Overlooking Lake Rosseau since 1870, the iconic Victorian landmark Windermere House needed to modernize its accounting and back-office functions in keeping with its status as Muskoka’s premiere hotel and resort. Management company B•Hospitality tapped Aptech’s PVNG enterprise accounting solution to keep the property’s accounting and financial systems on the same page internally and companywide as B•Hospitality prepares for further growth.
“Shortly after acquiring ownership of this iconic resort earlier this year, we discovered that several of our systems, including our back-office accounting system, would not suffice for our business growth plans,” said Roger Oei, B•Hospitality Vice President, Finance. “The flexibility, future development, and scalability of the existing solution did not align with our anticipated expansion.”
Previously, the property used a locally developed, PMS-integrated back-office system that is no longer being consistently updated. Oei said software that doesn’t get developed on a continuous basis becomes a dinosaur very quickly. He needed software he can rely on, that continues to be developed and supported.
“Developers come and go,” said Oei, “but software support is key, and Aptech has been impeccable in that regard.”
Windermere House chose PVNG as its preferred accounting solution due to the great success the product delivered at its sister property, the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre, in Cambridge, Ontario, said Oei. This 138-room property has been using the system – which handles accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, statistics, financials, and bank reconciliation, all with user-friendly browser navigation – since 2015.
“Adding PVNG as our dedicated back-office solution will enhance our ability to financially manage and strategically plan our financial growth and success at Windermere House,” said Oei. “We expect that our favorable experiences at the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre will be repeated at the resort. Further, by expanding our hotel footprint in partnership with PVNG, it will allow our financial team to share resources and knowledge across our hotel properties.”
Oei and his staff members find PVNG very intuitive, easy to use, and scalable. “As we standardize accounting and finance across our hotel properties, it allows me from a financial perspective to use my people resources at different properties without their having to learn new software,” he said.
Windermere House will use the system’s general ledger, financial reporting, cash book, and payables functions. The property’s previous back-office system had reporting limitations and relied heavily on paper documents.
“PVNG has the ability to attach images and backup documents, so information retrieval is easier,” Oei said.
One of Oei’s favorite PVNG capabilities is its ability to drill down from their monthly reports to identify business reasons behind a particular result. When budgeting, the software enables users to access any journal entry, including backup documentation and invoices, as needed. “From a payroll perspective as well, it allows us to drill down to entries to the payroll register,” he said.
These self-service capabilities will allow hotel staff members and B•Hospitality’s corporate financial team to perform financial analysis largely without back-and-forth communication regarding specific reports.
Windermere House (www.windermerehouse.com) offers not only spectacular vistas, but also lasting memories. Accommodations include 58 rooms and suites, along with the private, four-bedroom Windermere Cottage, which was undergoing renovation at press time.
The PVNG implementation will occur during a planned six-week shutdown in mid-October, after the Canadian Thanksgiving celebration, with reopening scheduled for the third week of November. Traditionally a May-through-September seasonal operation, Windermere House also will use Aptech’s accounting solution to serve guests year-round. “We already have a number of group conferences, corporate events, and holiday parties booked as we head to the holiday season,” Oei said.
Going forward, B•Hospitality plans to migrate a Florida property to PVNG as well. With all 3 of its hotels initially on different back-office systems, side-by-side comparative analysis proved very cumbersome. PVNG will allow such comparisons easily, quickly, and efficiently.
“As we continue the traditions at Windermere House in delivering exceptional service and unforgettable generational shared experiences with all our guests,” Oei said, “we are elated to have Aptech as one of our key partners in building our continued success at B•Hospitality.”
Sam Costa, Aptech Director of Client Success, added, “We take great pride in being able to provide PVNG’s enterprisewide functionality to another B•Hospitality property. We are confident that as the company’s footprint expands, Windermere House and their other properties will benefit from the companywide visibility and strategic decision-making capabilities that our solution provides.”