Tetherow finds financial success in the cloud

BEND, OR—Tetherow, a 700-acre resort located here, has used technology to streamline its business operations—to the tune of saving $75,000 in three months.  

“Over the past 10 years, Tetherow has grown from an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse to a 700-acre resort…complete with more than 20 individual entities rolled into one wholly owned subsidiary,” said Tamara Crawford, Tetherow’s CFO. “As our business grew, we quickly realized the technology we were using to support our business would not scale with or support our growth. After conducting a thorough review of the financial management and accounting solutions available on the market, we eventually chose Sage Intacct due to its powerful, cloud-based and user-friendly capabilities.”

Before implementing Sage Intacct, the finance team utilized a combination of Jonas restaurant software, QuickBooks and Excel. This piecemeal software solution required a significant amount of manual input to manage routine financial processes.

The finance team has gained a number of benefits from using the new software. “One of the biggest benefits we’ve seen is gaining real-time insights into our business to drive better decisions,” Crawford said. “The system allows us to take operational data, such as daily rounds of golf played or number of hotel occupants, and combine it with our financial information to drive and inform business decisions.”

Tetherow staff members use the detailed reporting in the software to monitor key metrics, such as profitability, to efficiently determine operating income and track actuals-to-budget across its entire organization. It allows them to know precisely how many rounds of golf were played that day, how many covers they had in their restaurants and occupancy at the hotel. “As a result, not only do we streamline complex budget planning to inform business strategy, but our team can efficiently report relevant business information to all of our employees in Oregon, as well as to our company’s managing partners in the Netherlands,” said Crawford.

With the software, the resort was able to shorten the monthly consolidation process from more than a week down to less than four hours. “We have also cut our monthly close in half, from 20 to less than 10 days,” said Crawford. “We also utilize Sage Intacct to monitor our cash balances across all entities in the organization, saving 24 hours a week by running cash analysis reports directly in the system, instead of through Excel. Further streamlining the process, we also upload financial and statistical data from our ResortSuite software directly into Intacct, avoiding duplicate data entry.”

All of these changes have meant a financial benefit for the resort. “As a result of all these productivity improvements, the software paid for itself in less than three months, as we have been able to handle our rapid expansion without the additional $75,000 in annual headcount costs that would have been needed just to run daily and monthly financial workflows,” she said.

The software has allowed her team to be a better business partner across the organization, supporting rapid growth and limiting financial risk, according to Crawford. “By automating manual, day-to-day financial housekeeping tasks, our finance department no longer has to fill their days with tedious data entry. With this newly freed time, our team has been able to spend time analyzing our results and providing advice on strategic business decisions across the organization, supporting and enabling the addition of seven new business entities, including an event pavilion, recreation center, twenty vacation homes and a café.”

She has advice for others looking to add this type of software: “When switching to cloud-based software, look for solutions that will help your business work smarter, not harder, especially through periods of rapid growth,” she said. “Implementing periodic audit checks also helps maintain a 30,000-ft. view, rather than digging in the weeds.” HB