“In complex and challenging regulatory environments, it is crucial to surround yourself with professionals like those at RSM.”
— Gustavo Arévalo, Director of Administration and Finance, Best Day Travel
For Best Day South America Director of Administration and Finance Gustavo Arévalo, an impromptu meeting brought unexpected benefits. “Honestly, it was not in our short-term plans to change service providers, but our initial meeting with RSM was the beginning of an opportunity for change and improvement that we could not pass up,” he said.
“In the travel business, we face great challenges in regulatory and financial frameworks and environments,” continued Arévalo. “RSM showed us at that first meeting what it was like to work with advisors who have a more global and comprehensive vision; advisors who have significant regional experience and intuition; who, from the beginning, engaged in an open and frank dialogue.”
RSM began serving Best Day in Argentina as a result of a reference from RSM Brazil; later, RSM network firms began providing audit and tax services to Best Day in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and, most recently, Mexico.
Navigating a complex regulatory landscape
Best Day’s goal is to become the number one tourist company in Mexico. In 2010, the company purchased Grupo HotelDO, which allowed Best Day to expand into South America. The acquisition brought Best Day offices and staff to several countries in the region, where the company continues to expand.
As Arévalo noted, “We operate throughout South America, in locations that are very complicated and always changing. Different local regulations, foreign trade operations and consolidating all of the reports, to name but a few of the challenges. RSM has a very professional approach and, in our years of working with them, we have been able to take corrective actions for continuous improvement. Working with them has helped us grow and get better.
In addition to meeting the company’s compliance deadlines, collaboration among RSM network firms was critical to achieving the primary goals set out for them by Best Day: Help the company improve its management of standardized procedures among its operations throughout Latin America; and provide a set of options to help Best Day minimize its tax risks. No small feat for such a large regional client operating in multiple governmental jurisdictions.
Working with a trusted advisor
“For us, a first opinion and even a second opinion are very valuable,” said Arévalo. “We can’t simply rely on our own understanding or our own internal teams. Rather, it is crucial to surround yourself with professionals like those at RSM who have this multinational experience.
“For me, it is very important to not only have advisors with technical knowledge, but those with whom you can build an empathic relationship,” said Arévalo. For him, that is the exceptional value RSM member firms deliver. “The partners throughout the region are seasoned professionals, with years of work and experience, who bring us relevant information. We do not seek professionals who have the same information that we have or who regurgitate regulations that we all have access to. We value insight and a depth of lateral thinking; that is what RSM brings us.”
“Having an advisor who just looks at trouble areas and acts like an inspector does not help,” explained Arévalo. “We need advisors who not only fulfill their professional responsibilities, but who will help us achieve better standards in the future.
“I do not seek only professional excellence from an advisor, because I can find that in a Big Four or one of the smaller firms,” he continued. “What I need in an advisor is someone with whom I can establish a rapport, who exhibits empathy and brings a comprehensive and committed approach. I need advisors who can step into my shoes, as if they were directly responsible for the decisions made. I always get that with RSM’s network of firms.
“We have a huge market opportunity—there is a global population of seven billion people, 40 percent of whom are using the Internet,” concluded Arévalo. “Our goal is to get them all to become Best Day users. And we believe that RSM can help us achieve this.”