Wealth Management Firm Achieves Cloud ERP Strategy With Dynamics Business Central

Pennsylvania Trust

  • Eliminated need for expensive server upgrade
  • Cloud based ERP solution that was easy to learn
  • Continuity of working with firm that knows their business processes

Client Profile

Pennsylvania Trust is a leading wealth management firm in the Philadelphia area offering investment management, financial planning, tax, trust, estate and philanthropic solutions to help individuals, families, and nonprofits preserve and grow their wealth. They are employee owned and have been in business for 30 years. They manage more than 4 billion dollars in assets and have 60 employees.

Business Challenge

Pennsylvania Trust was using Microsoft Dynamics GP, and for the most part, it was working fine for them from a functionality perspective. On a monthly basis, they would post journal entries to their general ledger in order to close the books. They would manually post the monthly journal entries, and run a trial balance from GP.  They then would use FRX reporter to group their accounts into financial statement subgroups and run various reports to analyze the monthly activity compared to prior months and/or years, or compared to budget information.

The issue they were finding, though, was that Dynamics GP did not fit in with their overall strategy. They had moved their CRM to the cloud, and were utilizing Office 365, and began to feel their ERP should be cloud based as well. In addition, the server that was hosting their Dynamics GP needed to be updated, which meant costly hardware.

Pennsylvania Trust made a decision to evaluate cloud options. A team of Lee Anderson, Lauren Jordan, and Marc Zlatkin started researching software. They explored moving their Dynamics GP to an Azure environment. They also looked into the feasibility of QuickBooks Enterprise version. The third option they evaluated was Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Having a long history with Intellitec Solutions, Pennsylvania Trust felt comfortable looking to Intellitec for guidance. As Marc Zlatkin, Vice President of IT at Pennsylvania Trust stated, “We wanted to see what else was out there, and we always had a great relationship with Intellitec. So when it came time to look at Business Central, we picked up the phone and asked them what they would recommend.”

Pennsylvania Trust knew that whatever solution they went with, it had to meet their vision of moving to the cloud, it had to shed the need for on-premise software, and it had to work with the other solutions they used to run their operations.

Technology Solution

After reviewing different ERP options, they quickly realized that QuickBooks would involve too much of a change to their operations. Hosting Dynamics GP in an Azure environment would provide continuity, and would help them move off internal servers. But it would not address some of the manual processes they had, and was not a full cloud based solution, which was important to Pennsylvania Trust. They were quite impressed with the ease of use in Dynamics 365. “Dynamics GP always felt like we were filling in a grid. With Business Central, it just felt like we were working on the Internet” reports Lauren Jordan, Vice President of Finance. They made the decision to go with Dynamics 365 Business Central.

After purchasing a subscription of Business Central, Pennsylvania Trust worked with Intellitec staff to convert and reconcile historical data, while still processing current transactions in Dynamics GP. After the historical data reconciled, they brought the most recent months’ data in, and were able to reconcile that as well.  Once they had confidence that these processes were successful, they closed their first month in Business Central. “I thought it went great” said Lauren Jordan. They found the User Interface in Business Central very intuitive.

Now that they had a comfort level with the transactions, they turned their full attention to reporting. In GP, Pennsylvania Trust had generated trial balance reports showing month end balances, and trial balance detail showing all posted transactions. They also needed Monthly Income Statements, Statement of Financial Condition, and Budget vs. Actual in two different formats. They realized the out of the box reporting options in Business Central were not going to meet their needs, and worked with Intellitec to implement Jet Reports.

Intellitec Impact

By working with Intellitec, Pennsylvania Trust was able to have an intuitive and easy to use cloud based financial management system that worked with their other Microsoft cloud based products. Intellitec configured and implemented Jet Reports so that reporting formatted correctly without cumbersome modifications. And having the guidance of an organization that had supported them on Dynamics GP meant they were comfortable with the staff, and did not have to bring anyone up to speed on how they operated.

As for working with Intellitec Solutions, Pennsylvania Trust found the consulting staff to be very responsive, professional and attentive. Asked what advice she would give to other firms considering GP on Azure vs. Business Central, Lauren Jordan stated “Definitely go with Dynamics 365, but make sure you also use Jet Reports.”

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