Winton setting the standard for NZ property development

Discover how this ASX and NZX-listed property development company is building tomorrow’s neighbourhoods today with the help of BDO Information Systems and MYOB Advanced Business.

As a publicly listed property developer, Winton knows property is much more than buildings. It’s about delivering thriving neighbourhoods that are best by design.

Winton is an NZX and ASX-listed group of 30+ companies, that specialises in developing integrated and fully master-planned communities. Its portfolio is vast and wide-ranging. Currently, the company has 28 large-scale projects in progress across New Zealand and Australia, with around $720 million in gross pre-sales. In the past couple of years, it also launched a new luxury retirement brand called Northbrook, which currently has five villages in various stages of development.

Since the BDO Information Systems team’s implementation of MYOB Advanced Business, Winton now has automated consolidation and customised reporting, unlocking speed and efficiency that proved invaluable when preparing its IPO in December 2021.

Discovering new consolidation and search capabilities

As Chief Financial Officer Jean McMahon explains, the company structure of Winton is what adds a layer of complexity to its financial operations.

“We're a large group with a lot going on, but we have quite a small finance team. Because of the nature of our business, we don't have sales coming in every day, they come in big blocks, and that process of receiving the money from the customer is all done pursuant to settlement statements prepared by external lawyers acting on the company’s behalf.”

Winton is made up of 30+ subsidiary entities in New Zealand and Australia, all of which were previously managed separately using MYOB AccountRight.

The accounting system had served the company well, but, as Jean describes, “we completely outgrew it”. Searching for a supplier or customer involved in multiple projects was a manual process, and it lacked functionality like automated consolidation that was needed.

“We realised it was time to bring everything together in an integrated system that would allow us to efficiently obtain information across all our entities.

“MYOB Advanced Business solved that problem for us. It could do something quite complicated for a company of our size and within our budget.

“We met with three partners that could assist us and we specifically chose BDO Information Systems as we thought they were going to work well with our team and really listened to what we needed.”

Faster, quality reporting across all entities

With MYOB Advanced Business, Winton moved from having 30+ MYOB AccountRight files to a single, integrated setup. With the addition of Velixo, it has automated consolidation across the entire enterprise and can drill down further when required.

“Everything that we’ve ever dreamed of in terms of unique reporting, we’ve been able to configure MYOB Advanced Business to do for us.”

  • Unique sales reports uncover powerful insights

The quality of data that Winton can now access enables the finance team to report data as needed by the business in real-time, uncovering some powerful insights.

“Our customised sales reports show us gross profit per lot, but then we’re able to track revenue, expenses and cash associated with each lot, something our auditors have found really useful – and was a unique requirement to our business.”

Jean says she’s a “big believer in using technology to improve your job” and when it comes to efficiency gains, MYOB Advanced Business doesn’t disappoint.

“MYOB Advanced Business has been incredible in terms of management reporting. We can get the financial analysis for our board packs pulled together within a day now. That used to take us two weeks.”

  • Pre-set templates for speedy settlements

Then there’s the ability for Jean’s team to create templates which have introduced new levels of efficiency to their settlement process.

“We’ve been able to create one settlement template and then apply it to all purchases - it’s just so fast.”

  • Bank-feeds reducing admin workload

Another feature that was an “absolute must-have” was automated bank feeds. Jean says they couldn’t afford to have someone manually exporting and inputting bank statements, which was quite often the case with larger ERP systems on the market.

“There was no system that was going to work for us other than MYOB Advanced Business.”

Company successfully enters Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges

Preparing an IPO for listing is no simple task. It requires, among many other things, three years’ prior financial performance as well as a two-year forecast, which must be reviewed by an independent accountant.

Jean says the amount of information that her team had to pull together in a very short time was astronomical, and it was often required in a certain way that had never been done before internally.

She adds that without BDO’s implementation of MYOB Advanced Business, she doesn’t believe they would’ve got through the process as quickly as they did.

“One thing the accountants commented on retrospectively was that, in their experience, when you start an IPO, there will be a huge lull between when the information is requested and when it’s received. But they were pleasantly surprised with us.”

“One of the reasons that we were able to be listed so quickly is because of the speed and accuracy of the information that MYOB Advanced Business could provide.”

Powerful system with limitless potential

Now that the team has had “a taste for the efficiency”, Jean says they’re moving on to “bigger and better things” – something they wouldn’t have been able to do without MYOB Advanced Business.

She says it has “changed our day-to-day job”, which means her team can start thinking beyond the mundane and do more interesting things that add value in other areas of the business.

“It has been such a positive experience. It encouraged us to not accept the norm, that if something is slow and prone to error, there’s likely a way to do things better.”

“Someone on my team says it was the best Christmas present she ever got,” Jean laughs. “But it has significantly changed how we do our jobs, in the best possible way.”

Having worked with different systems throughout her career, Jean says she never expected to find a solution that catered to all their nuances and complexities. 

She encourages other groups to “explore its absolute fullness to see if it’s suitable for them, because it is such a powerful system.”

“MYOB Advanced is such a powerful system and we’re so pleased with how we’ve been able to refine it for our business. We’re confident that as our business grows, our system will be able to adapt to it.”

Big property developer with even bigger ambitions

  • NZX and ASX listed land development company with 35 FTE and an average annual turnover of $200 million.
  • With MYOB Advanced Business, the company now has automated consolidation and customised reporting, unlocking speed and efficiency that proved invaluable when preparing its IPO in December 2021.

Improvements since MYOB Advanced Business:

  • Dynamic ERP platform can be customised and scaled to suit your business needs.
  • Automated consolidation provides senior leadership with high-level, real-time insights.
  • Powerful reporting functionality enables in-depth sales insights.
  • Velixo integration enables fast and accurate reporting across the company.
  • Productivity gains: increased capacity with the same FTE.
  • Automated bank feeds keep manual data entry to a minimum.