Multi-Entity Real Estate Investment Corporation Grows Rapidly with One Solution That Does It All
A Multi-Entity and Multi-Service Company Needing More Control
Based in Victoria and Vancouver, BC, North America Home Finance Inc. (NAHF) is a multi-entity real estate corporation specializing in real estate investment, development, and home-buying financing. NAHF was founded with the mission to make home ownership more accessible to anyone and everyone, and make real estate a smoother and more achievable journey for investors, developers, and buyers. The company has grown to hold over 10 separate entities, with services and projects now spanning across Canada.
This scale of operation entails a lot of complexities. Each of the companies ran different operations and managed different types of projects and clients. One company that was involved in the development of a large project required a solution that could combine accounting and construction project management. Instances like this arose time and time again, where a particular company or project required construction, real estate, and project management tools beyond basic accounting software.
For reporting, some of their companies used Excel spreadsheets, while others used Xero. With Xero being single-entity, there was no way to get in-depth insights into each company, cross-compare KPIs, or view NAHF as a whole to identify pitfalls and opportunities.
“Our previous solution, Xero, could only manage one entity and did not offer construction management. The more we scaled and took on development projects, the more we recognized that the road forward with Xero was quickly narrowing to a close,” explained Gaylyn Lawton, CFO at North America Home Finance. The NAHF executives connected with The Answer Company to build a solution that could pour all data from 11 entities into one integrated, organized, customizable, and smart ERP.
In it for the Long Haul
North America Home Finance has many different plans for expansion in the near future. NAHF’s involvement in Canada’s property development space was very unique, and over the next few years, they are planning to become involved in both the financing and actual construction management of new housing projects. This business case is uncommon, thus NAHF chose Acumatica Cloud ERP for its customizability and flexibility for various documentation, data entry, and management features.
Additionally, they already planned to onboard many construction-specific applications, so they appreciated Acumatica’s open API architecture that allows for seamless third-party system integrations.
Major Plans for Expansion
NAHF recently also invested in a modular manufacturing company with a plant in Alberta. They have plans to extend this company and build a new plant in Vancouver, where they are anticipating rapid and tremendous growth. The plans to dive into the manufacturing sector called for an ERP like Acumatica that could add on industry-specific modules, systems, and integrations whenever required.
“We favoured Acumatica for its extensive management systems for construction, manufacturing, distribution, and lots more,” expounded NAHF’s CEO, George Lawton. “Acumatica was the obvious choice because not only does it offer this web of systems that we can mix and match from, there are also no per-user fees and plenty of native integrations to save us developer costs. It is a solution that will move in parallel with our growth as a complex corporation over the next decade.”
With Acumatica Cloud ERP, NAHF was able to gain much stronger visibility into each company’s financial performance, project progress, and client information. Unlike Xero’s dashboards, Acumatica’s dashboards were easily customized to include all their entities, and can detect anomalies or outstanding amounts in their accounting. All their reports now showed balance sheets from each entity, allowing for easy cross-comparison. Most of all, Acumatica’s dashboards generated financial KPIs for all projects, generating an up-to-minute view of cash flows and revenues.
NAHF finally found efficiency in securely sharing data and reports with the many other parties they partner with. They were able to easily configure real-time dashboards with specific KPIs and user-level access to data. Instead of manually emailing stakeholders countless updated reports, they now rest assured that all partners and team members will always be on the same page with the most up-to-date numbers on their Acumatica dashboards.
Auditing and Accounting Efficiency
NAHF is audited annually and, with accounting data lacking accuracy and invoices scattered on different systems, audits were very time-consuming, cumbersome, and costly to complete. After switching to Acumatica’s accounting system, which kept all invoices on the cloud and included automated data entry, they reduced their audit time from three months to just one month.
Speedy Go-Live and Rapid Growth
“Finishing the Acumatica installation with The Answer Company’s assistance took a tremendous load off my shoulders, as they completed all basic configurations perfectly, and provided me with a constant line of communication discussing our advanced features and newly arising customizations,” recalled George Lawton. “The rest of my team appreciated the discovery survey. This one concise yet very effective survey asked questions about our technology use cases, naming conventions, and calendar, which all became important pieces to building our unique Acumatica solution.”
The NAHF team was especially pleased with the speed it took to go live with Acumatica. The Answer Company gave Lawton’s team space to implement their own configurations, while pushing the project along and keeping it within scope. What Lawton figured would be a three-month implementation actually only took one month to go live.
Ready to Grow Their Acumatica Solution Already
After just four months using Acumatica, NAHF already saw significant gains in efficiency. With this future-proofed solution, they felt much more confident adding entities and expanding into manufacturing. The group is already in discussion with The Answer Company about including certain automation around selling and investing, and expanding into Acumatica Construction Edition for construction-specific systems.