Customer Story | Country Club

Club at Ravenna Ottimate customer story graphic

How The Club at Ravenna Streamlines Invoices and Payments with AP Automation

“Managers can approve invoices from their phones, wherever they are, and have vendors send bills directly to the platform. So it’s been a lot more efficient. I spend so much less time doing AP processing because of the transition to Ottimate.”

Stephanie Liby
Accounting Manager
80% less time
spent on AP with Ottimate







Club Essentials




In the heart of Colorado’s Waterton Canyon sits The Club at Ravenna, a golf club and lifestyle community that covers more than 630 acres of pristine terrain just outside Littleton. 


Since its founding in 2012, the property has gone through a number of changes. Today, the club consists of a golf course, fitness center, restaurant, and more, with a brand new clubhouse on the way, along with a rapidly expanding community of on-site homes.


Ravenna is a large operation, supported by the skill and dedication of a small finance team, who manage all of the club’s entities and departments. 


Leading the charge is Stephanie Liby, Ravenna’s Accounting Manager, who works alongside a part-time CFO and an office manager who lends a hand when needed. It’s this small group of people who process every invoice that comes into Ravenna — even during the busy season, when they see an increase in volume. 



“Our club has about 50 employees year-round, and we go up to 100 in the summer,” Stephanie says. “But our [finance] team is the same. We have a pretty good process going, so even though the volume increases, it’s still kind of the same process.”


But as part of the team’s commitment to efficiency, Ravenna saw one area in need of immediate improvement: the way it collected, approved, and paid invoices. Setting out to fix that put them on the road to greater efficiency and more cohesive operations across their business.


“A Lot of Manual Paperwork”


The bottleneck in Ravenna’s accounts payable (AP) process was apparent as soon as Stephanie joined the country club. 


“There was a lot of paper going around,” Stephanie recalls. “I was spending a lot of my time just trying to sort through what invoices we’ve already entered, which ones we haven’t entered, which ones were approved. It was really kind of confusing.”


Getting invoices approved by department heads also proved a challenge. 


“We would scan [invoices] in and send them to the department and wait to get them back, approved. Managers would have to print them out and code them, then send that in an email back to the accounting team just so that we knew they were approved and that they could be paid.”


While the process seemed straightforward, several obstacles stood in the way. Each department head kept different hours and were physically spread out across the property. They also had their own unique preferences for how things like paying bills and managing inventory should play out. Accommodating everyone became difficult, and, as a result, invoices fell through the cracks.

We’re not in the same space as the other managers. They have their jobs, they’re running around. It’s hard to get them to come to our office and approve these invoices. They all have different priorities.

“And I think some of those invoices just got lost,” says Stephanie. “Even this year, I still get calls or emails saying, ‘Hey, this invoice has been outstanding since last year,’ and I didn’t even know about it.


“I don’t even think any invoices were being entered into [our ERP] Jonas until they were approved. That led us to understate what amount we had outstanding to vendors. Especially in the summer, when all the managers got busy, we didn’t get invoices back in a timely way, so we didn’t know what was approved and what was yet to be approved.”


Their paper-based system created a lack of coordination around what was paid, and even what was outstanding. And the reporting, says Stephanie, was inaccurate.


“It was kind of a mess.”



Not only was it a hassle to get invoices approved, but the process of paying them was also time-consuming and nearly doubled the amount of manual work Stephanie and her team were doing. 


“We would save copies of the invoices and organize them based on the due date, then we would pay everything in Jonas. That meant physically printing checks and stapling them to the invoices and stacking them up for the CFO to sign. And, you know, in the summer, there were a bunch of them. So it was a very manual process that took a while.”


With plans for a major expansion on the horizon, the staff at Ravenna knew a better way was needed. They began their search for solutions that could integrate with their existing systems and technologies, including Jonas and Club Essentials.


They found Ottimate.


Automating custom workflows with Ottimate


Ottimate’s invoice and payment automation solutions proved the perfect fit for streamlining AP across Ravenna’s large and diverse property. Once implemented, the Ravenna finance team saw several benefits: 


A Digital Source of Truth for Invoices


For the first time, the team was able to eliminate paper.


“It’s a lot more efficient with Ottimate,” says Stephanie. “Now they can hit ‘approve’ instead of [department heads] having to physically write the coding on each invoice and send it back to us so we can code it.”



And, more importantly, the team gained their first-ever source of truth for invoices.


“It’s really been helpful to get the managers to send all of their invoices to Ottimate, so that at least I know I’m dealing with all of the invoices in one spot, as opposed to trying to track down a bunch of paper and scan those in.”


Coding, Splitting, and Approving by Department


Having a streamlined AP process didn’t mean that Ravenna had to change the approval workflows they wanted to implement. Stephanie was able to recreate all of the approval procedures she had before — all in a far more user-friendly system.


“We code invoices by department and have the heads of those departments approve them. If it goes to G&A, I have our CFO approve it. If it goes to horticulture or housekeeping, that’s the same manager for both those. There are specific vendors that the Golf Pro approves and then specific vendors that the Player Services Manager approves.


“So the chain of approval depends on which invoice we get. And if there’s an invoice over $10,000, I have the manager approve it, but I also have our CFO approve it, too.”


Ottimate not only automated how invoices were coded by a single department — it also simplified the process of splitting invoices between departments.


“If I upload an invoice to the golf course maintenance email address, for example, that would be automatically coded to the golf course maintenance department, which is great,” Stephanie says.


“But if the invoice is for items like, let’s say, apparel over at the golf shop, the actual inventory would be coded to a different department than the delivery fee, which goes to the golf shop. 


“With Ottimate, the coding is pretty easy, and the approval is streamlined. And then, obviously, the exporting to Jonas is only one little step.”



Zero-Touch Payments and Segmented Reporting


After the invoices are approved, Ottimate helps Stephanie pay the bills without touching a single paper check.


“Our bill pay process used to be just paying out of Jonas and printing checks. We’d put a little packet together for our CFO to approve: We’d have the check on the front and the actual physical copy of the vendor invoice behind it. And then she would go through and sign everything, and then we would put them in mail.”

It was very manual before. Now we do all of our bill payments through Ottimate. It sends out the checks for us.

Once the AP process is complete, the team is able to use Ottimate for reporting. They can then share their finances with stakeholders in a comprehensive and sophisticated way. 


“In both Ottimate and Jonas, our total financials combine all of our departments. But we can also split them out and see how, for example, F&B is doing at our clubhouse, how the fitness center is doing, stuff like that. Every department that we have, we can see individually. 


“We just want to make sure we’re performing to our budget. So that’s why we keep track of actuals in that same way.”


Saving an Entire Day Each Week with Smarter AP


With Ottimate fully rolled out at Ravenna, the country club’s various departments now have a simple process that everyone understands.  Stephanie and her team no longer have to chase people down for approvals, making life easier for them — as well as for department heads and leadership across the organization. 

Each manager has a different process. I used to have to cater to different schedules. Now it’s the same process for everyone: They have to go onto Ottimate and approve it in order for it to be paid. It’s just streamlined how people look at invoices.


For Stephanie, the time savings alone have changed how she does her job. She’s now spending about 90 minutes a week on something that used to take her an entire day.


“I was spending a full day every week just sorting through paper and making sure I knew the status of each invoice. It was taking a lot of my time. Now, since Ottimate recognizes a lot of the different line items already, that’s about 30 minutes a morning — max. Most of the time, it’s 10 or 15 minutes.”


Managing payments has also never been easier, especially with a CFO who isn’t always on property. According to Stephanie:

Bill payment has also been streamlined the same way. Every week, I just set up payments through a certain date. It’s pretty seamless. And like I mentioned, our CFO isn’t in the office a lot, so it’s great that she is able to approve those payments from anywhere. I just feel like it’s more efficient for everyone.

The Club at Ravenna is a large property that will continue to scale as it grows its amenities and community residences. And with the help of Ottimate, Stephanie and the accounting team will be able to easily manage the increased AP workload coming their way. 


Armed with a smooth and highly efficient AP process, Ravenna’s entire team benefits from Ottimate’s solutions — making a world of difference for all involved. 


“It’s been so much better getting everything on Ottimate. [Managers] can approve invoices from their phone or wherever they are, and they can have vendors send bills directly to the platform. So it’s been a lot more efficient. I spend so much less time doing AP processing because of the transition to Ottimate.”

Schedule a demo today to see how Ottimate can help your country club achieve greater AP efficiency!