SaaS Brief

Yeager Airport Cuts Close and Auditing Processes in Half with Sage Intacct

Airplane

The largest airport in West Virginia and known for being passenger-friendly, Yeager Airport offers competitive airfare around the world as well as nonstop flights to seven major airports. Run by a quasi-governmental agency — the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority — its operations span lease arrangements with airlines and car rental companies, as well as an aviation school, on-site parking services, and more.

We recently sat down with Maggie Leaptrot, director of finance, and Josh Potter, comptroller, at Yeager Airport to hear how implementing Sage Intacct significantly improved their department’s overall efficiency. In our new customer story, they shared the ways in which moving to a cloud-based financial system gave them unprecedented transparency and productivity — freeing them up for more important strategic work.

Since deploying Sage Intacct, Yeager Airport has benefited from the following results: 

  • Increased overall finance efficiency by 60%
  • Accelerated bank reconciliations and report preparation by 80%
  • Sped financial close and audit by 50%
  • Increased time spent on financial analysis by 75%
  • Gained granular visibility to improve decision-making

Implementing a cloud-based system leads to instant efficiency improvements

Yeager Airport has a complex mix of income streams that include state and federal grants and passenger and airline facility charges, among other sources. At the same time, the organization manages expenses across everything it takes to run an airport, from airfield and terminal maintenance, to payroll, to large improvement projects like runway repairs, apron lighting, or adding a new U.S. Customs building. Historically, to manage all this, its finance team relied on two on-premises systems: Abila MIP for financials and Sage 100 for inventory management, an approach that was prone to errors and incredibly time-consuming.

“I would have to do a special journal entry each month to move financial information from the inventory system into the accounting system for our reporting. It required a ton of paperwork and was such a headache,” recalled Leaptrot.

The organization saw an opportunity to migrate to a cloud-based platform that would unify its disjointed processes into one system with automated workflows. After evaluating several options, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, the finance team at Yeager Airport chose Sage Intacct. By implementing the modern financial management solution, they eliminated paper POs, invoices, and approvals, improving overall efficiency by 60%. As a result, processes like monthly reporting and bank reconciliations (previously requiring a week’s worth of manual input in Excel spreadsheets) now only take one day, an 80% improvement.

Keeping finances on track amidst a global pandemic

Implementing Sage Intacct in January of 2020 turned out to be especially good timing when, just a few months later, COVID-19 temporarily shuttered airports all over the world and the Yeager Airport finance team shifted to remote work for three months. “Using Sage Intacct, we can do our job from anywhere,” commented Leaptrot. “All of our information is stored in the cloud with Sage Intacct, and we can sign checks remotely, so none of us had to be in the same building for payments to still go out. That was a huge help for us during COVID-19 closures.”

Grant management also became even more critical after the aviation industry took a sharp downturn in revenues during the pandemic, necessitating a focus on securing relief funding. “Sage Intacct completely changed how we functioned, decreasing the amount of time needed to prepare grant applications from what would’ve been around seven hours on our old system down to one on Sage Intacct,” shared Potter.

In addition, having Sage Intacct in place makes it easy for the finance team to track invoices as they come in, monitor spending across different projects, and keep everyone on the same page.

New insights bring strategic focus and data-driven decision-making

Leaptrot told us that, “By eliminating manual tasks, Sage Intacct freed me up to focus on big picture items — such as funding opportunities or different financing scenarios — instead of being bogged down in all the little details. I spend 50 to 75% more time on analytics than I do bookkeeping now, and not only does that make a difference in our operations, it’s the accounting I like to do.”

Yeager Airport also benefits from the increased transparency and visibility that Sage Intacct provides, not only to the finance team but to the broader organization as well. Inventory, which had previously been tracked in its own siloed system, is now cleanly managed and documented with the Sage Intacct inventory management module.

“Now that everything is stored electronically in Sage Intacct, we’ve been able to better manage our inventory. Many different people have a hand in this — the person who orders inventory is often different from the person who receives it. Those individuals all now have a clear view into every step of the process,” explained Leaptrot.

Visibility across different revenue streams has made it easier for leaders to be more forward-looking and make strategic decisions for the organization. For example, when air travel gradually began to pick up this year, the team was able to use Sage Intacct’s statistical accounts to pull in non-financial metrics and see how they related to and impacted financial trends. Leaptrot analyzed the airport’s expected enplanements compared to actual enplanements and monitored how those numbers relate to the number of cars parked in the garage. This comparison is helping the organization appropriately scale the reopening of its parking services as the airport welcomes more and more passengers back.

Sage Intacct also supports increased agility, flexibility, and work-life balance. “Maggie and I both have young children and have been on parental leave at times since implementing Sage Intacct. It’s made a big difference that we can quickly and easily get information and answers to people on our laptops during our kids’ naptime,” Potter told us.

With Sage Intacct’s powerful automation and streamlined processes, Yeager Airport not only has a clearer view of various funding streams, but more time to focus on strategic decisions. To find out more about how Sage Intacct is making the airport more efficient, read our new customer story.

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