Associate Spotlight: Will Brown
With over 26 million square feet of retail and more than 6,200 residential units in CASTO’s portfolio, creativity and collaboration in all areas is vital to our success. As stated in CASTO’s core values, integrity and profitability are essential- not only for our long-term viability as a company, but also to ensure we provide the best services to our customers, our associates, our owners and the communities we serve.
Our team is constantly looking for ways to update and improve our processes and stay competitive in an ever-changing industry. Hear from Will Brown, Manager of Accounting & Process Improvement on trends in the accounting world, his industry expertise, and his CASTO story.
Tell us about your background with CASTO.
I started out at CASTO 11 years ago as an intern in our accounting department, hole punching tax workpapers that needed to be put in binders. A real taxing job one might say. Fast forward a few months and I was fortunate enough to receive a full-time job offer as a staff accountant from CASTO. Over the first couple years I learned the ins and outs of property accounting and took on a few properties of my own. As the years went on, I accumulated more properties and started to pick up added responsibilities that were not necessarily asked of me, but that I knew needed done for the better of everyone else. Currently, I am fortunate enough to work with Martin Moehring on several projects aimed to streamline and improve current processes, with the overall goal of increasing revenue and productivity.
What service or project have you liked working on the most while at CASTO?
My most favorite project to work on here at Casto has been the invoice approval workflow transition to NexusPayables and away from our current AP approval system. Nexus is a cloud-based software that comes with many perks. For example, it allows our users to approve invoices from anywhere, even a mobile phone. CASTO is in the midst of large growth and a technology overhaul that will help us continue as one of the top, if not the top, commercial, residential and community real estate companies in the industry. I am very thankful and excited to be a part of our next chapter here at CASTO as we near its 100th anniversary.
Share a little bit about your expertise in the industry.
I wouldn’t say I am an expert, but I would say that my strongest ability is recognizing where improvements can be made, and redundancy can be eliminated. The adage, “time is money” still holds true, so by recognizing where enhancements can be made to save time, while still yielding the same results, will help us as a company be more profitable in the long run.
I am also a big “teamwork” guy. Two of the biggest characteristics that make our great team great are selflessness and the trusted family culture the team was built upon.
What changes or trends do you see happening in your area of expertise?
One change we are starting to see in the business world is the ability for real time payments (RTP). Think Zelle, CashApp, paypal, but for businesses. The cost per payment will be pennies on the dollar compared to checks, wires, and ACH. Gone will be the days of waiting for funds to hit, clear, and become available, it will be instant. We are a long way from this being used universally, but as the technology becomes more widely available, I think it will pick up quickly. I also think we will see more AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the office setting, specifically from an accounts payable and receivable standpoint. I believe paper invoices will become a thing of the past and we will see electronic invoicing become common practice.
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