Action for Boston Community Development Places Its Trust In Dresser

Organization saves $20,000+ annually with Sage HRMS

Gold Quote

A critical part of the success of this project was Dresser & Associates' ability to quickly understand our needs and translate those needs into the solution."

Mark Isenburg, Vice President
workforce development and technical services at ABCD

Organization saves $20,000+ annually with Sage HRMS

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) is the largest human services organization in the Northeast. ABCD sponsors dozens of outreach programs, including the region's Head Start program, elder care services, youth summer employment, and housing assistance programs that serve more than 100,000 individuals annually. The organization administers more than $110 million in federal, state, and local grants each year. To meet the demanding payroll and human resource requirements of its 1,000 member staff, ABCD relies on Sage HRMS, and the consulting team at Dresser & Associates.

Out With the Old

ABCD had been using proprietary payroll software running on an older VAX/VMS platform. “The technology was old, outdated, and highly inflexible,” recalls Mark Isenburg, vice president of workforce development and technical services at ABCD. “Plus, support was difficult to find, and very costly when we found it. Every change and tweak required a programmer, adding to the cost.”

When the software's publisher moved to sell the application, ABCD used the opportunity to find a modern solution capable of meeting the organization's long-term needs.

Right Solution. Right Partner.

ABCD issued a request for proposal, and received several responses. “I immediately favored Sage HRMS,” recalls Isenburg. “It offered everything we needed: it's stable, well-regarded, actively maintained, and the product's open architecture meant that support costs were likely to be more reasonable.”

As important to Isenburg as the software, though, was the availability of qualified local support. “I wanted to work with a local firm, and Dresser & Associates impressed me. They are professional yet friendly — experts in the product and in general payroll practices. They were the perfect partner to take us from our legacy system to the new solution.”

Tackling a Complex Payroll

In addition to its 1,000 employees, ABCD employs another 200 in its foster grandparent initiative, and 1,200 teenagers in its summer jobs program.

Payroll requirements among the different groups are varied and complex — foster grandparents, for example, are paid a stipend rather than a wage. “It didn't make sense to combine such different payrolls,” says Isenburg. Dresser & Associates recommended that ABCD set up three separate Companies within Sage HRMS to handle the three types of employees.

As a nonprofit agency, ABCD must associate employees' pay with the proper program and funding source. In the case of its youth summer jobs program, up to 25 funding sources are involved, necessitating a cost allocation across each of those sources. In addition, each funding source has different reporting requirements, and Dresser & Associates worked with Isenburg and his staff to develop the reports that meet those requirements.

Isenburg was impressed with how well Dresser & Associates understood the intricacies required to produce an accurate payroll for the agency, and with their ability to configure Sage HRMS to accommodate those intricacies. “A critical part of the success of this project was Dresser & Associates' ability to quickly understand our needs and translate those needs into the solution,” he says.

Saving $20,000 Annually

Sage HRMS is reducing administrative costs. “We are saving $20,000 a year in actual hard costs — money we used to spend on supporting the old software,” says Isenburg. This figure doesn't include the additional fees ABCD paid its vendors for custom reports requested by the various programs within the agency. “We used to have to charge each service unit with the cost of those reports,” adds Isenburg. “Sage HRMS's reporting engine is powerful enough that we're now able to generate those reports for ourselves.”

Accounting Interface

Dresser & Associates configured Sage HRMS to produce an export file containing payroll posting data, for import into the organization's accounting software. “Dresser understood our accounting requirements and was able to give us the journal entries to send to our accounting software,” explains Isenburg. “This step is worth its weight in gold to us; it is such a time and effort saver. Now I have access to data from a macro to a detailed level and can give our board members and our funders the information they require,” says Isenburg.

“Our organization is built on relationships, and Dresser & Associates fits right in to that model,” concludes Isenburg. “It is apparent that they consider their role to be helping us make our organization function better. I consider this a longterm partnership.”

Read more customer testimonials, or contact Dresser & Associates to discuss how we can help meet your business' HR needs.