Greentree Manages Tourist Magnet’s Diverse Demands

The Museum of Old and New Art, an innovative museum, entertainment and functions complex, draws flocks of tourists, and Greentree keeps tabs on its multi-faceted business.

CHALLENGE: MONA was an ambitious project that required a highly flexible financial system capable of handling numerous transactions and likely business expansion, as well as on-the-spot data analysis.

SOLUTION: Greentree’s Financial Management integrates with multiple POS terminals, catering for 50 diverse profit centres, while Greentree IQ* delivers instant analysis in whatever detail required.

RESULTS: Hundreds of thousands of transactions are handled easily, costs are tightly controlled, and despite rapid expansion, the finance department has required only one extra employee.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), in Hobart, has become Tasmania’s second most popular tourist attraction since it opened in 2011, drawing more than 380,000 visitors in its first year.

The brainchild of David Walsh, MONA is Australia’s largest private museum comprising 6,000 square metres of gallery space, presenting antiquities alongside modern and contemporary art. The unconventional and challenging curatorial approach has gained international recognition and made MONA a must-see destination for visitors to both the state of Tasmania and Australia.

However, the museum is only one aspect of a highly diverse operation. It’s located within the Moorilla winery, and there’s also Moo Brew boutique brewery, a function centre, luxury accommodation, a restaurant, a cafe, a couple of bars, a museum gallery shop, and a wholesale and retail wine operation. MONA hosts various events and festivals as well, and employs about 170 fulltime equivalent staff, supplemented by additional casual labour during the tourist season.

MANY BUSINESS HATS

“Effectively we’re a hospitality business, an agricultural business, a manufacturing business, an events-based business, a museum and cultural business, as well as a wholesaler and retailer,” says MONA’s Accountant, Patrick Kelly. “We needed to control all of that under one umbrella, and it was plain that our old accounting system couldn’t cope.”

Greentree was assessed along with other popular business solutions, and was chosen for its scope of functionality and the flexibility it offered for a
business that was likely to expand rapidly.

“It was the system that was most rounded to be able to deal with all aspects of the business,” Patrick says. Most of MONA’s income derives from small visitor transactions via some 20 POS terminals in the businesses scattered around the complex. There are around half a million such transactions per year, and Greentree’s integration with the POS systems ensures relatively simple importing of data. The number of retail outlets at MONA doubled in the space of two years, but that was no problem for Greentree.

DATA DELIVERED IN SECONDS

For Patrick, the most valuable tool is Greentree IQ, which eliminates the time-consuming burden of manually manipulating spreadsheets, whether it’s crunching the data from the various consumer outlets, or calculating the wages bill from an average of 250 timesheets per week. “Most of the reports I do come from IQ and MONA’s two POS systems. From month-end profit and loss, split a variety of ways, to running inventory reports and sales by our interstate representatives,” he explains.

“Within the company we have about 50 individual profit centres, and in seconds I can group or exclude any number of different profit centres and get a consolidated result. Using data from IQ* and our two POS systems, I can also look at the performance of an individual business unit on a weekly basis, and determine whether that unit is delivering against budgeted targets and margins.

“I can be as detailed or consolidated as I want because of the ease at which IQ* can provide those figures.” An on-the-spot query concerning specific costs in any part of the MONA operation can be dealt with straight away because of the live data provided by Greentree’s Workflow desktop. The seasonal tourism demands are monitored and adjusted, to ensure that staffing levels are appropriate for the level of business. However, as far as the financial staff is concerned, only one extra employee has been needed to handle the rapid growth of business.

CONFIDENCE FOR MORE GROWTH

“Greentree is critical in terms of historic reporting of results, and forecasting future profitability and performance of business units to make them more accountable and efficient,” Patrick says.

“We’re only going to continue to evolve and grow, which will place more demands on our systems, and we’re confident that Greentree and our compatible POS systems will be able to deal with it.”

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