These days, most people could use an escape. And to say the award-winning Edgewood Tahoe resort can provide that is something of an understatement. Voted the No. 1 resort in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, the LEED-certified lodge is a spectacular and sustainable escape that sits on 235 acres on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
The property is owned by Edgewood Companies, a private, closely-held, diversified real estate group that has been a landowner in the Lake Tahoe region since 1896. In addition to Edgewood Tahoe, it owns hundreds of acres of land and a water utility.
To better manage its three different revenue streams, five different business entities and budgets from 30 different departments, the business implemented NetSuite Planning and Budgeting software a year and a half ago. It was a decision that would make an enormous difference when near real-time financial analysis and frequent financial forecasting became a mandate in March.
“I have greater accuracy and I can count on the information we’re forecasting,” Edgewood Properties CFO Aaron Hartwig said on a recent virtual NetSuite Now On Air event. In fact, Hartwig has so much confidence, that he said, “I’m giving (those forecasts) to the bank.”
NetSuite Planning and Budgeting software helped Edgewood Properties achieve two things that are always important but have proven critical during the pandemic –confidence in its budgeting data and confidence in frequent financial forecasts.
Between its land leases, water company and resort, Edgewood has three very different lines of revenue stored in a central database. Before implementing NetSuite Planning and Budgeting, Edgewood had challenges with budget version control and ensuring data integrity in Excel, but that became much easier with all information stored in a central database. Finance no longer spent unnecessary time validating data and ensuring everyone was working off the right version of the budget.
NetSuite Planning and Budgeting provides CFO dashboards for KPIs around revenue, cost of sales and EBITA, for instance. But the software also provides robust drill down functionality to allow the finance team to see the budget components as budgets are built, deeply understand the numbers, complete projected financial statements and automate reports for day-to-day management.
The end result is that budgeting processes that once took several months to get the first iteration completed are now done in three weeks, said Lucas Hansel, who leads the day-to-day finance operations for Edgewood Properties. While department heads use Excel to plan budgets, the data is easily pushed into the system so everyone is looking at the same version, in real-time.
“We’re a month to a month-and-a-half ahead of where we were last year in our budgeting processes,” Hartwig said.
What’s more, the business is finding a lot of value in the Smart View for Office integration, which provides the ability to view, refresh, manipulate, distribute and share data in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint in real-time. Users can consume prebuilt reports and use the input forms for creating budgets, but also go into ad-hoc mode and pull data cells out of data model using Smart View mode.
“We always try our best to prebuild the reports in a way that any report you could ever possibly want is at the click of a button. But we all know that’s not realistic in a dynamically changing business environment which we find ourselves in especially nowadays,” said Bernard Ash, a principal solution consultant with Oracle NetSuite. “No matter how hard you try you can’t prebuild everything to meet all the reporting needs people are going to have. You have to have that ad-hoc reporting tool in your back pocket.”
These challenges with versioning, accurate data and having a single source of the truth are common to businesses across industries and all areas NetSuite Planning and Budgeting software is aiming to address, Ash said. Many companies struggle with static budgets that aren’t connected with the general ledger as well as enabling collaboration among all stakeholders in the budgeting process. NetSuite Planning and Budgeting includes a pre-built sync with the general ledger, as well as prebuilt functionality for revenue and expense projections, budgeted vs. actual and projecting financial statements.
NetSuite Planning and Budgeting reduces budgeting cycle times while producing more accurate projections. When data is accessible and accurate, financial projections are easier to accomplish. And the business has better forecasts to manage financial statements.
The software can’t provide finance leaders with the same sort of respite they may receive from a stay at Edgewood Tahoe, but the automation does provide some relief from concerns over accurate data, forecasts and having really good information to share with the executive leadership, the board of directors and the bank.
Register for NetSuite Now On Air and watch the full session of Edgewood Properties use of NetSuite Planning and Budgeting.