A successful short-term stay provider
- Property Management & hospitality company with about $2M in annual revenues
- Manages short-term rental properties on behalf of owners
- Offers property owners a fixed guaranteed rent model and a variable revenue sharing model
- Books generated through Airbnb, HomeAway, Expedia, Booking.com, as well as direct booking on website
- Team of 15-20 on-site staff, with supporting IT team in India
Lagging financial statements for a real-time business
- Fragmentation of booking data across 5 third-party and proprietary platforms, each with variable pricing
- Daily changes in expected revenues including changes and cancellations of guest reservations before and during stay requiring near-constant adjustments and reconciliation against bank statements
- Difficulties making strategic and operational decisions due to Inaccurate financial statements by up to +/- 20%, due to gap between real-time financial situation and the 1-2 weeks required to generate and consolidate financial statements
Build a system to automate revenue data reconciliation and financial statement generation
The client had access to some third-party dashboards to obtain real-time data, but lacked the ability to programatically pull that data into their financial statements, which were mostly in standalone Excel spreadsheets.
We saw an opportunity to reduce the time it took to create these statements and enable any-time viewing capabilities by moving them to Google sheets, and built a system to generate and update them on an automated schedule, by using the following approach:
1. Define the outcomes: Understand the accounting practices and key metrics required to make important management decisions.
2. Track the numbers: Build an intermediary system to consolidate all revenue data across the various booking platforms, and make it available through an internal API.
3. Create a scalable system: Ingest the revenue data along with associated and known variable costs per stay (cleaning costs, labour, etc.) to pre-fill 80% of financial statements, and provide a real-time projection of 12-month revenues and costs.