For organizations with commercial real estate, a lack of systemic awareness can have severe implications for business units. Cross-functionality is essential to creating efficiency between lease administration, transactions, risk management, and audit silos. Consulting services help these organizations save money and be more efficient. For business units to effectively operate, consultants take measures to alleviate stress, confusion, and improve a company’s processes. Anna Woodworth is a commercial lease auditor at Chelepis & Associates with $2.5 million in savings during her first two years. As a former general counsel, she is well versed in lease negotiations, Lease Administration, CAM audits, and how these functions relate to other business units, as well as their utility in big scope business planning.
Working with Chelepis, Anna determined that many companies lack an organizational approach toward their corporate lease portfolio. She goes into detail explaining how none of the units speak to one another; they don’t understand the checks and balances that need to take place so each department can do its job efficiently. A common mistake is that as businesses grow too fast, they don’t consider how the change affects their procedures. Anna has seen year-end statements that go straight to accounts payable before lease administration has had a chance to review, leading to sunk costs. As well, “the transactions team should understand how to use lease admin conclusions to inform their next lease negotiation,” said Anna. Yet, these issues are not readily identifiable without careful thought and an eye toward enterprise-wide process improvement.
Many companies recruit help from one of the Big Accounting Firms, but a one-size fits all, template-based workflow may not work for the unique features of your company. Anna explains that though large institutional consultants may offer consulting as one of their many services, they do not specialize or individualize, and therefore are not uniquely focused on your distinctive circumstances. Time and time again, Anna has seen large competitors “ignore processes the company already has without recourse to a more form-fitting approach. The other extreme is consulting as an afterthought (usually bundled with other services), where the processes aren’t improved at all and departments ‘zombie through’ their job duties, which doesn’t help anyone.”
Chelepis takes the time to “work one on one with each business unit to learn their process; from there, we [Chelepis] craft a program that fits with their workflow to accomplish their goals,” said Anna. At Chelepis, the auditor you’re working with is a phone call away and can give you an in-depth and personalized plan that will combine processes already in place with cross-functionality between departments to provide cost-savings and improve efficiency.
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At Chelepis & Associates, Inc., our success is based on knowledge of how each occupancy dollar is consumed, calculated, and billed. We offer more than the big accounting firms. We provide real estate industry experience from operations, accounting, and engineering viewpoint; proven expertise not offered by any other firm in the industry.
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