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System Helps Retailer With Health Care Law

SITKA, Alaska — Hames Corp., which operates owns and manages several retail stores here and in Ketchikan, has successfully implemented budgeting and forecasting software, from Centage, Natick, Mass., which has helped manage changes related to the Affordable Care Act.

“Budgeting was becoming problematic from the standpoint of timeliness, accuracy and frankly relevance,” said Maxwell Rule, chief financial officer, Hames Corp. “It became so cumbersome and difficult and something had to be done to better manage the growth and competitive environment of our business.  Our financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting for internal management purposes was not where it needed to be.”

After researching several options, Rule selected Centage’s Budget Maestro system for budgeting, forecasting, consolidations and reporting. The company can now import its actuals from Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting software in addition to being able to budget by department at a detailed level. The retailer can also produce a cash flow statement and execute cash forecasting automatically as the budget changes, in real time.  

The system also has been the ability to manage personnel costs, tracking and analyzing all salary-related expenses and providing an understanding of costs by individual employee.  “The ability to analyze and budget labor and related benefit costs has been invaluable, particularly in light of the unknowns and challenges related to the Affordable Care Act,” said Rule. “We can now accurately budget and monitor our healthcare costs, even down to the specifics of an individual employee’s health plan options.”

In addition, the system provides regular reports for balance sheets, cash flows, results from operations and department profitability. “Budget Maestro has replaced some of our ‘traditional’ financial reporting,” continued Rule.  “This new, strategic approach to reporting has made our shareholders, executives and management team very happy and more confident in the long term financial success of our organization.”

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