Financial professionals in real estate contend with a wide array of responsibilities—managing financial statements, office space floors, signage, storage space, land, and more. Regulations and interest rates are in a state of constant flux, and they must be assessed as changes arise to build accurate reports.
Not only is it time consuming to dump data into spreadsheets and reformat as information changes, but it’s also difficult to consolidate financials when multiple properties are involved. Sending reports to different residents or property managers is a confusing and challenging process.
According to a study by Hanover Research, 46% of financial teams are so bogged down by manual processes that they are unable to fully execute their necessary tasks. A third of respondents lack the time they need to analyze data. To alleviate these challenges, it’s essential to go beyond native MRI reporting tools to streamline your manual tasks.
Here, we discuss the top three benefits of automating your processes in MRI.
The same report found that every week, finance professionals spend over 25% of their time producing financial statements. This leaves only three quarters left for every other vital task. Finance teams are bogged down by a variety of roadblocks, including:
Lack of time spent on analysis. 31% of decision makers feel that their finance teams need more time for analyzing data.
Lack of resources. 29% of finance professionals revealed not having enough resources hampered their ability to fully execute tasks.
Manual processes. 49% of finance professionals are unable to execute their tasks completely due to manual processes.
According to a survey of MRI customers, 37.5% of real estate financial professionals manually export and manipulate data in Excel. 30% of respondents use native enterprise resource planning (ERP) reporting tools, which often don’t offer benefits such as real-time analysis.
When you’re processing multiple reports from rent rolls to property income statements, lease details, cash flow, payroll, and more, time spent on manual processes accumulates. Fortunately, these are all examples of reports that can be automated. By automating, you can save a significant amount of time manually generating and updating reports, leaving more time for valuable analysis. By automating, you can:
Quickly build real estate report templates without relying on IT
Drill down on your mission-critical business data
Spend less time manually manipulating real estate data and more time analyzing the results
Leverage the Power of Real Time Data
If you’re manually exporting data into Excel, you’re spending valuable time building static reports. When data changes, it can take hours, days, or even weeks to update the information. Automating processes with software solutions purpose-built for finance teams like Spreadsheet Server gives you access to real-time data that pulls straight from MRI.
With Spreadsheet Server, you set up a report once and then refresh at any time. It’s also easy to transition from property specific reports to consolidated versions. Real-time data is live and refreshable, giving you immediate answers to critical questions. When you create reports with tight deadlines, real-time data allows you to make sense of rapidly changing conditions.
Stop Relying on IT
Custom and ad-hoc reports often require SQL and other programming languages and require help of your IT department to build and manipulate. With the amount of reports finance professionals contend with on a regular basis, it can be a time consuming and frustrating process.
Native software systems from MRI and Yardi come with off-the-shelf reports, but they’re often rigid and cannot be customized. When you’re tasked with creating a custom report that doesn’t fit the mold of native ERP offerings, heavy reliance on IT departments slows down the flow of business.
To overcome this challenge, some real estate professionals outsource report creation to external consultants. Among respondents of the MRI customer survey, 12.5% regularly outsourced work. However, over time this approach is expensive and runs the risk of data becoming outdated by the time the report is finished. More issues arise when data from other software systems–like billing and credit card transaction data or information from a CRM–must be incorporated.
Automation software empowers real estate professionals to create their own reports without relying on IT, outsourcing, or knowing SQL. For example, Spreadsheet Server offers a Query Designer feature, where finance and accounting teams can create custom reports without existing coding knowledge. Queries can be used to customize rent rolls, vacancy reports, or any custom ad hoc report your business needs.
Native ERP reporting tools are helpful in report creation but lack the features necessary to create the mission-critical custom and ad-hoc reports that power your business. By implementing automation software, real estate professionals save significant amounts of time, are better equipped to drill down into data, and remove their reliance on already taxed IT departments.
Spreadsheet Server is purpose-built for finance teams and integrates seamlessly with MRI, Yardi, and over 140 other software systems. With its live, 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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