Cliff Castle Casino and Hotel

Cliff Castle Casino and Hotel
Kim Miranda, Director of Finance

“Wipfli’s project management, their timing, being specific as to what they needed from us — that’s what made the implementation so successful. And what’s so nice is they’re very knowledgeable in our field. They’re kind, knowledgeable and you can tell they care about us.”


Situation

When it comes to marketing and maintaining player revenue, having instant access to both real-time and historical player information is a top priority.

Cliff Castle Casino and Hotel has nearly 700 cutting-edge slot machines, eight table games and a new six-story hotel. As they’ve grown, their biggest barriers to efficient operations have been gaining real-time, department-level financial insights and eliminating manual processes and paper-intensive recordkeeping. 

It often took 1-2 weeks to search paper files to track down supporting transaction documentation during audit season. And key stakeholders, such as board and tribal council members, were waiting 10+ business days after the month-end close to receive financial and statistical performance information.

Cliff Castle’s manual approval process made it difficult to meet the business expectations of vendors, and approvals stalled when approvers were off-property or in meetings. There was also a lack of insight around events and their value to the enterprise. Plus, the chart of accounts was complex and seemingly growing. 

In the end, Cliff Castle’s team knew that by implementing a modern accounting system, they could solve their biggest challenges, and then some. 

Strategy

Cliff Castle knew it was important to work with an implementation partner who brought deep tribal gaming experience. They turned to Wipfli to implement CasinoEdge, the firm’s tribal-gaming-focused version of Sage Intacct.

“Wipfli’s gaming knowledge was key. They were speaking the same language as us,” said Kim Miranda, Director of Finance at Cliff Castle. “That allowed us to get project and process buy-in from our team immediately.”

Wipfli’s first step was to perform a thorough business process assessment that walked through and documented all of Cliff Castle’s workflows and notable challenges. This approach allowed both teams to fully understand not only how the new technology could aid in transforming current processes but also which stakeholders were not being served. The team focused on how to deliver rich financial and statistical data across the entire enterprise, as well as eliminate gaps in department-level insight and the need for Excel-generated workarounds.

Then came the implementation. The Wipfli team arranged and migrated Cliff Castle’s historical data into the new system, condensed the chart of accounts by nearly 50%, used custom push-button templates to simplify revenue-audit journal entries that included transaction-level detail, and created mobile-enabled, department-level dashboards so all enterprise executives and department managers could be empowered by real-time information.

Results

For Cliff Castle, the results of implementing Sage Intacct with the Wipfli Tribal Team are clear.

First, Intacct has automated purchasing approvals, journal entry approvals and electronic check signatures, which saves Cliff Castle significant time and keeps business flowing without interruption.

Then there’s the monthly close, ad-hoc reporting and real-time daily flash. Cliff Castle has gone from taking up to two weeks to organize and construct requested historical financials to just minutes. They have cut their monthly close from 10 business days to two. Month-end data is available in a matter of minutes to access information through Intacct’s custom dashboards, which allow invoice-level drill-down. Plus, with a condensed chart of accounts, it’s easy for department managers to read and compare data for their own P&L.

Audits are also much simpler. During Cliff Castle’s first audit after implementing Intacct, every piece of information could be drilled into, pulled out of Intacct and provided to the auditor with timestamped dates. Intacct saved significant time, as well as eliminated the need for hardcopies.

Intacct also allows Cliff Castle to track event revenue and expenses. With the COVID-19 pandemic creating extra expenses, Intacct has delivered a measurable ROI. The team can also run instant pro-formas on any event, making the delivery of data and analysis a snap.

Speaking of COVID-19, the fact that Intacct is fully web-based (even via a smartphone) enables anytime, anywhere access — a necessity during the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders. The team was able to do everything from closings to check runs from home. “I don’t know how we would have accomplished the level of efficiency and accuracy without Intacct,” says Kim. 

Altogether, Cliff Castle has experienced efficiency gains that even they find hard to believe were possible. The Cliff Castle team knows they can perform fast yet accurate work that enables more proactive decision-making across the entire organization.

Client profile

Located in Camp Verde, Arizona, Cliff Castle Casino and Hotel is a gaming enterprise owned by the Yavapai-Apache Nation. It has been voted the #1 casino in Arizona for the last 19 years.

Relationship Executive(s)

Jason Winkler, Senior Manager, Business Development and Solution Marketing