4 Ways Technology Can Benefit Country Clubs
by Jillian Straw
Country clubs have a lot going on. From golf courses to catering halls, pro shops to lodging, and fitness centers to clubhouses; Country clubs handle nearly every type of invoice out there.
Not only does the invoice type have a large range, but so do the clubs themselves – if you’ll excuse the pun.
This can make having a centralized workflow for Accounts Payable in country clubs a challenge even in the most conceptual form. With employees receiving invoices, department heads approving them, the GM double checking and routing for payment, with the Board of Directors finally paying and reviewing cost fluctuations, the idea of all of these people having to go through this process manually is daunting.
Thankfully, in the age of automation, technologies like Plate IQ are here to help bring order to the course.
Here are four ways that automating the AP process can lead to more centralized and prosperous country clubs.
Custom User Roles
The right automation technology for your club needs to be able to understand the nuances of each individual involved in the invoice process. While members of the Accounting department need to be able to organize invoices of each department in one consolidated platform, specific Department Heads don’t need to be inundated with invoices that fall outside their purview. That’s way too much noise.
Custom user roles can be made so that only certain people are able to upload invoices, edit them, approve them, and/or schedule payments for them. These attributes can be combined and customized to fit the unique needs of your specific club.
This means your standard employees could have just the ability to upload invoices,and nothing else. Meanwhile the GM can code them into the Chart of Accounts, splitting individual items by department as necessary, and finally the Board can access reports that dig into specific financials.
Not only can automation platforms allow for accountability in regard to what an individual is able to view or do in the platform, but it can also create specific rules that are followed depending on the invoice type and information they contain. The best part being that these individuals do not need to be anywhere near each other in order to get alerted. You can easily approve invoices from your office, or from the comfort of your golf cart.
Let’s be honest, if your Board of Directors was alerted every single time an invoice came in, they would probably start hunting people down with a 7-wood. No one wants that.
Instead, you could set rules so that invoices over, say, $5,000 are sent for approval to the GM and invoices over $10,000 are also sent to the Board of Directors. This way if there are any questions into why expenses are so high, they can be addressed as the invoices come in.
Have All Your Data in One Place
Before automation, a request as simple as inquiring as to why the pro-shop went over budget could easily snowball into a major project. That’s why these types of requests would usually be held until the end of a given fiscal period. They would then be passed from the Board to the GM to the Department Head who would then swing over to Accounting and have them dig through stacks and stacks of paper.
They would then have to sort through and compile data from invoices and gather into a separate file to be sent back through the daisy chain.
Today, that can be accomplished with a few filters and a click of a button.As you can imagine, being able to have all of your invoices living in one online platform allows the data to be accessible and actionable. Now, all the accounting team has to do is easily filter through to invoices from that specific department. From there a simple CSV download can be sent to the board laying out exactly what funds went where.
Skip A Trip To The Office. Approve From The Fairway.
It’s been said throughout this article that alerts, approvals, and scheduling payments can be accomplished through mobile or desktop apps, but it bears repeating. In times where not only do organizations want to avoid having too many people unnecessarily huddled together in an office, remote workflows are more necessary than ever.
Not to mention, as daily life in the country begins to ease back into the realm of normalcy, many upper level staff members of country clubs will be rearing to get some face time in with members. After all, if it weren’t for them the club itself would have larger problems than their AP process. With automation you can easily be chatting with a member in the club house, or introducing a new prospect to the various amenities, and rest easy that should an invoice arrive that needs your attention you don’t need to rush over to the opposite side of the grounds to address it.
In Summary, Everyone Needs an AP Caddy
A caddy carries your bag of clubs, cleans the ball, rakes the bunkers, replaces divots and holds the flag. But the best caddies also help their golfers. They determine the distance to the pin and advise the golfer on what club to use, among other high level support. In much the same way AP Technology holds your invoices, codes your items, and keeps track of price fluctuations. The best technology, though, knows who to, and not to, alert to certain discrepancies, handles your bill payments and keeps your process centralized.
A professional golfer without a caddy is a sad sight to see, just like an accounting team without an automation platform. To see how Plate IQ can help you achieve an AP hole in one schedule a demo today!
Jillian Straw writes for Plate IQ, covering technology in the hospitality industry from a background in restaurants and operations management.
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