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Pearl River Resort Hits Jackpot with Financial System Overhaul

Like any large casino hotel resort, Pearl River Resort in Choctaw, Miss., requires a financial-software system that’s much more sophisticated than that serving just a luxury hotel. With two huge casinos, two award-winning golf courses, a water park and a spa, the resort when full hosts 6,000 or more customers in its 1,200 rooms, 15-plus restaurants and on its casino floors.
In May 2009, the resort used a tedious 10-year-old financial-software system that wasn’t quite geared for the casino industry. To generate each monthly or annual financial report required a substantial amount of custom programming. This made it very difficult to complete the reports on time. Maintenance costs were high and the resort faced escalating operating costs for its accounting system. 
This led Pearl River Resort to seek a new financial backbone that would deliver a complete design package and favorable service to the casino/hotel business with fast-and-easy data exchange. The resort also desired a financially stable vendor with industry expertise, a large customer base and multiple solutions. Infor Infinium Financials, Infor HCM Infinium and Infor PM 10 software proved a good fit. They were predesigned, required little customization and interfaced easily with other applications the resort used.
Under the gun
But there was a catch. Such a massive undertaking usually requires 12-14 months. But the Infor system had to be operating by Oct. 1. That marked the start of a new fiscal year, the date when the previous vendor’s maintenance agreement expired, and before the annual federal W-2 wage-and-tax forms began being processed. A missed deadline would require using the old software-support system for another year; that wasn’t an option. To assist the resort’s IT team, Infor deployed a sizable project team at the resort and another one at its Alpharetta, Ga., headquarters. With the resort and Infor teams working side by side, the project deadline was met.
Besides traditional accounting functions, the Infor system also handles the resort’s payroll electronically as well as its time-off requests. This has reduced paperwork substantially as employees now go online for their pay receipt for checks directly deposited into their banking accounts, and to check their paid-time-off requests.
The resort has saved roughly $100,000 in annual maintenance costs with the new system, almost a two-thirds savings. This includes savings from dismissing an outside tax company required under the previous system; the Infor software handles that. Infinium and Cognos software also easily deliver a daily flash financial report from the resort’s various centers; the old system required time-consuming spreadsheets that slowed the reports’ production.
For Pearl River Resort, Infor’s Infinium products and the gaming industry have made a great marriage. 
George Cvek, vice president of IT for the Pearl River Resort since June 2008, has more than 30 years of IT experience with more than 17 years specific to the gaming and hospitality industry. Prior to gaming, he worked in senior technology and management roles with such organizations as IBM, Rolm, SST, Exxon and Reichold Chemicals.
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