By April Bacon and Shanice York
With our experience implementing software for casinos, we’ve seen a lot of different processes. We’ve seen how difficult casinos have it when it comes to reporting — and sometimes how difficult they make it for themselves.
Before we implemented CasinoEdge (powered by Sage Intacct) at one casino, they weren’t doing any budgeting. They were only looking at actual reports, which means they were constantly monitoring how much cash they had, how much was in the bank, how much they were spending and how much accounts payable was outstanding. They knew what their average cash flow was on a monthly basis, but it took a lot of effort, and they had no forecasting model to hold departments accountable for their spending and revenue generation.
But even if you do perform budgeting each year, how are you tracking it against your actuals? Are you able to view real time data for the organization?
The impact of a real-time budget
The importance of having a real-time budget is the ability to make fast, informed decisions. When you track your departmental budgets in a system like CasinoEdge, your casino can check how you’re doing against projected budgets at any point during the day.
If you’re halfway through the month and you haven’t met half of your projected revenue budget, you now have time to strategize ways to increase revenue to try to alleviate the budget shortfall.
Your GM can look at expenses relating to revenue to ensure that expenses are tracking in proportion with revenue. They can call a meeting with departments heads if need be to limit spending for the remainder of the month. They also are empowered with real-time information to strategize with Marketing to brainstorm promotions to increase headcount.
With a tool like CasinoEdge letting you track your budget in real-time and view valuable reporting, you have the agility and data to make informed, strategic decisions for your department and organization as a whole. There’s no more using the current month to catch up on last month’s loss.
Managing your budget
Without a system like CasinoEdge, it’s incredibly time-consuming to do audits. It takes weeks, sometimes all the way to the next month-end, before a casino knows what their overall picture looks like for the prior month. A lot of current systems don’t have good budget-management capabilities or flexible reporting, leaving many casinos to track their budgets in Excel. This makes it very easy to go over budget before this overspend is caught, and it’s prone to data entry errors.
But with CasinoEdge, budget reporting not only exists — it’s also very robust and uses real-time data to compare your budget to your actuals. As we’ve said before, we’ve seen just how easy it is to overspend your budget when you don’t have the visibility you need into your budget versus actual spend.
CasinoEdge’s electronic and automated approval process means only certain employees, like department managers, can approve purchasing transactions. Additionally, with spend control enabled, employees can’t even submit requests that would put the department over budget.
Dashboards that feature all this data are the first thing a manager sees when they log in to input a purchase requisition. Seeing the budget compared to the actuals not only helps prevent overspending but also keeps managers and department heads accountable for sticking to their budgets and meeting revenue projections.
Making strategic decisions with budget vs actual analysis
When you aren’t tracking your budget and actuals in a comprehensive and agile system, you can’t collect data from past years and use it to make year-over-year comparisons, identify trends and make strategic decisions.
But with CasinoEdge, you start collecting this data, and as the months go by, you can begin using it in more and more valuable ways. You can start to identify concrete ways your casino should and can improve.
And if you have dynamic, drill-down budget versus actuals numbers, and they build up year over year, you can plan for future budget periods, meaning you can plan for big projects.
Plus, it’s not in Excel. It’s in one system, updated in real-time. Everyone who should have access to the data is able to see the numbers and use them to make faster, more strategic decisions.
Just imagine how helpful that would be when it comes to your governance, too.
Learn more about CasinoEdge
CasinoEdge can help you implement real-time budget-to-actuals reporting. Contact us to get started with a free demo on this award-winning accounting software that’s specifically tailored to casinos. Or learn more about CasinoEdge in our other articles:
Clean up your casino’s vendor management
How to create a single source of truth for your casino
3 ways to improve casino operations with automated income statement creation