Stability is paramount, Get-well-plan, In accounting there is no room for errors




Luca Fehr, Corporate Controller:

“In all aspects Cittros has been a benefit for us”

Stability is paramount! An important fact for any global business – in particular companies operating in strictly regulated industries with compliance standards second to none.    


By Henrik Kastoft, freelance journalist

In accounting there is no room for errors. Numbers simply must add up. Start-up companies all over the world generally set out on their journey with rather simple accounting systems. But as companies grow, simple accounting systems are unable to keep pace.

In 2020 VectivBio – a Swiss clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming and improving the lives of patients with severe rare conditions – decided to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365, with an external vendor.


“Initially, audit requirements were limited. That changed in April 2021 when VectivBio became a public company. With a Nasdaq listing we faced SOX requirements that were not initially considered in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) set up. Our external consultants struggled and were deeply unsatisfied with their performance. Shortly thereafter – in 2023 – we decided to partner with Cittros, true Microsoft Dynamics 365 experts,” said Luca Fehr, Corporate Controller at VectivBio in Basel, Switzerland.


How is this possible?

“Together with Cittros we drafted a ‘Get well plan,’ which identified the core issues in the system set-up, assessed the time consumption related to the challenges and problem solving and outlined how to tackle each issue. Immediately, Cittros was able to fix the issues we were spending hours and hours attempting to fix each day. It was unbelievable,” added Fehr.

VectivBio signed a support agreement with Cittros and then moved to a data center closer to the Basel office.

“In all aspects working with Cittros has been a huge benefit to us. You cannot imagine the difference they have made. It is massive! Cittros manages what our previous external ERP-vendor could not. I would estimate that we have saved ourselves 20 hours a week with problem solving after having teamed up with Cittros,” said Fehr.


Demanding, yet helpful

But it has not been a total walk in the park.

“Start-up companies are by virtue heavily understaffed. That goes for finance operations as well. Still, Cittros pushed us and cared for us at the same time. No matter what issue we raised or what time it was, their teams in Denmark and North Macedonia were there for us 24/7.”

According to Luca Fehr geographic distance was not an issue. The first meeting took place in Basel with three follow-up workshops in Copenhagen.

“We have really enjoyed our workshops with Cittros. We have felt very energized with their professionalism and hard work.”


Skills are required

From his very first encounter with Cittros, Luca Fehr felt that the VectivBio accounting team was in good hands.


“I remember that Thomas and Thomas explained to us that they do not work with all clients. Cittros requires a minimum of skillset. Their rationale is quite simple— they do not want to waste any time, theirs, or their clients’. The fact that you must be knowledgeable to become a Cittros client was appealing to us.”


Dressed up for another migration

When VectivBio was acquired by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, the company decided to migrate from Microsoft Dynamics 365 to SAP.


“In a way it feels sad to migrate away from a stable, well-functioning ERP system, but on the other hand, working so closely with Cittros has prepared us for a painless migration to SAP. Interestingly, some true Microsoft Dynamics 365 experts helped us migrate away from Microsoft Dynamics 365.


When asked whether Cittros added business value as an external vendor, Luca Fehr didn’t hesitate.


“You cannot imagine how much,” he said.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: IRWD), an S&P SmallCap 600® company, is a leading gastrointestinal (GI) healthcare company on a mission to advance the treatment of GI diseases and redefine the standard of care for GI patients.


Ironwood Pharmaceuticals are pioneers in the development of LINZESS® (linaclotide), which is the US branded prescription market leader for adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in mediatric patients aged 6-17 years old. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals is also advancing apraglutide, a next-generation, long-acting synthetic GLP-2 analog being developed for rare gastrointestinal diseases, including short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure (SBS-IF), as well as several earlier stage assets.


Building upon a history of GI innovation Ironwood Pharmaceuticals keep patients at the heart of its R&D and commercialization efforts to reduce the burden of GI diseases and address significant unmet need. Founded in 1998, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with a site in Basel, Switzerland.


VectivBio was a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative treatments for severe rare conditions for which there is a significant unmet medical need. The product candidate was apraglutide, which is a next generation, long-acting synthetic therapeutic treatment initially focused on short bowel syndrome.


As part of the Ironwood Pharmaceuticals 2023 acquisition the VectivBio ERP-system will eventually change from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance to SAP SE. In that transformation the application lifecycle management role for Cittros will change as well. One possible outcome for Cittros is to be responsible for safeguarding all Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance data in a digital 10-year back-up functionality.    


Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc




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