FloQast is used by NBA teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics to help manage team finances as the 2019/20 regular season begins play tomorrow. Their financial and accounting departments use the close management software as well as fellow league champions at the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Capitals in the NFL and NHL respectively, to improve business operations, close books faster and do so with increased accuracy. Numbers, whether they are ticket, concession or merchandise sales, have traditionally been updated through spreadsheets. These winning professional sport teams have this one thing in common when addressing the need to upgrade financials into the cloud, FloQast. The Sports Techie community blog chatted with FloQast CEO, Mike Whitmire, and Boston Celtics Controller, Alice Zottoli, about complexity and diversity needs met by this award winning close management software. Professional basketball, baseball, football and hockey teams all count on FloQast technology to handle and automate accounting responsibilities. The Los Angeles based company is considered a mainstay for pro sports organizations as they transition to innovative, cloud-based, SaaS solutions as a means of optimizing and standardizing both financial management and accounting operations through software created by accountants for accountants.
Money Metrics Solutions
Calculating seating, sponsorship and player salaries for a pro sports business often involves many time consuming and manual steps often kept track of in hundreds, if not thousands, of Excel spreadsheets and existing checklists that are especially hard to manage when it comes to reconciliations. Closing financial books each month often lands on the desks of an entire department or just a few employees who all need to stay on top of fast changing guidelines. Revenue sharing and collective bargaining agreements also need to be taken into account so Uncle Sam and the IRS get their fair share of financial collectibles. Keeping the flow of financial data centralized across multiple businesses and ERP systems requires customizable internal controls that are adaptable to government and league compliance necessities. On average, accounting teams who rely on FloQast close three days faster.
“There is a direct link between the innovation that sports franchises exhibit playing on the court or on the field and their back-office financial operations. These teams are under constant public and private scrutiny. Consequently, it is an enormous validation for FloQast that many of the world’s most well known and successful sports franchises have selected our close management solution to optimize their accounting processes and deliver unprecedented speed and accuracy to their financial close,” said Whitmire, CPA* (*inactive), co-founder and CEO of FloQast.
Zottoli spoke to me about using the software to manage monthly close works, ticket reconciliation, and accounts payable.
With dependencies and deadlines, the Celtics need to have certain accounting tasks done before moving on. She mentioned three separate audits – the BRI, CFS and Gap audits that run from the end of season until November. FloQast made this work a lot faster. The auditors can log in to the user friendly GI as needed.
The first year they used FloQast to close books, Bill Reissfelder, Boston Celtics chief financial officer (CFO) set up the structure as the software allows it to be customized. He implemented structured tasks and checklists. All this was up front work and as a result, the Celtics were able to change and improve work flow.
FloQast helped with closes, was more accurate and timely, and enabled their accounting staff to jell well for improved group workflow and operatives. The VP, Controller and CFO were able to guide the staff towards meeting important deadlines much easier resulting in improved task completions.
Alice talked about the importance of a check list and follow up procedures with assigned people to get things done. Before the switch to FloQast, not all personnel were on hand to close. A FloQast selling point for users is it shows responsibilities, in the Celtics case, ticketing account close outs. With their Shamrock Foundation, the team was able to assign reviewers and become more streamline.
While there is not a mobile app yet, retrieving e-mails for an audit is a big task FloQast easily generates. Because it is cloud based, Alice and the accountant team can work on tasks from home on the weekends or even during vacations as needed, as opposed to before when they could not get to a task when everything was on office drives and not accessible via laptops. The days of working out of Excel, sharing files through drop box, and popping into the office for months close and to consolidate, have ended thanks to FloQast.
FloQast has become a mainstay among corporations and professional sports teams alike searching for innovative cloud-based solutions to improve their financial and accounting operations. FloQast has more than 750 accounting departments onboard, including Twilio, DocuSign and Zillow, in addition to a generous amounts of National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Football League (NFL) teams all relying on the proprietary close management software to close their books.
- Atlanta Hawks
- Boston Celtics
- Chicago Cubs
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Milwaukee Brewers
- The Golden State Warriors
- Washington Capitals and Wizards (Monumental Sports)
- And other NBA, MLB and NFL teams
“FloQast has vastly improved the monthly close for the Boston Celtics,” said Reissfelder. “We are able to streamline workflows making our month-end close significantly faster, improving collaboration and visibility across the accounting team, organizing the process for all of our entities, and delivering a new level of accuracy for our various audits.”
For more information on how FloQast can streamline and improve the accuracy of champions whether on the field or off, visit www.FloQast.com.
Sports Techie, as technology advanced both on court and in the front office from a revenue stream perspective, their complicated back-end office needed to keep up which is what FloQast does for their customers.
The Warriors, Celtics and Eagles reduced the time it takes to close its books, which is critical for meeting deadlines such as the post-season audit for the purposes of determining the salary cap for the following season along with paramount tasks like opening the new $2 billion Chase Center arena.
With regards to Chase Center and the Warriors, Whitmire says FloQast supported all accounting needs and all the work around the new stadium which he said was tons of work. The team has 15-20 people in their accounting department requiring a new stadium set up and structure. To wrap up the new project and close the books, FloQast can be structured as needed then operate as usual. With a one-off project they can custom the software.
The Celtics and Warriors use cases were similar in that both happened in-season, around playoff time. The Celtics were making a push for Kyrie Irving and reached out to FloQast.
“The Eagles were a fun deal,” said Mike. This sales cycle happened during their Super Bowl LII run and they signed on right after. The deal had certain needs including salary cap, capitalization, account estimation, and reporting requirements.
I asked Mike about his backyard team, the LA Dodgers. He is a big fan but they are presently not a client. FloQast gave a demo during the Frank McCourt era. Now that there is new Dodgers management that wants to spend and automate the back-office, Mike feels the ownership that runs the company and team may give them another look.
As newer technologies such as AI, machine learning and quantum computing mature, FloQast will certainly push the envelope to ensure their clients have to most cutting edge and robust close management software in the United States, if not the world.
My gratitude goes out to Mike and Alice for speaking to me for this sports tech blog. I am not a finance expert but after learning about FloQast, I recommend you get in touch with them should your accounting and financial needs need a proven technology upgrade.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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