Located just northwest of Lake Tahoe in Nevada, the Reno-Sparks area is a popular destination for tourists and business travelers. The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) was established in 1959, and today acts as a marketing organization that promotes convention and tourism activity in the region.
The organization found itself struggling with an outdated software system. The reporting needs of the RSCVA had evolved beyond the capabilities of its software. Data extraction and analysis was tedious work for employees, requiring re-entry into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. In fact, RSCVA employees were avoiding using the software altogether.
In addition to better reporting capabilities, the RSCVA needed a customized room tax system that could track the collection and distribution of hotel and motel room taxes. With over 240 properties in the county, hotel and motel room taxes represent a significant portion of its revenue.
After exploring the solutions of three other highly reputable software companies, the RSCVA selected Mitchell Humphrey & Co. The accounting manager for the RSCVA led the charge on the implementation.
“Mitchell Humphrey & Co. was clearly ahead of the other vendors, not only in their ability to provide the financial applications we needed, but also in their ability to design and deliver the custom room tax system,” said Jeff Jensen, Accounting Manager.
Along with the customized room tax system, the RSCVA implemented the FMS General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Purchasing software.
FMS enabled the RSCVA to eliminate all hard copies of its accounting records, saving not only paper but also eliminating the need for employees to spend time filing documents and freeing up valuable storage space. “It’s hard to put a dollar figure on what we’re saving, but it definitely will add up over time,” said Jeff Jensen.
The RSCVA also acquired the FMS Productivity suite and FMS Exec tools. With the Productivity suite, employees can scan invoices, hotel and motel room tax returns, and other documents. The scanned images, along with any other attachments, are then automatically associated with the appropriate customer, vendor, or asset. FMS Exec features a powerful two-way transfer capability between FMS and external spreadsheet tools like Microsoft Excel, thus eliminating the data entry redundancy that RSCVA employees had to perform before its implementation.
“Since we implemented FMS and its tools, our efficiency has increased substantially,” said Jeff Jensen. “Our double-entry efforts for general ledger and purchasing data are a thing of the past. Plus, since we are able to scan documents and download data directly into the FMS system, our staff is able to simply pull up what they need versus the old procedure of searching through file drawers and storage.”
Continued Partnership & Improvement
After the initial success of its FMS implementation, the RSCVA continued exploring ways they could improve their process. Because of their continued relationship with Mitchell Humphrey & Co., the RSCVA was introduced to FastTrackGov (FTG)—specifically its Hospitality Tax software module.
Implementing FastTrackGov provided dramatic time savings for RSCVA employees and increased convenience for the hotel and motel managers in the area. With FTG, hotel and motel managers were able to enter their tax return information and submit them electronically, instead of filling out and mailing or faxing paper forms.
For the RSCVA, the impact of this new process increased efficiency in several ways. First, it eliminated the need for RSCVA employees to perform data entry for the returns, which saved time and reduced the opportunity for entry errors. Second, it reduced processing time by eliminating the need to wait for mailed or faxed documents and also ensured all necessary items were submitted at the same time due to the requirements of the electronic system. Finally, these time savings allowed the RSCVA to receive revenue funds faster than ever before.
Today, the custom room tax system that Mitchell Humphrey & Co. created for the RSCVA processes up to 360 returns per month totaling $43 million in revenue annually. The efficiencies created by FMS and FTG have also resulted in significant gains in productivity, saving money for the organization, and time for its employees.