Hospitality company empowers its multi-entity accounting team with Gravity Software
The challenge: Multi-entity accounting growing pains
Sunray Companies, a multi-company organization with 47 locations, including hotels, spas, My Salon Suites, The Place (an event venue), real estate management, and tanning salons, faced significant challenges in managing daily accounting processes. Their previous system required double entry for intercompany transactions.
Stephanie Welborn joined Sunray Companies as the accounts payable administrator when the company was transitioning from Peachtree (later acquired by Sage) to another software called AccountsIQ. With over 300 recurring transactions across their growing portfolio of brands, managing bank reconciliations, balancing general ledgers, and consolidated reporting became increasingly challenging. A simple process like paying insurance bills involved numerous intercompany transactions.
Her team often needed to stay in the office late or work weekends to run reports for all the different entities and compile them into a single report that included month-to-date financials as well as year-to-date performance for the entire organization.
They needed a cloud-based solution that would streamline multi-entity accounting processes and integrate well with their existing Microsoft applications, including Teams.
The search for scalable multi-entity accounting software
After researching various software options, Welborn was drawn to Gravity Software for its cost-effectiveness and native integration with Microsoft. Gravity Software provided the flexibility The Sunray Companies needed, allowing them to manage different GL codes for each division while still maintaining a shared chart of accounts. This enabled them to have both uniformity and specificity in their accounting processes.
Gravity Software's ability to handle intercompany transactions was revolutionary for the team. Maureen Okerstrom, a partner at Cumulus Applications Corporation and an experienced ERP systems expert, worked closely with Welborn to develop a module that facilitated the settlement of intercompany transactions. This module simplified monthly intercompany reconciliations, creating bills and invoices for each company much faster than she could previously.
“(Before, managing intercompany transactions) was a grueling process for me,” Welborn said. “I was going balance sheet to balance sheet. Now it might take me 30 minutes to settle (transactions for) 47 entities in a company, where before it would take me days.”
Updating vendor information is just as simple; Wellborn can change it once and have it automatically updated across all entities. She can also select which entities share vendors and keep vendor information separate from others if needed.
“Tracking renovations at the hotels or our other facilities was done on spreadsheets and was very time-consuming,” she said. “With Gravity’s job costing software, we can easily track the estimated and actual costs. When we enter an accounts payable voucher, we can easily tag it to the job and work type, avoiding double entry and saving time. Now we can quickly see if we are under or over budget on our renovations.”
The ease of use and efficiency of Gravity Software allowed Welborn’s team to focus on more important tasks, such as reviewing financial statements and closing the month quicker.
In addition, Gravity Software Microsoft Power Apps Platform made it easy for Cumulus to create automated integration with other operational systems, such as the point of sale at the spas, tans, and hotels, which eliminated manual data entry. Previously, The Sunray Companies received daily cash reports from their locations through email PDF documents. With Microsoft Power Automate, Cumulus devised a method to scan these reports and create journals or vouchers using AI technology. This allows the company to have a daily update instead of waiting until the end of the month to see the sales across all locations. They have plans to implement further automation, such as integrating an expense management solution and reading PDF invoices, to streamline their processes even more.
The result: More efficient, accurate and proactive accounting
Implementing Gravity Software had a profound impact on The Sunray Companies' accounting team. The automation and integration features of Gravity Software not only saved time but also reduced the potential for errors associated with manual data entry. The team now has more time to analyze financial data, identify cost-saving opportunities, and solve problems proactively. Instead of spending hours entering the same invoices or income multiple times, they can spend more time analyzing cash flow and expenses.
“They become problem solvers, and they can actually head off potential expenses down the line,” Welborn said. “Because we don’t need to hire somebody else for data entry, they can focus more on high-end accounting, which helps to keep them engaged. They don't feel like their talents are being wasted.”
Simplify multi-entity accounting with Gravity
Gravity Software proved to be the ideal solution for The Sunray Companies, addressing its unique accounting challenges and empowering the accounting team. By streamlining processes, automating data entry, and providing real-time visibility, Gravity enabled Sunray Companies to save time, reduce errors, and make informed business decisions. The accounting team can focus more on strategic priorities that improve the company's financial performance and facilitate growth. The company is also poised for better scalability. It can acquire new locations as it grows without needing to manage additional data entry.
See why The Sunray Companies and more than 3,200 other companies trust Gravity to manage their growing businesses. Schedule an online demo today.
About The Sunray Companies
The Sunray Companies is a full-service hospitality, retail and real estate development company founded in 1996. Based in Madison, Mississippi, the organization operates best-in-class brands including Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Palm Beach Tan, Massage Envy and MY SALON Suite.
Number of Gravity Users: 7
Number of Entities: 47
Previous Accounting Solution:
Sage 50 Accounting (formerly Peachtree), AccountsIQ
Team saves significant time on monthly consolidated reporting
Gained efficiencies by integrating their operational systems (POS)
Achieved greater flexibility by implementing a true multi-company cloud accounting solution
"Our team members become problem-solvers, and they can actually head off potential expenses down the line. Because we don't need to hire somebody else for data entry, they can focus more on high-end accounting, which helps to keep them engaged."