By April Bacon and Shanice York
For multi-entity casinos, simplifying their charts of accounts to use a common chart of accounts across properties may seem like a dream. For example, if you have five properties, you probably have a GL account for each property, which means you probably have around 1,000 accounts because you’re tracking different dimensions for different properties with a separate GL account. There are layers and layers of complexity to casino charts of accounts due to the level of detail needed for analysis.
When you throw in multiple properties, the downsides to such a system are clear. Your finance department is spending more time reconciling, your leaders are making decisions based off stale data and you don’t have the cross-property visibility you need to grow and succeed.
Below we dive into the top three benefits of not only utilizing a common chart of accounts but also leveraging an integrated software solution to put your data to use.
1. Real-time reporting
When you don’t have a common chart of accounts across your casino properties, you can’t do a simple, prompt report comparison because it takes so much time to compare different GL account numbers from each of the properties. Because your finance team is forced to use a less effective Excel approach for consolidated reporting, you have to wait until month-end numbers are finalized in order to view a consolidated comparison across your properties. How effective is stale data in terms of informed business decision making? Your business decisions become reactive, instead of proactive.
And what about daily flash reports? For each casino, you have a lot of flash data to monitor to ensure you’re tracking important statistics such as revenue, coin in, headcount and win per machine. Flash data adds yet another level of complexity to your chart of accounts.
An integrated software solution like CasinoEdge (powered by Sage Intacct) allows you to utilize one common chart of accounts across all properties. On top of that, you are able to import your flash data to further streamline and automate the process so that not only do you eliminate manual data entry and reduce potential for data entry errors, but also you can simply go to your CasinoEdge dashboard to view valuable key performance indicators (KPIs).
Furthermore, because it pulls in data from each casino property, you can make faster, more informed decisions for each entity as well as comparisons across properties. For example, you can easily see how effective your promotions are because you can pull up a P&L report and see how a particular promotion performed at each property in different ways, such as machine performance, food and beverage revenue and hotel bookings.
Another great feature of CasinoEdge is that you can restrict access in different ways. For example, you could give your CFO and board members access to normalized data across your properties, while limiting access to general managers to their specific property. This allows specific roles to focus on their property, while allowing your C-suite to make crucial decisions for the business as a whole based on the performance of each property.
2. The ability to compare performance
If you go through a particular weekend and one casino’s revenue and headcount is way down, and you’re not on a common chart of accounts, you may not know what the factors were to cause it, or it may take added time to figure out why. Maybe there was a big ice storm in Minnesota that affected attendance at the most northern casino. With a system like CasinoEdge, this info is at your fingertips because all properties are reporting under the same categories in the same account and the ability to track certain weather data exists using stat accounts.
Using this data across your properties, you can easily see which ones are outperforming the others and the reasons why by leveraging the use of statistical accounts. Your leaders can compare data at a more granular level to determine why one day might have outperformed another and then use that information to make better, faster decisions.
With CasinoEdge, you can compare the performance of slot machines within a casino as well. How are your penny machines doing versus your quarter machines? You can normalize this data by taking your total revenue and dividing it by slot machines in one class, which allows you to know how profitable you are in a certain denomination at one property versus another.
You can also view your data by vendor and compare the performance of each vendor you work with by property or across the whole business. If a certain vendor’s machines are underperforming, you can rotate machines out, or you can redefine the relationship going forward. You can use this level of detail to help verify lease fee payments to vendors as well.
3. Faster, easier reconciliations
It’s critical to be on unified chart of accounts rather than Excel for analysis to ensure your reconciliations aren’t time-consuming. This will alleviate stress at month end for a more timely, accurate month-end close process. For example, with CasinoEdge, the automation of your outstanding ticket liability comes in and out daily, preventing a month-end scramble to complete your reconciliation and get the correct liability on your balance sheet.
What’s more, depending on how you structure you accounts within CasinoEdge, reconciling between the general ledger and your other key systems such as slot system, food and beverage systems, etc. will be automated and only need to be reviewed for outliers at month end. You’re likely doing this manually in Excel right now. If you have two properties, it’s likely taking you 3-5 hours a month just on the slot side. Table games will add another hour, and food and beverage could add another two hours, depending on your number of food outlets. Your property can be looking at a cost savings of 8 hours — a whole work day, to help speed up your monthly close processes.
With CasinoEdge, the data goes in automatically, and saves a vast amount of time during the month end tie out process. This also makes it easier to stay in compliance, since the information is available when you need it and nearly audit ready, and the processes are fast. Plus, you eliminate the risk for errors that could arise from having to hand-key information.
How to simplify your chart of accounts
When it comes to saving time, strengthening business decisions and staying in compliance, nothing combines all three benefits like an integrated accounting software solution. CasinoEdge, powered by Sage Intacct, can unify your chart of accounts, provide real-time data and perform reconciliations. If you’d like to learn more about this award-winning software and how it can meet the challenges of multi-entity casinos, contact us for a live demo.