A family-run business for more than 60 years, Raleigh Enterprises is a real estate-based service company that’s headquartered on the iconic Raleigh Studios lot in Hollywood (home to Charlie Chaplin). The 30-entity organization operates a luxury hotel, film and television studios, a vineyard, and a record storage and management company, as well as other investments spanning office buildings, commercial shopping centers, luxury single-family estates, and condominium complexes.
The other day, we caught up with Sage Intacct Champion and corporate director of finance at Raleigh Enterprises, Robert Schubert, to find out about the company’s experience migrating to Sage Intacct after nearly 20 years using Sage 300.
In our latest customer story, Schubert shared the benefits Raleigh gained by establishing a new multi-entity financial system of record on Sage Intacct:
- Increased finance team efficiency by 25%
- Sped quarterly consolidations by 50%
- Boosted productivity through automation, allowing team to absorb attrition
- Saved $60,000 annually in finance salaries
- Gained business agility through granular visibility into performance
With varying business requirements for each individual entity, the company’s finance team knew they needed a flexible, robust system that could streamline processes. They turned to their consulting partner, RKL eSolutions, who recommended a move to Sage Intacct in the cloud. RKL helped Raleigh implement the new system and automate tasks like intercompany transactions and allocations, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliation, budgeting, and financial reporting.
Freeing up finance for more productive, flexible hybrid work
With all of these paperless workflows, Raleigh’s finance team was able to boost their efficiency by 25-50%, absorb attrition, and save around $60,000 in annual headcount costs. And since they no longer had to deal with getting stacks of checks signed or logging into servers on the corporate network, the team felt well-prepared when the pandemic hit last year.
“Before, we were limited in the number of tasks we could do from home, but now, we can do everything we need and work hybrid schedules that alternate between our home office or work office,” Schubert shared. “During COVID-19, in particular, having the system in place was critical to our success. I’ve been very proud that we were able to keep the lights on without missing a beat. Sage Intacct just provides our team with better ways to do our work.”
The modern financial management solution was also key during the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application process last year. “Sage Intacct’s on-the-fly ability to tag specific types of expenses was really helpful when we were applying for the PPP loan. We were able to track all our non-labor-related costs, like rent and utilities, and provide the tremendous amount of detail that was required to file our forgiveness application,” said Schubert.
Connecting best-in-class financial tools for streamlined workflows
Raleigh also extended the financial platform with several applications from the Sage Intacct marketplace. After adopting the Nexonia add-on for expense management, the team no longer had to worry about how to allocate credit card expenses across the company. Schubert appreciates that when stakeholders look into the general ledger, they can now see individual expense details assigned to the correct entities and departments, rather than just a giant expense with a general description.
In addition, Raleigh’s File Keepers business uses the Versapay tool to pull all of its many receivables transactions into Sage Intacct. Finally, the central finance team saves time by using the PositivePay connector to upload files to their bank. “I used to have stacks of checks on my desk to sign,” remembers Schubert. “Now, we’re using Sage Intacct’s payment approval workflows and we have the signatures uploaded, so each location can just print their own checks once they’re approved. We don’t get calls from vendors looking for payments very often anymore, because that whole process is a lot better now.”
Driving more informed budgeting
The business now has clear insight into its financial performance, which helps the owners as they consider strategy changes to continuously improve profitability. Whenever Schubert gets requests for specific financial details, he’s able to respond promptly and notes, “Sage Intacct has been very helpful in supporting better, more timely communication with our owners.”
The system’s multidimensional structure also helps each entity and function closely track their performance—not just at the hotel-level, but down to the food and beverage department, or even individual restaurants and bars on a property. This supports Raleigh’s budgeting process, which often brings up questions about historical trends.
“I’ll sit in budgeting meetings with my computer and department managers will ask for deeper explanation about why something like a particular production expense was so much higher. Now I can answer those questions in real time,” commented Schubert.
He shared a current example where the company is renovating 40 villa style rooms in a 153-room luxury hotel, noting, “I’m tracking the spending we’re doing at the fixed asset level, and breaking it out into different types of expenditures. I created a project for the room renovation and, under that, have sub-departments for renovation expenses like subcontractors, labor materials, professional fees, and internal labor. This gives us a better sense of how close we’re keeping to the budget that we laid out for ourselves.”
Sage Intacct dimensions also make it easier for the team to get the company’s audit and tax preparation processes down to a science. Finally, Raleigh uses statistical accounts to add operational context to financial reports. “We have this diverse set of businesses, each with different reporting needs,” shared Schubert. “But, thanks to Sage Intacct, we’ve had no trouble compiling the information they need, whether that’s revenue per available room, hotel occupancy percentages, market segmentation, or average check in the restaurants.”
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