SiteMinder is the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, ranked among technology pioneers for its smart and simple solutions that put hotels everywhere their guests are, at every stage of their journey.
After nearly a decade of rapidly scaling its software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, SiteMinder realised its systems and processes hadn’t kept pace with its multi-national, multi-product business model. “When you’re a high-growth business moving quickly into different countries, what can happen is that each of your offices creates their own accounts. We ended up with a complicated chart of more than 1,500 accounts”, says Global Finance Director, Nick Glass.
More pain was coming from Excel-based manual consolidations, no workflow for expense approvals, and coding segment limitations that made it impossible to get enterprise-wide insights. “It was hard to separate out the foreign exchange (FX) noise from how the business was actually performing.”
The excessive manual processing meant month end close ran to 20 days, which was exhausting for a team of talented finance professionals keen to get their teeth into more strategic issues such as identifying revenue opportunities.
The resulting inefficiency, constrained talent optimisation and lack of cost accountability and insights were inhibiting growth and business expansion. Nick was also concerned about single points of failure and the fact that the lack of workflows increased risk and the potential for fraud. “We wanted automation, structure and more control.”
As a SaaS company, SiteMinder’s software selection process wasn’t just focused on buying a product but choosing a company it trusted to evolve in the right direction. As Nick explains: “With SaaS, you get regular updates. It’s not so much whether a company is offering a feature you need today, but if they will do so in the future in a way that works for you – at the time you need it. We wanted automation, structure and more control, and Workday financial management was the right choice to get us there.”
“We were confident Workday could adapt, grow and innovate with us. I’d worked with them before and my experience was that, any time we had an issue, they would listen to us and immediately get the right people involved. Ultimately, that ability to partner with us to solve problems and get the project over the line is why we’re with Workday.”
Workday gives us the great agility and the ability to scale the business at pace.
Global Finance Director
Empowered decision makers.
Using Workday’s self-service tools, SiteMinder’s lines of business now produce their own reports – accessible on any device. Business users can drill from the top line right down to invoices, gaining greater insight into revenue and profitability items – slicing and dicing data at will. Dashboards are customised to meet individual departmental needs, making information highly digestible. From a control perspective, the CEO has full access to all the numbers, whereas an individual cost centre manager will only see the KPIs and metrics relevant to their department.
The new system has created greater accountability for budget holders and improved cost management, linking budgets to actuals more closely than in the past and enabling smarter decisions about appropriate spend.
The Finance team has gained comprehensive control of its multi-currency operations, leveraging seven different currency rates to generate significant efficiencies for the business.
We’re enhancing reporting all the time to best fit the needs of the business and get an increasingly rich set of insights. It’s great to see people jumping into Workday and doing their own analysis.
Global Finance Director
More time and greater control.
With a simplified chart of accounts, real-time consolidation and fully automated accounts payable, SiteMinder’s 20-day month end close has been cut in half. The finance team no longer has to chase expense approvals manually. The system is fully automated with employees uploading photos of receipts from their phones and able to track where each submission is up to.
The Finance team is using the extra days – including time saved from business lines building their own reports – to partner strategically with the business.
Now we can complete our month-end close in half the time, we can correct the ship and act on insights quickly, creating a multiplier effect for the business.
Global Finance Director
Comprehensive security and audit.
Workday has revolutionised audits for SiteMinder. “Our auditors now have their own login, allowing them to go in and find information for themselves,” says Nick. Controls and governance capabilities are built into the core of the Workday system, ramping up security and enabling more controls testing. Control and accountability have also improved, with Workday producing a clear, time-stamped audit trail of each approval.