Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Airport news - on the accounting side, #OIAA is proceeding Intuit-ively

I just got around to seeing Liset Marquez's article about the Ontario International Airport Authority. Her main message - transitions are hard.

So far, the biggest transition in which I participated was when Motorola sold its Biometric Business Unit to Safran. There were all sorts of pesky little details that had to be taken care of. One example - a couple of months after the intent to sell the division was announced, but before it had been approved, all of us had to complete employment agreements with a company called Sagem Morpho. We were instructed to leave those agreements undated, because no one knew when we would get the final government approvals for the sale. By the time the sale got its final final approval, the company Sagem Morpho had been renamed MorphoTrak, and presumably someone added dates to all of those employment agreements.

(An aside: I'm going through a similar process right now.)

Well, similar things are happening now with the transfer of Ontario International Airport from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA). In fact, Marquez notes that the people working at the airport are still LAWA employees, although that is in the process of changing. And for the most part, all of the changes are going smoothly, or better than originally expected.

With one exception.

[T]he authority’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Reynolds learned LAWA did not transfer any of its accounting systems over to the authority, leaving him to start from scratch.

Now this can be a problem. When your operating budget is in the high tens of millions of dollars, a computerized accounting system is kinda sorta essential.

And Reynolds scrambled to find one.

“We didn’t have the time or the ability to review systems, so we decided to go with QuickBooks just so we could get up and running and at least print checks,” he told the authority at a Jan. 23 meeting.

I guess it's better than Lotus 1-2-3, but Reynolds is obviously prioritizing the acquisition of a comprehensive system, that he hopes to get up and running within four months.

I wonder if Intuit will list Ontario Airport as one of its satisfied QuickBooks customers.

And if the process gets delayed, the Radisson is offering QuickBooks training in June.

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