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Over the last several years, golf and country clubs nationwide have been under pressure to deliver higher levels of service with facilities that are attractive and competitive in the eyes of a very discerning clientele. The importance of keeping pace with the latest trends and holding the interests of current and future generations can’t be overstated, which is why more and more club owners are eager to make improvements to their properties where it really matters.

Members aren’t just looking for a place to play golf anymore, they’re looking for a destination that will enhance their quality of life while providing a venue to gather with friends and family, as well as colleagues and clients. Investments are being made to club restaurants, fitness centers, yoga studios, pools, spas, and entertainment areas. Private clubs across Southwest Florida in particular, an area coined as the Golf Capital of the World with communities renowned for their club lifestyle, have spent tens of millions of dollars on capital improvements.

To be at the top of their game, many club executives have started focusing on enhancements that go beyond golf courses and fitness centers. True modernization and elite customer service have become an inside-out job, making the back-office functions just as important as the fancy front-end fixtures. Many accounting departments have historically used manual, outdated payment processing – yes, we mean paper checks – that are time-consuming and costly for any business. These antiquated systems exhaust department resources that could otherwise be directed to more valuable, revenue-generating activities that are often desperately needed to ensure the overall success of the club.

Large clubs and savvy financial types have pursued the newer payment technologies now available, like virtual credit cards, which take manual processing of vendor payments off the desks of the accounting staff. What they’ve found is that investing in an automated payments platform can transform a club’s AP department into an automated powerhouse with seamless and efficient payments. In addition, payments automation, specifically virtual card payments, can increase a club’s cash flow through earned monthly rebates. With these new payment capabilities, it has become easier than ever to create more efficient accounting teams, and generate new revenue that can then be reinvested back into other areas of the club.

The current payments industry includes electronic payable solutions that seamlessly integrate with prominent golf and country club accounting software. The result is zero implementation costs, zero downtime, and zero headaches. Invoice-level reconciliation data is also automatic and gets delivered to a club’s accounting software where reports can be quickly and easily generated based on whatever criteria or analytics are needed.

While improvements to a club’s offerings and amenities are essential, in order for clubs to stay relevant in this changing space, they’ll need to focus on improving all areas of their business. Those who fail to adapt may quickly find themselves stuck in the rough.

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