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Magnolia Hotel Group Simplifies Global Property Budgets for Growing Portfolio

Magnolia Hotel Group recently took over a portfolio of 11 hotels where everything was done by hand. Accounting, budgets everything was in Excel spreadsheets. The team knew immediately that we needed uniform accounting and an easier budget process across the properties.
Columbus, GA-based Magnolia Hotel Group (MHG) owns and operates Marriott, Hilton, IHG and Wyndham properties in the Southern US. “Today we have everything online and our GMs don’t need an accounting background to create and update their budgets,” said Darren Phillips, CHA, principal of Magnolia Hotel Group.  
Manually maintaining accurate daily financial processes and continuously updating budgets can be a demanding process for any hotel company. “We upgraded to systems and processes that simplified our operation and gave us accurate, continuous up-to-date financials and budgets. We implemented the Targetvue Budget and Planning and Profitvue Enterprise Accounting systems from Aptech Computer Systems to make this happen,” Phillips said. Aptech is a provider of hospitality software for business intelligence, budgeting, and enterprise financial accounting.   
The Targetvue budgeting and planning system simplifies enterprise-wide planning, consolidation, and reporting by eliminating the need for companies to rely on management or manipulation of multiple spreadsheets. It gathers information and provides managers with the performance data they need to take proactive measures to increase profitability. The system combines daily data updates with historic trends to forecast future performance. Profitvue is a widely used thin-client, Internet-enabled enterprise back office solution that easily handles single, multi-property and multi-company accounting, and incorporates accounts payable, general ledger, statistics, and financials. 
“MHG operates several flags and they all have different market segment designations and levels of detail on their P&Ls,” said Phillips. “The Profitvue accounting system is self-explanatory for all our property types. It is interfaced to our property management systems, and linked to our Targetvue budgeting system to eliminate data entry errors. Targetvue takes general ledger and payroll code data from Profitvue to streamline our processes.  It cuts our budget time down significantly and I can easily review our numbers centrally from an ownership perspective.”   
As MHG’s revenue and expenses go up or down daily, Targetvue’s forecast for each hotel is automatically updated to reveal factors behind the change. The system automates, in one day, the process that used to be a complicated five-day chore of calculating a new forecast to monitor trends. The result is better expense management based on actionable data that reduces risk.
“Targetvue easily provides forecasts based on all the factors that impact property profitability, such as labor, utilities and equipment,” Phillips said. “It is very well suited to hospitality operations. We can have as much detail on the P&L as we want. Once the revenue has been input, we apply industry standards for cost per room and other metrics to create budgets. We use Hilton market segments for our Doubletree, and with Targetvue it is very simple to set up unique line items, like Starbucks.”
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