In half a century, the CFO has transformed from a tactical number crunching, budget developing role into a strategic financier and partner. And now the voice of the CFO is as important as the CEO, as both internal and external audiences look to the C-suite executive as a voice of guidance in times of economic uncertainty to lead the organization into the future. Because of this, CFOs today are looking to leverage financial close automation to transform their processes, increase their visibility into key data and reduce the time to close each month.
Controllers Council recently conducted a webinar with Trintech and Ruby Slipper Café and in this post we will recap that conversation on how Ruby Slipper Café was able to leverage financial close automation to work smarter.
Ruby Slipper Café – Case Study
The Ruby Slipper Café Group operates 18+ restaurants throughout 5 states across the Southeast United States. They offer a ‘boozy brunchy’ concept, bringing New Orleans flavor and cocktails to breakfast and lunch. Before implementing Adra, they were engaging in a highly manual financial close, operated within Excel spreadsheets, by a small team. “We condensed our operations pretty tightly during the pandemic and then once volumes started coming back and the vaccine was widely available, the business started to grow back again,” said Jennifer Beougher, Chief Financial Officer of Ruby Slipper Café Group. As business began to pick up, they were searching for ways to be cost-conscious and build out processes that allow for organizational growth.
With the business growing, it became clear that manual reconciliation processes were not working as well as they once were. “I would make a list of all the accounts and task them in Excel, then I would go through one by one and check them. All my feedback had to be done via phone calls and emails, it was hugely manual.” Beougher stated, “It worked at the time, for the size we were, but it certainly wasn’t the most efficient way to do things.”
Journey with Adra
Faced with the realization that their manual processes weren’t working anymore, Ruby Slipper Café Group began to look into solutions that could offer increased efficiency and visibility. As they are expanding, and still operating with a small team, they needed a solution that could help delegate and keep track of tasks, allowing for enhanced visibility across their financial close timeline.
Today, the Ruby Slipper Café Group utilizes Adra Matcher and Balancer to help automate and streamline their reconciliation and financial close process. “The Adra solution has been amazing and Trintech support has been great, as well as our account specialist and implementation team to get us from one account to every account,” said Beougher.
Adra enabled Ruby Slipper Café Group to trim down their close process by three to four days. The biggest change happened in the bank reconciliations, other accounts receivable, corporate cards, and gift card reconciliations. For bank reconciliations, they went from pulling that data in, doing it twice a month and looking at it manually to now, that data is getting loaded into Adra Matcher daily.
The accounting manager can work exceptions daily, so entries are booked and recorded as they’re happening. Instead of being done by business day 10, the reconciliation is now done in business day three. That process went from being one of the last things in the close, to the beginning, which is great, because “cash is king”. “In addition, accounts receivable, corporate cards, and gift card account reconciliations, are now performed within the system because they are heavy volume transactions and Adra Matcher works great with that type of data,” continues Beougher.
The other area that was really made more efficient was all those other account reconciliations. They’re using Adra Balancer and upload the trial balance every day or more often as needed. If you know you’ve made an entry, you need to get that into Adra Balancer so it’s all centralized within the solution.
“New this year, we gave our external auditors read-only access to Adra Balancer and have directed them on how to use it,” continued Beougher. “Not having to pull Excel files and PDF bank statements is a huge time saver. Now, those are all attached in Adra Balancer – It’s been a game changer.
What Does This Mean?
Since implementing Adra, Ruby Slipper Café Group has reaped many benefits. “Time is money,” continued Beougher. “So anytime you can save time, eventually it’s going to materialize into dollars.” Adra has allowed for a faster financial close, which lets their finance team devote more time and effort on initiatives and projects that add value to the business. Additionally, tasks can be pushed further down the line: what used to be done at the CFO level are now being done at the staff accountant level because processes became simplified.
Ruby Slipper Café also experienced an increase in visibility across their financial close – their audit team became more self-sufficient, and there was a reduction in any surprises at the end of the quarter. By leaning into automation, they can attract and retain high quality talent by leveraging the amount of technology they have.
The elimination of 3rd-parties has not only saved them time, but also money. Complex reconciliations, like accounts receivable, gift cards, and corporate cards are now broken down into simpler tasks through Adra Matcher and allowed Ruby Slipper Café to bring these processes back in-house.
Interesting in learning more about Ruby Slipper Café Group and Adra? View the on-demand webinar here.