Micronesia consist of hundreds of small islands linked by the Pacific Ocean. Over 105,000 people call these islands home. Dozens of islands make up each of the four states of the federation: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. Each state has its own government office, which prepares a different budget appropriate for its citizens. These individual budgets feed into a central government office located on Pohnpei.
Unsupported Software Leads to a New Software Search
An older Focus UNIX system along with spreadsheets made preparing budgets and other accounting tasks exhausting and time consuming for the Federated States of Micronesia staff. To make matters worse, news had spread that the old system would no longer be supported. This is what lead the team to look for a new solution.
The government leaders conducted a thorough search and ended up selecting FundWare.
The massive deployment included adding the new software to the government offices of the states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, as well as the central government system at Pohnpei and 3 FSM National field offices, for a total of eight implementation sites. All the reporting information flowed from the state-level governments into the primary system at Pohnpei.
With the entire national budgeting system of a country riding on the implementation, choosing the right consultant to support the FundWare implementation was critical.
After meeting with four or five FundWare consultants, the team at Cornsilk Company was selected to lead the implementation.
Excellent Service Brings Peace of Mind
Rich Yamada, Program Manager for Micronesia recalled his time spent working with Cornsilk during the implementation and training period.
“We were brand new to FundWare, and the Cornsilk staff was a great source of knowledge and support from the very first day. They taught us what we needed to know about each module, how to create reports, and how to get the information we needed.”
The Cornsilk team not only trained the government workers in the central office on Pohnpei, but organized and led comprehensive training sessions on the islands of Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae, and a secondary site on Pohnpei. Over 150 people completed training.
Rich recalls that no matter how difficult the questions about FundWare, Cornsilk knew the answer. The training groups had a little fun playing “stump the teacher” and tried to ask difficult questions. No matter what the question about FundWare, Cornsilk knew the answer.
After completing the rollout, Cornsilk remained a trusted consultant with the Federated States of Micronesia. Rich and others working in the government offices had them on speed dial. Despite the time zone challenges and geographic distances, Cornsilk was always available and a pleasure to work with, according to Rich.
“The team at Cornsilk is very reliable and knowledgeable, and whenever we called them, they would answer and help right away,” Rich recalled. “There was never any delays or difficulty getting hold of them. They paid attention to us whenever we needed help and have such a positive attitude.”
Saving Time with Fund Accounting Software
Another aspect of the implementation that Micronesia appreciated was the amount of time that FundWare saved them. Establishing a budget for a complex government is no small task. Before using FundWare, the accounting offices of each state built their budgets in Excel. These budgets were sent to the central government office in Pohnpei, where they had to be consolidated.
“After implementing FundWare, our Excel budgeting process was retired – for good! Cornsilk established a structured workflow and reporting system within FundWare that helped tremendously. In the end, it took fewer people less time to prepare the budget, saving us time and money,” said Rich.
“Cornsilk knows fund accounting, as well as FundWare,” Rich said. “They are pleasant and knowledgeable, and someone you’d want to work. Trustworthy, prompt – they are excellent.”