New Story Schools

With NetSuite, this organization has whittled down their month-end close process, allowing them to meet strict deadlines.

“NetSuite's been a pretty great program so far and Gross Mendelsohn has been helping us understand how things will or won’t work in the system.

We've been able to have Gross Mendelsohn at our beck and call to be able to come up with any solutions we may need.”

Michael Milana, Controller
New Story Schools

About New Story Schools


Founded in 1997, New Story Schools educates students ages 5-21 who have serious and complex behavioral and educational challenges. The 2,000-employee organization serves over 1,800 students from 36 locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.

The Challenge

New Story Schools has completed numerous acquisitions over the last few years, and each new company had to be set up in their Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP) ERP and supporting systems.

The organization was also using multiple different systems for invoicing and revenue tracking, including QuickBooks and GE for medical billing. They also used Concur for expense and invoice management which was tied to GP. These systems didn’t “talk” to one another and, as such, syncing data across them required spreadsheets and a lot of manual work.

“GP definitely had its limitations in terms of some of the established account structures and the GL reports that we had to run. We had to do all that in Excel versus using an ERP,” said Michael Milana, New Story's controller. “Then, we had to use a separate system to run our financial statements. As a result, it was becoming very cumbersome and time consuming for us to close our books.”


How We Helped

In the past, every one of New Story Schools’ acquisitions took days or sometimes even a week’s worth of work getting the new entity onto the parent company’s system. “All of that is now pretty effortless in NetSuite,” said Milana.

“It's a lot easier for us to maintain these new companies ourselves using NetSuite versus GP. As long as we have the licenses for it, all we have to do is go into the ERP, set up a subsidiary and then start loading information.”

Milana said both AP management and the management of intercompany transactions are both easier with NetSuite. He credits Gross Mendelsohn with helping the school system go live on NetSuite in a fairly seamless manner. “We did have to change a few of our processes, and Gross Mendelsohn was very good about helping us determine the different solutions that we needed to put in place,” he added. 

With NetSuite in place, New Story Schools also has access to financial information and reporting on-demand, versus waiting until the end of the month to get a retrospective look at what happened. They no longer need to wait for Microsoft Dynamics to refresh from GP and instead can view accurate financial reports in real-time, at any time. 

Since implementing the new ERP, New Story Schools has whittled down their month-end close process by a few days. The organization also acquired a company at the same time it was going live on NetSuite and was able to get that company’s data into its system faster than before. 

“Being able to see all of the workflow and everything that’s pending really helps from a month-end perspective in terms of knowing where you’re at with the close,” said Milana. “And on the AP side, it’s much easier to manage our approval processes.” 


The Result

As they move further beyond the learning phase for their new ERP, New Story Schools plans to start using NetSuite’s recurring entries, allocation entries and other functions that will further speed up the company’s month-end close process. They also plan to continue working with Gross Mendelsohn to optimize NetSuite and get even more out of the cloud-based ERP system.

“NetSuite's been a pretty great program so far, and Gross Mendelsohn has been helping us understand how things will or won’t work in the system,” said Milana. “We've been able to have Gross Mendelsohn at our beck and call to be able to come up with any solutions we may need.”


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