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How PBSA providers are transforming finance & accounting into a strategic asset

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How PBSA providers are transforming finance & accounting into a strategic asset

As a finance leader, do you view finance & accounting as an asset, or an expense?

Today, CFOs and FDs in the incredibly vibrant purpose-build student accommodation sector are expected to provide strategic advice to the business. 

As the sector continues to grow and consolidate on the back of several mergers and acquisitions, CEOs and investors need support from their finance leaders. They want help to and measure the business’ performance ad they also want to a granular level of access to insightful information to support complex decisions. The finance team is seen more and more as  a business partner and the expectation is that the finance team will drive performance improvement initiatives.

Against this backdrop, finance leaders are under pressure to rapidly deploy new technologies, extract and deliver accurate reports, and inject more flexibility in their F&A operations to accommodate the evolving needs of a business functioning in a highly dynamic landscape.

How leading PBSA providers are transforming their F&A functions 
In order to meet the expectations from the business, finance leaders in the PBSA sector are looking at the three Ps (People, Process and Platform) – recruit and retain experience property management accountants; optimise the processes for various finance & accounting functions; and invest in the right kind of technology for digitisation and automation. Let’s look at each of the elements in detail. 

1) Property management accounting talent pool
The PBSA sector in the UK is growing every year; however, it is a small niche and a small world. Finding talented accountants who possess an in-depth understanding of the sector is difficult. Things can get quite difficult if a talented member of the F&A team decide to call it a day (especially during the busy July-September season!).

At QX, we have work with 6 of top student accommodation companies, and we have been offering finance & accounting services to the sector for over a decade now. With a pool of close to 100 property management accountants who are well versed in how the PBSA sector in the UK works, we make sure that our clients never have to worry about staffing related issues.

In the words of Mahesh Jain, CEO – QX F&A Services: “We provide world-class services with insightful reporting and combine these with plug-and-play models that make it easy to integrate new properties into the system. This means that our clients have reliable and strong accounting support to achieve their business goals.”

2) Centralised and optimised accounting processes
Another key issue pertains to training the staff and making sure they are on the same page. Companies that buy or merge sites soon realise that now they have a number of accountants working across sites, following different processes and using different systems. When the goal is to access the financial data pertaining to the entire organisation in granular detail, this can often be a major hurdle. 

QX’s accounting services cover 100,000+ beds spanning across 250+ sites, providing them with financial solutions modelled around their specific needs. QX functions as the central accounting hub for its clients in the sector – following the transition, we focus on optimising each accounting function and deliver as per well-defined SLAs and KPIs, providing professional and reliable support to PBSA companies. In addition, we replace people-driven systems with process-driven systems to ensure top-notch, high performance operations day in and day out. 

3) Smart digitisation and automation
Huge volumes, large number of tenants, multiple sites, dozens of bank accounts, and a high number of suppliers make PBSA accounting complex and time consuming. In order to boost overall efficiency, improve the turnaround times, and reduce the costs of accounting operations, PBSA providers need to optimise the use of technology. Getting a better software system is just the first step; the next step is to digitise and automate rules-based and repetitive processes. 

QX harnesses the power of  ADAM and EVE to automate a wide range of F&A functions. Leveraging Robotic Process Automation and Cognitive technologies, our solutions can automate a wide range of rules-based, repetitive, time-consuming activities. By combining automation with process optimisation, we are able to deliver significant cost reductions, productivity gains and efficiency improvements to companies in the student accommodation, multifamily, build-to-rent and other real estate sectors.

Is F&A a strategic asset for your organisation?
Strong and efficient finance departments are foundational to the success of any company in the PBSA sector. With the right people, process and platform, it is possible to significantly elevate the performance of your finance functions. To learn more about how this can be achieved, please get in touch with us.



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