From managing financial statements, signage, storage space, office space floors, and land, real estate financial professionals manage many of their businesses’ most critical moving parts. And real estate is growing–by 2026, the market is expected to reach $5388.87 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6%.
When the time comes for month-end reporting, ERPs like Yardi manage and compartmentalize data with out of the box reports.
Yardi is property management software custom tailored to the real estate industry, designed to help users manage commercial real estate, residential, multi-family homes, low-income housing, and more. Yardi, along with most ERPs, comes with native reporting tools. However, they require knowledge of SQL to generate, can be rigid, and do not cover the specific custom reporting needs of real estate finance teams.
Pitfalls of Native ERP Reporting
Off-the-shelf reports will often have limited flexibility and cannot be customized for ad-hoc queries. Finance teams may need to lean on their IT department or external contractors to create insightful reports, rather than spend days creating them themselves.
The issue with leaning on IT is that departments are often already overtaxed with critical tasks, leaving financial reporting as a second priority. With the number of reports financial professionals are tasked with, generating new analysis can be a frustrating, costly, and time-intensive process.
Because outsourcing requires communication and data exchange between different companies, this option is even more cumbersome. According to a survey of real estate financial professionals by Hanover Research, only 12.5% of respondents outsource reports. Additionally, information sent to IT departments or outside companies for processing quickly becomes outdated, leaving room for potential errors when the time comes to report.
Analysis is Key
Demand on finance teams has never been greater. If you’re spending most of your resources creating reports instead of analyzing them, it leaves you at a disadvantage. Deep, proactive analysis is crucial for making key business decisions that benefit profitability, increase ROI, and reduce costly errors.
One of the biggest demands on real estate finance teams is providing planning and insight into business operations. This enables key stakeholders to make important decisions with more clarity. Having accurate data is crucial to this process, but finance teams struggle to easily access and connect with data. Near real-time information is vital to:
Reduce the risk of human error
Improve data quality
According to the FSN Future of Analytics Global Survey, the finance teams surveyed categorized their analytics as follows:
Focused on cyclical report production with analysis being limited to standard ERP reports and spreadsheets, with each operational area managing its own tasks.
Some functional areas use business intelligence and data visualization tools, but operate in isolation with their own data sets, driving decisions related to that function only.
Finance teams are focused on cyclical report production but react with ad hoc analysis to drive insight and decision-making as needed.
Finance teams are driven by an analytics mindset. Core financial processes are synced, data is shared as a corporate resource, and teams regularly seek new sources of information. This group uses analytical tools proactively to drive operational and strategic insight, competitiveness, and decision making.
Which is most effective?
As research shows, only 14% categorize their analytics as insightful, a critical component in maintaining the financial health of a company. It helps these organizations determine whether their business is stable, profitable, or in need of improvement – and where to make those important changes.
With the wide breadth of responsibilities real estate finance teams are tasked with, as well as the reactive state of financial reporting in many organizations, how do you navigate these challenges while freeing up time to analyze your data?
Time to Automate
When your reporting involved exporting data into a static spreadsheet, it can be cumbersome to the point that it leaves very little time for critical analysis. Automating manual processes like these with solutions purpose-built for finance teams can save hours to weeks on month-end reporting. According to the Hanover Research survey, 46% of financial professionals are so bogged down by manual processes that they’re left unable to complete necessary tasks.
Time spent on manual processes accumulates, especially when processing an array of different reports like property income statements, rent rolls, lease details, cash flow, and more. The good news is that these commonly used reports can be automated with software like Spreadsheet Server. Automating saves resources, allowing you to generate custom reports without the need for IT. This frees up time from already taxed finance and IT departments. Automating allows you to:
Quickly build real estate report templates without relying on IT.
Spend less time manually adding and updating real estate data.
Drill down on your business data for greater analysis.
Spreadsheet Server uses a Microsoft Excel interface, so you don’t have to sacrifice the user experience you’re familiar with while automating manual processes throughout your organization. With Spreadsheet Server, you can close your books faster, drill down on the date behind the numbers, and automate manual processes, leaving more time for proactive data analysis. Spreadsheet Server helps you leverage the true power of your company data through insightful reports, saving time by streamlining analytic processes in a secure environment.
Benefits of Spreadsheet Server include:
No reliance on IT to create or change reports
Ability to create custom reports with ease
Time saving leaves room for critical analysis
Ability to drill down on information
Reducing the risk of using manual processes
Real estate finance teams contend with a high degree of responsibility and increasing industry demand. When preparing reports from static spreadsheets and rigid templates delay your critical tasks, automation can save a significant amount of time for finance teams. This also opens more opportunities to drill down on and analyze information, placing your business in a strong strategic position where it can make more informed decisions.
Spreadsheet Server is purpose-built for finance teams and integrates seamlessly Yardi, as well as over 140 other ERPs. With its refreshable and drillable Excel reports, you can easily create reports from income statements to rent rolls. To learn more, contact us to schedule a free demo.
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