customize Acumatica has also benefited the OPWDD users. Wylie says, “We were able to make it almost look like what they used every day for 30 years.” Partner Patricia Bennett agrees, noting they were able to use Acumatica’s tools and infrastructure to build “the perfect solution” for OPWDD, “because we customized the software to serve their needs.”
Wylie and Baglia praise the support they have received from both Acumatica and partner PC Bennett. Wylie says: “We feel very good. It’s catapulted us to a place where now we can do everything we need to do.” He adds, “Acumatica was very attentive to our needs. They’re very good, and I believe this is only a small part of the state (government) that can use this system.”
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