The Sterling Park District, committed to maintaining and developing a creative and efficient park, recreation, and natural resource system, plays a crucial role in the well-being of the surrounding community. Its five facilities and fifteen parks provide the public with a safe and beautiful place to live, work, and play. The Duis Recreation Center, which offers an indoor pool and gymnastics area, and the Westwood Fitness & Sports Center, the district’s largest facility containing indoor and outdoor courts, remain the recreation staples in Sterling, Illinois.
Leveling the Playing Field with a New Software Provider
An expansive territory such as that of the Sterling Park District’s requires an extensive and accurate administrative system to manage its employees, facilities, and activities. Sage ERP Accpac provided Sterling with the necessary capabilities; however, Sterling’s previous software provider did not equip them with the necessary tools to run the program efficiently.
“Our biggest concern was having a solution provider that could help us become more efficient and someone who understood nonprofit accounting,” comments Jana Jacobs, Business Manager for Sterling. “We were having problems getting the right financial reports as our previous solution provider did not understand the needs of a nonprofit and how to use our system to meet our specific reporting requirements. We had never been given the keys to our own software and were forced to rely solely on our previous consultant to run it.”
Structural Improvements Bring Efficiency
Sterling set out on a search for a new solution provider and was referred to Axis Global Partners by a colleague they trusted within the software industry. Impressed with Axis’ knowledge of fund accounting and Sage ERP Accpac, Sterling engaged Axis. “The overall goal was to educate Sterling on how they could best use their system”, comments Dave Yurik, Solution Specialist of Axis Global Partners.
“We wanted to teach them as much as they wanted to learn so they could be self-sufficient.” Tony Chiodo, Partner at Axis Global Partners adds, “Our service philosophy is to empower our clients, and with Sterling it was no different. We provided training on each process, enabling them to manage and operate their system independently.”
Axis demonstrated to Sterling how to import GL entries from their specialized revenue system, saving a substantial amount of time and reducing data-entry errors. Axis also trained the Sterling team how to maintain and create their financial reports specific to nonprofits in order to comply the applicable Federal and State reporting standards they are required to meet. This also allowed them to analyze their business in a more timely manner. “Axis continually allows us to be more efficient because of their knowledge transfer of not only our system but our nonprofit requirements,” comments Jana. “Working with them has allowed us to focus more on our organization.”
Through the implementation of new products recommended by Axis, including an account code change utility and the implementation of direct deposit system, Sterling realized a significant savings of time and money.
Another significant improvement to Sterling’s system was the implementation and integration of the Sierra Workforce Solution. Tony explains, “Sterling Park District was working with an antiquated time clock system for multiple locations, which created a lot of manual effort in order to capture time and process payroll. With Sierra, we were able to connect all their separate locations with an integrated time clock system that further integrated with Sage ERP Accpac’s payroll module.”
Jana comments, “Axis exceeded our expectations when implementing the time clock system for us. From understanding our business requirements, through an effective system design, to a smooth and quick implementation, Axis delivered superior service. As a result we reduced the amount of time spent on payroll processing by four work days per month, which is a huge savings!”
The Process Achieves Lasting Results
Sterling is grateful for Axis’ expertise and dedication to its clients. Axis’ thorough attention and support resulted in helping Sterling maintain a more efficient and reliable system. Due to the time and money saved through Axis’ work, Sterling is now able to focus on more pressing matters within the organization. Jana praises Axis for their standout service by saying, “The customer service is just wonderful. Their attention to detail, responsiveness and solid understanding of our organizational needs is impressive and we are so thankful to have found them.”