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Virgin Hotels & Resorts applauds trio of financial management solutions supporting its growth

Virgin Hotels & Resorts
Images by Virgin Hotels & Resorts

Formed to shake up the hotel industry, Virgin Hotels, a luxury lifestyle brand, is on a fast-track for growth. Its properties in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, and New York each opened with a trio of Aptech financial management solutions, and hotels in Miami, Philadelphia and Denver will follow suit in the next few years. Virgin Hotels Chief Financial Officer Harris White said Aptech’s PVNG enterprise accounting, Execuvue business intelligence, Targetvue budgeting and forecasting, and automated invoice processing has been the financial systems support the company needed to weather the pandemic and prepare for future growth. 

“From the moment we opened our first hotel, I was a BIG fan of Aptech,” White said. “The company’s three cloud-based solutions provide access to financials regardless of where our teams are working – whether we are in office, traveling on business, or even working from home. Each platform delivers an exceptional experience. The accounting package is easy to use, simple to train on, and quick to compile financial statements and trend reports.

“The business intelligence system is just as user friendly, enabling us to run daily/weekly/monthly reports that are stored on the menu,” he said. “The data is intuitive – whether it’s actual, budgeted, prior year, or two years ago – and the dropdowns are easy to access and understand. Because we have international locations, Aptech built a drop down on the menu where we can select an alternative currency. It’s been very helpful. Finally, when it comes to budgeting and forecasting, we can estimate room revenues by market segment on a granular level to improve forecasting accuracy.”

Solving the Need for Speed

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Rene Wilson, Virgin Hotels VP of operations finance, said having all three Aptech solutions working together aids in the brand’s financial efficiency – especially when it comes to budgeting and forecasting.

“Having three finance software systems in one is the most efficient way to operate,” Wilson said.  “Any time that data can flow seamlessly from one system to the next without having to double or triple check the figures is fantastic. Some financial management solutions may omit certain general ledger information if it is not imported or mapped correctly. With Aptech, this is something that we never have to worry about.

“In regard to accounting, our directors of finance often tell us how much they appreciate being able to post a journal entry and financial statement right away,” he said. “In past roles, I’ve worked with other vendors who make you wait to upload data or the speed with which it takes import the numbers was too slow. In the finance world, speed is everything. Aptech’s automated invoice processing is very promising. We have been piloting it in New York for the last 60 days. It’s added a vast amount of speed and efficiency to the accounts payable process, and everyone is eager for us to turn that functionality on at our other hotels. Being able to scan large batches of invoices and populate the data is saving our AP teams an impressive amount of time in keying in all the information. We are all in with Aptech and automation.”

Best-In-Class Support

Both White and Wilson said Aptech support is “the standout feature” that surpasses its software. White said while it’s rare to have a software issue, the customer service team will usually reply within 15 minutes or less – even after hours – if needed. That is something all property-level finance leaders are very grateful for, he added.

“Aptech support is not limited to its customer service team,” Wilson said. “Sometimes we reach out to the executive team to help us in building new reports in Execuvue. I say what I need and they get together with their development team and build us something from scratch. From the top down, everyone is instrumental in providing value and tailoring the software to our evolving needs. That’s rare to find in a technology partner. We appreciate that Aptech is always on the cutting edge of innovation. We are looking forward to the day when we can leverage AI inside Execuvue to speak commands, such as “show me the forecast projection for Nashville for the next 30 days,” and within seconds the data visualization I requested will appear. That will be an excellent feature.”

Aptech President Jill Wilder said she is delighted that Virgin Hotels is so impressed with Aptech solutions and her team.

“Virgin, as a brand, has always been on the leading edge of technology, particularly with its customers,” Wilder said. “Just as they strive to create unique customer experiences, challenge the status quo, and champion their people, we try to do the same. Their ‘purpose’ is to ‘change business for good.’ Our purpose is to change hotel finance processes for the good of hospitality businesses. Together we make a dynamic team, and we are proud to support Virgin Hotels today and long into the future.”

Tags: financial management solutions, Growth, Virgin Hotels & Resorts

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