Helping a Real Estate Client with Data Migration & IT Optimization

A single-family home rental firm needs help with accounting and Yardi data

OVERVIEW

This client, a large single-family home rental firm, reached out to Saxony Partners for assistance with three digital projects – two related to data migration and integration, and one for IT optimization for their accounting department.

THE PROJECT

The IT optimization project was born out of the client’s desire to leverage automated workflows and electronic approvals within their existing enterprise accounting system to streamline their accounts payable process.

Historically, approvals had been performed manually and outside of the enterprise accounting system – so it was difficult to establish an audit trail to hold employees accountable to internal policies. It also made it more difficult to train their staff, since processes were outside of the system.

The client previously attempted to rectify the situation themselves by self-implementing accounts payable workflows – but they didn’t have the experience or technical resources in-house to allow them to do so.

Saxony took the project on and immediately began a business process review and interviews with key stakeholders. From there, the team mapped out new workflows that aligned with the outcomes those stakeholders indicated they wanted to see. As Saxony’s technologists began implementing the workflows inside the enterprise accounting system, they continuously tested and reconfigured them until they delivered the desired outcomes. Once they were rolled out, Saxony continued to provide post-production and transition support until the client became self-sufficient.

ACCOUNTING & YARDI DATA MIGRATION

At the same time, Saxony learned of another accounting issue that needed to be solved. The client was utilizing two accounting systems – QuickBooks for corporate entities, and Yardi Voyager for operating entities. They wanted to reduce software costs and streamline operations by moving accounting solely into Yardi. The challenge was that moving corporate entities to Yardi would require consolidating five separate QuickBooks databases.

Challenging, but not impossible.

Saxony’s technical team mapped out a plan for how to, first, consolidate the data from QuickBooks and, second, migrate it out to Yardi Voyager. As it turns out, not all of the data from QuickBooks needed to be migrated to Yardi in order to deliver the results the client needed. Saxony was able to identify the data that did need to migrate, package it, and execute the migration. We were then able to develop a training program necessary to make sure that staff who were previously used to QuickBooks could easily adapt to Yardi Voyager.

YARDI DATA ACCESS

Finally, speaking of Yardi, the client needed more frequent access to their key Yardi data. They were using a shared cloud-based installation of Yardi’s software, which limited their access to data and can impact the application’s performance as the asset levels grow.

Saxony is a trusted independent Yardi consultant, with a robust team of expert implementers, servicers, and trainers. We worked with Yardi to add a “Private Cloud” option to the client’s subscription, allowing for greater and easier data access.

THE RESULTS

The immediate benefits of the IT optimization project were profound: all the critical AP work was finally able to take place within the existing enterprise accounting systems. This reduced invoice turnaround time, decreased liability by providing an audit trail, and increased efficiency by giving end-users an easy way to track the status of a record. Moreover, end-users were empowered with more robust reporting options. Training was enhanced. And the client now had the ability to track invoice processing time – something they hadn’t enjoyed beforehand.

The accounting data migration project allowed the client access to a single chart of accounts for accounting data across the entire organization. This improved communications and reduced confusion. Integrated data led to easier data access, as well as more robust reporting.

Finally, the Yardi data access project allowed the client to access their Yardi data directly, multiple times per day. Performance improved internally, since the client’s version of Yardi was now on its own servers.

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