“It is a relief to know that we can always count on you to come through for us when needed. Your intimate knowledge of the software makes troubleshooting any problem a breeze.”
– Debbie Knight, CFO at Kawerak, commenting on Paragon consultant, Matt Edman
After the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971, the Bering Straits Native Association (BSNA) organized Kawerak as the regional non-profit corporation to provide services throughout the Bering Straits Region, located in Northwest Alaska, just south of the Arctic Circle. The region is home to three culturally distinct groups of Eskimo people – the Inupiaq, the Central Yupik and the Siberian Yupik.
Today, Kawerak contracts with the state and federal government to provide various services to residents of the Bering Strait Region. Programs range from education, employment and children and family services to natural resource management and economic development services including land management programs. Kawerak seeks to improve the region’s social, economic, educational, cultural and political conditions. Kawerak’s organizational goal is to assist Alaska native people and their governing bodies to take control of their future. Kawerak used an almost entirely paper-based system for much of its accounting and purchase requisitions while the time keeping system was automated but not integrated into the accounting system. The paper system was time consuming, cumbersome and extremely inefficient for an organization booking $18 million in revenue. Over the years, Kawerak has experienced sizable growth, currently responsible for $40 million in revenue with 235 employees at 21 work sites around the region. Thanks to Matt Edman, now with Paragon Software Solutions, Kawerak now enjoys the efficiencies and time savings of an electronic, automated accounting and operations system.
Microsoft Dynamics GP Delivers Efficient Accounting
As a paper-based system organization, Kawerak employees would fill out a piece of paper to request office supplies, get the appropriate approval signatures and walk the paper down to accounting. Time cards were automated but not integrated into the accounting system so the information needed to be re-keyed. Much of the accounting system was paper-based.
Today, Kawerak is a technology-based processes company having implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP for day-today accounting as well as human resources and payroll functions. Microsoft Dynamics GP gives organizations the integrated tools to master their financial data and processes, taking full advantage of the information the financial system contains. With instant access to accurate, up-to-the-minute information,users are equipped to make informed operational and strategic decisions at a moment’s notice.
Kawerak also implemented eRequester® from Paperless Business Systems, a Web-based procurement management, purchase requisition, authorization routing and purchase order system as well as TimeForce from Qqest, a time and attendance management platform that tracks employee hours. With eRequester and TimeForce, the entire organization utilizes technology for increased efficiency. All technology “talks” to each other, working together to provide efficient operations for Kawerak. The process in getting to this point was smoother than expected. Matt Edman worked closely with Kawerak to create and implement a system that worked uniquely for them. Debbie Knight, CFO at Kawerak commented on Matt Edman’s quick response time.
“It is a relief to know that we can always count on you to come through for us when needed. Your intimate knowledge of the software makes troubleshooting any problem a breeze.” One of the best benefits of the upgrade was that the organization hasn’t needed to increase staff size by a single employee while increasing from $18 million to $40 million in revenue. That’s efficiency at its best. Kawerak’s latest initiative to become more efficient involves going paperless this year. The organization expects to convert all remaining internal paper forms to electronic versions, eliminating hundreds of cases of paper each year.