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    How Real Estate Development Software Unites Finance and Project Teams

    Over the course of a complex development process, your project management and financial teams need to communicate to bring projects in on time and under budget. Finance and project teams work together to ensure a project is financially feasible, capital is deployed correctly, and investors or other key stakeholders receive reports on a project’s progress. Effective collaboration between finance and project teams is often impeded by siloed project information, incompatible workflows, and reliance on outdated and error-prone spreadsheets.

    Luckily, real estate development software can help bridge the gap between finance and project teams, increasing efficiency across your organization and facilitating collaboration. When key project data is kept in spreadsheets, team members can get bogged down in manual data entry that consumes valuable time and doesn’t leave room for collaboration. Outdated workflows can also make it more difficult for finance and project teams to share vital project information. By leveraging modern real estate development software, you can facilitate better cross-functional communication and collaboration.  

    Here you’ll learn more about how the right real estate development software can help unite your finance and project teams, leading to faster project delivery and significant cost savings. 

    Why Project Management and Finance Teams Struggle With Collaboration 

    Finance and project management teams have similar responsibilities on a complex development project, but each team serves a unique function. Finance teams tend to focus on budgeting, cost management, and financial analysis. Meanwhile, project managers are responsible for ensuring projects come in on time, resources are allocated correctly, and budgets don’t run over. Overlap in these responsibilities can result in miscommunication, especially as both teams work to see out their own set of responsibilities. 

    The most common issue that comes up when your project and finance teams are focused on individual responsibilities and not communicating properly is information silos. Information silos can result in further miscommunication, duplicate efforts where both teams perform the same task, and general inefficiencies in the development process. For example, finance teams often don’t have real-time visibility into a project’s progress, which can lead to errors in budgeting or reporting that derail project progress. Finance teams can also end up working off outdated financial data that is manually entered into accounting software at the end of the month, instead of accessing the most recent data via direct integration with real estate development software. Siloed workflows can also make it more difficult to preserve institutional knowledge, meaning your finance and project teams won’t be able to access historical data in the decision-making process. 

    Lack of efficiency is another obstacle to promoting collaboration between project and finance teams. When both project and finance teams are bogged down with tedious manual data entry, it can take time that could otherwise be used for collaborative decision-making. Leaders on these teams also do not want to spend their time on lengthy back-and-forth over email and are further disincentivized from communicating cross-functionally. Tedious administrative tasks have a ripple effect across your organization, creating further misalignment between accounting and project teams. 

    How Real Estate Development Software Facilitates Communication and Coordination 

    Increased Efficiency

    Finance and project management teams can eliminate manual data entry by leveraging modern real estate development software to manage administrative tasks like data uploads and document management. Automation tools can also generate investor reports, and stakeholder links, and draw requests simply and effectively. Once project and finance teams are freed from tedious administrative tasks, both can align to focus on high-level and strategic decision-making. 

    Early Project Planning 

    Modern real estate development software can also help your project and finance teams start collaboration in the early project planning stages, using automation to index all contracts, proposals, change orders, lien waivers, and more, organizing valuable project data into easy-to-use dashboards. Northspyre, a purpose-built, single software solution for developers, tags all the data and makes it searchable, enabling your entire team to make data-driven decisions. 

    The Anticipated Cost Report also acts as a risk detection tool, identifying potential concerns and opportunities in your project’s budget. The tool accurately tracks all aspects of your project’s finances including contingency, variance, available funds, cost per square foot, acquisition costs, and more. Project and finance teams can use these alerts to proactively plan budgets, preventing overruns and other budget concerns. 

    Two-Way Integrations 

    Northspyre has two-way accounting integrations with platforms including Yardi Voyager, QuickBooks, and Sage Intacct that allow you to simplify and streamline existing accounting workflows. The integrations are synced with Northspyre, meaning your project teams won’t need to check in with accounting once payments are made to ensure they are paid out in Northspyre. The platforms are always in sync, and payment information is automatically shared in Northspyre, eliminating the need for manual data entry. By working with both platforms, your accounting team can ensure project managers can access key budget information and data without disrupting pre-existing workflows. Doing so will also offer real-time visibility into potential cost overruns before they become a problem, whereas relying on accounting systems alone can result in a 30-day lag time for insights that could be costing your team money. 

    [Guide] Reimagine the role that technology plays within your real estate firm.

    How Competitive Firms Use Technology to Unite Project Management and Finance Teams 

    Northspyre partnered with Watermark Properties to eliminate the burden of financial data entry and make data more easily accessible across the organization. Before implementing the platform, the team had no strategies for dealing with complex budgeting and accounting software. The team needed the ability to go back into past draws and have tools integrated with both Yardi and Quickbooks. Northspyre improved the firm’s workflows, helping not just with budgets, but also with document management for contracts and lien waivers. “Northspyre gives us a great advantage when we're working with Yardi, our accounting software, as before we had to do manual entries, from different platforms to our accounting software,” Kyle Nelson, Watermark’s Senior Project Accountant, said. “Now Northspyre gives us an upload that we can upload directly into Yardi accounting software, and it helps us get rid of a lot of manual work.”

    Oxbow Development Group, a real estate company based in San Antonio, has seen significant improvement in project management and budgeting processes since implementing Northspyre. Before implementing the platform, both project and finance teams relied on outdated spreadsheets for budget management and project tracking. The team was looking for a real estate development tool that could handle complex projects with ease and without the burden typically imposed by traditional accounting systems. 

    Northspyre’s platform provided both the flexibility and user-friendliness Oxbow needed to unite project management and finance teams. The Director of Finance at Oxbow, Dan Petro, believes the two platforms helped align the entire development team. "One of my favorite features about Northspyre is the flexibility around budget management, budget reallocation, which allows everyone in the process to impact the budgets, and move projects forward very quickly," Petro said.  

    Learn More About Northspyre 

    Northspyre is purpose-built using automation to reduce manual data entry, increase productivity, and maximize your returns from pre-development to project completion. The cloud-based platform enables project managers to quickly and effortlessly manage all aspects of their projects in one easy-to-use platform. Finance teams can use the platform to centralize accounting and eliminate the endless hours spent combing through spreadsheets and historical data with a single centralized platform. Northspyre also has two-way integrations with solutions like Yardi, MRI, and more, meaning your team won’t waste time reconciling inconsistent figures or entering data across multiple platforms. 

    Download our ebook It’s Time To Address Tech Debt in Commercial Real Estate to learn more about how real estate software can provide systemic and streamlined solutions to pain points.

    Guide: It’s Time to Address Tech Debt in Commercial Real Estate


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