I had an opportunity to have a conversation with our Intacct MVP, Jason Gabauer, controller of Halstatt. Jason is a Six Sigma Black Belt and well-versed in process and requires high standards for his accounting system. Read more about the Halstatt finance team story and how Intacct is meeting their needs.
Can you tell me a little bit about Halstatt, Jason?
Halstatt is a family-owned investment firm that was built upon a strong record of successful real estate development in Collier County, Florida. Over the past ten years, Halstatt has branched out into various other private investment areas. The owners of Halstatt are part of the Barron Collier legacy of Southwest Florida.
Halstatt has a few major lines of business:
- Real Estate (where buildings, land, and other real estate assets are managed)
- Real Estate Private Equity (where Halstatt combines its capital with other investors and buys and sells various real estate assets)
- Private Equity (where Halstatt invests in large and established businesses, small and growing companies, or early stage startup opportunities)
Tell me something you really like about working with Intacct?
I like how dynamic Intacct is and, as a result, we are able to use it in different ways.
Halstatt needs to report on the fair market value of its assets on a quarterly basis. As an investment firm, it needs to track and understand asset valuations, quarter over quarter and year over year. The management team needs to distribute this report to the Board regularly.
To accomplish this, I created groups for finance reporting and used a separate company to track valuations. By only using the asset side of the general ledger and a dimension I could easily and efficiently present this data. Some of the benefits were:
- Updating assets allowed access to graphing on the Dashboard
- History was also available
This was never the original intent of choosing Intacct, but it worked great for valuation tracking! Our chief investment officer used to spend 70-80 hours trying to gather this data on a quarterly basis. Now, it is regularly available in Intacct.
Can you share what it was about Intacct that made you feel it was the right solution for Halstatt?
In 2014 I was brought on as the controller to complement the existing investment team. Halstatt had a unique opportunity to plan and execute upon an entirely new accounting infrastructure. The company needed to build a back office that included accounts payable, general ledger, and an entire finance department, and I was tasked with creating it from the ground up! The search was on…
In my opinion, a SaaS solution is safer as compared to on-premise solutions. SaaS solutions offer speed and efficiency which are critical, no servers or IT team required and upgrades are seamless. My SaaS expectations were all met. It was also great to discover that the AICPA used Intacct!
I had a clear vision of what I wanted the system to do and Intacct met these requirements.
Halstatt implemented Intacct and current functionality has included:
- Chart of accounts
- Dimensions (providing vertical and horiztonal views)
- Reporting (financials and valuation)
- Seamless integrations with Nexonia, American Express, and DocAssist
What are some of the efficiencies Halstatt has gained since implementing Intacct?
We started from scratch, and with a team of two are currently managing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate, equity investments, and various businesses. We are now more efficient in everything we do from GL to reporting.
Can you share examples of how your company anticipates and manages growth?
Halstatt has very nimble requirements. In my time with the firm, we have sold a large hotel for $190 million while at the same time making an investment in a startup company for $100 thousand or less.
Consolidation and grouping features are also important. For example, the main Halstatt entity owns a professional park with multiple buildings that required a stand-alone view from the investment firm. Intacct allowed me to build out the stand-alone view while not compromising features or making the system overly complicated.
What keeps the finance team up at night?
Probably how and when can we implement all the cool stuff that Intacct has to offer! Halstatt currently has a long list on a white board, and the team anticipates that we will soon become Dashboards experts!
We look forward to continuing to work in Intacct and to tackling statistical accounts next!
[ Published: June 14, 2016 ]