“For 10 years, our accounting system was like a bad dream before our switch to Sage 500,” says Pam Matthews, vice president of information systems.
“We used Great Plains®,” she continues, “and had to add four separate third-party modules to achieve all the required functionality. The modules required interfacing in order to work with Great Plains, and they had to be purchased and updated individually. Maintenance was a nightmare, too. We figured there had to be a better answer.”
Growth Brings Wake-Up Call
MedBridge was in a growth phase with numerous acquisitions underway and couldn’t afford to waste time on software difficulties. Its Sleepworks division provides diagnostic services for people with sleep disorders through 40 independent, physician-owned or hospital-based facilities, mostly in the Southeast. Sleepworks develops relationships with sleep-trained physicians to offer a comprehensive disease-management approach. Another division, MedBridge Home Medical, provides respiratory care services.
“We selected Sage 500 (MAS 500) as a replacement for Great Plains when we were reformulating our business into a new corporate entity,” says Matt Mellott, CFO for MedBridge Healthcare. “Its key selling points were flexibility and integration—essential in an industry that’s changing as fast as ours is.”
Sage 500 for Financial Mastery
MedBridge now runs all its core financials on Sage 500, including the general ledger and accounts payable. It adopted the FAS Asset Accounting™ module for the Sage accounting system to manage fixed assets—the furnishings, computers, diagnostic and clinical equipment used in its main office and sleep labs. The variety of necessary reports are more easily produced with Microsoft® FRx than with the previous Great Plains setup.
“Implementation went surprisingly smoothly,” says Mellott. “The chart of accounts and software setup in Great Plains had outgrown the existing company. With implementation of Sage 500, we had the opportunity to create a new chart of accounts that reflects the new business entity and supports future expansion. This will allow our new system to be flexible and adaptable to future company growth. We set up our master files in just two to three days, and they’re working great. We’ve already rolled two new companies that were acquired by MedBridge into Sage 500 with no problem.”
Matthews is also pleased that the new system requires less hands-on system administration. “Maintaining Sage 500 takes about half of the time we were previously spending with Great Plains,” she says. “Training takes about half the time, too. Add to that the fact that it takes 75 percent less time to set up a new company on Sage 500 compared to Great Plains and you’ll see why we’re so delighted with our decision to change systems.”
Reports are much easier to run now, thanks to the integration of modules within Sage 500. “We appreciate being able to use Microsoft FRx with this new financials system, because it is a standard tool,” Matthews notes. “This means that we can hire people who already know how to use it, saving us time in getting them up to speed.”
Peace of Mind with Sage 500
A great rapport with MedBridge’s Sage business partner, Emerald TC, has been a key element in system success. “Our reseller has a very broad knowledge base, and they’ve taken the time to understand our unique requirements. As our business changes, they’ve been able to recommend ways to use Sage 500 to its fullest advantage,” says Matthews.
Looking toward the future, Matthews feels confident that Sage 500 will be up to the challenges of MedBridge’s planned expansion. “Knowing what I know about both Great Plains and Sage 500, I am very glad the switch was made,” she says.
“It puts my mind at ease to have this accounting system as the foundation of our company’s business.”