"When it comes to providing a financial software for yacht management there are several key aspects to keep in mind”, says Dasha Grupman. “First of all, such software has to be very easy to use as most crew do not have formal accounting training. Second, any yacht software needs to connect multiple parties, both onboard and in the office, while still allowing to work offline without having to rely on unstable internet connection onboard."
To accommodate simplicity and offline access requirements onboard before Latitude365 appeared most superyacht management structures had to rely on tools like Excel or personal finance application Quicken to account for millions of euros in operating costs each year.
Besides leaving plenty of room for human error tools like Excel and Quicken provide very limited options for multiple parties to collaborate and manage expenses as a team onboard and ashore. As a result, information between the office and the boat is exchanged only once a month when accounting reports are prepared. This means that nor the crew, nor the office have a complete picture about the current state of the yacht’s finances at any point in time.
Dasha Grupman took on a challenge to change this with the software she originally created to manage luxury assets for a prominent hedge-fund manager in New York. “When I joined the family office and took over financial management of the assets I first attempted using Excel”, says Dasha Grupman. “I quickly realized that spreadsheets are not only time-consuming but also rather dangerous. Even the most detail oriented person cannot safeguard from making an accidental error that can result in a sizable cost for the owner”.
By now the software Dasha Grupman created replaced outdated systems onboard of more than 150 superyachts worldwide. Management companies such as Burgess and Fraser Yachts realized the benefits of the workgroup management system offering a tool for true financial management, not just accounting at the end of the month.
As Latitude365 gains acceptance as the standard in the superyacht management more and more owners choose to use its interface to review financial reports for their boats. “Most owners do not actually log in on a monthly basis. I believe what attracts them is the fact that they can personally find any detail for any number including an attached copy of the receipt at any point in time”, says Dasha Grupman. “Such transparency gives the owners more control as the crew knows they are watching”
Watch the full interview with Dasha Grupman at the Breaking News Centre during the Monaco Yacht Show to find out more.