Located in New York City, Douglaston Development is a real estate development company committed to revitalizing and growing neighborhoods. They specialize in building residential developments including high-rise rentals and condominiums, affordable housing, hospitality, senior housing and mixed-use.
Douglaston Development controller shares how TimberScan and AvidPay modernize accounts payable
Adam Ditchfield graduated from CUNY Queen’s College in New York with his bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics. With nearly 15 years of experience working at Douglaston Development, Ditchfield serves as controller helping to oversee the financial and accounting aspects of development projects, as well as invoice approvals and balancing checks. His responsibilities also include analyzing finance models and visiting construction sites to meet with development teams.
The challenge: A decentralized AP system due to multi-site projects
The accounts payable (AP) department at Douglaston Development needed to address their lengthy invoice and payment approval process. Because their team worked across multiple offices and project sites, tracking down the necessary people involved would take extensive amounts of time and energy.
“To get a check into the contractor’s hands, we would have someone at our location approve the invoice and cut a check, then go somewhere else to meet the check signer, and then come all the way back to our office for postage and mailing.”
In addition, during the pandemic, many teammates across job sites were working remotely – slowing down the process even more.
“When our staff began working from home during the pandemic, we realized that our payment system was not sustainable enough to manage from a remote or hybrid work environment.”
Despite these challenges, Ditchfield wanted his team to take on more strategic work. To create time for this in their workday, he had to find a way to reduce the time spent on laborious, manual invoice and payment processes.
He began searching for an AP automation solution that could increase their invoice approval and payment processing speed, from any location, without sacrificing payment accuracy.
The solution: Implement TimberScan and AvidPay to make payments faster
To spend less time on manual tasks and improve their efficiency, the development firm decided to automate with AvidXchange in 2021. Douglaston Development implemented two products specifically designed for the construction industry to give them a full purchase-to-pay automation solution – TimberScan and AvidPay.
TimberScan streamlines the accounts payable process, enables access to real time data and reduces redundant work. With exceptional reporting capabilities, TimberScan helps Douglaston Development’s AP team make well-informed, timely decisions.
AvidPay is a full-service, paperless payment automation system designed to eliminate paper checks and provide savings in payment processing costs. This solution enables contractors and commercial developers to match purchase orders, manage invoices and access stored real-time and historical payment information 24/7 from one centralized platform.
“By adopting TimberScan embedded with AvidPay, our team can process payments much more quickly, regardless of where they work, thanks to its anytime, anywhere access.”
TimberScan and AvidPay integrate seamlessly with Douglaston Development’s accounting system – Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (CRE).
Sage 300 CRE is the most-widely used construction management software, providing contractors, developers, and property managers with a solution for managing the entire project or property lifecycle. Ditchfield was confident TimberScan and AvidPay’s integration with Sage 300 CRE was the perfect solution for the firm.
The result: Development firm reallocates time and cuts costs by 70%
By adopting TimberScan and AvidPay, Douglaston Development uncovered significant savings.
Ditchfield’s team is no longer spending time processing physical checks – they have the flexibility to process payments from the field or in-office. The team reallocates their newfound time and energy into more strategic tasks to move the firm forward.
“Our biggest challenge was that the paper payment process took way too long. We’ve always managed to get people paid, but now we can pay them on time with much less work and stress on our end.”
Not only is Douglaston Development saving time, but they’re also saving money. The firm has eliminated the hard costs from the accounts payable process – from printing checks and stocking envelopes to postage and transportation.
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