How BASE’s CFO eliminated hours of financial reporting work each month

What do you do when your business is adding more and more entities, the types of customer payments you accept are increasing, as is volume and complexity, and the amount of time you spend reconciling accounts is growing from chunks of a day to an entire day? You rise up to and meet the changes success is bringing your company with a means of driving growth well into the future.

And how? One word – automation.

This is how Maria Gunter, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at BASE transformed their business. Scaling volume and reducing complexity with an easy-to-use agile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution was the only option. BASE is a fast-growing Austin, Texas based private investment firm that builds assets. Their expanding line of brands includes MOVE Bumpers, Espresso Parts, NORTH Lights, and WAGONMASTER.

Let’s hear about this transformation in her own words:

“We’re always looking for more automation.”

When eCommerce website changes were introducing risk to their revenue recognition, Maria knew they had to “make a change and do things differently.” On top of this, UPS changed their billing where they would not bill until the product was delivered.

“It shifted from getting information too early to getting information too late,” noted Gunter. The need for real-time data and full-scale workflow automation was beyond what QuickBooks could handle, so they began looking for a QuickBooks alternative.

“I was like, I don’t want to have to hire a person.”

The BASE Sales team had become accustomed to relying on real-time data to see how they are tracking toward their quota. Additional incentives at BASE meant they needed to see their sales dollars to see how they were tracking toward earning these incentives. And with the aforementioned changes, unless Maria’s team spent a majority of their time manually reconciling the accounts, the Sales team would not see their dollars until the end of the month, basically when it was too late to dig in and impact their numbers.

By moving from QuickBooks to Sage Intacct, BASE has been able to absorb the changes and confidently meet the challenges of growth by automating workflows and revenue recognition, and by bringing all of their data into a central location. Now with Sage Intacct, the BASE Sales team can access their real-time sales data on their dashboards any time they want. And Maria and her team, well, they are able to handle increased volume without having to hire.

“Sage Intacct just made it a lot faster.”

Maria knew she also had to automate revenue recognition to include the revenue in their Shopify eCommerce channel. Sage Intacct Marketplace Partner APIWORX worked with BASE on each business scenario to integrate and automate the entire business process and remove all manual data entry work with a seamless integration between Shopify and Sage Intacct.

By bringing the data into Sage Intacct, BASE created a single source of truth for a comprehensive real-time view of revenue while also automating revenue recognition all within a secure financial framework with anytime anywhere access.

“As we go through the month, we know where we are with regard to our revenue target. We don’t have to wait a week for accounting to get all the UPS bills and go through all the Shopify data and verify everything,” commented Gunter.

“The more real-time we can get, the more meaningful our data becomes.”

One of BASE’s entities, MOVE Bumpers, tends to have a high number of order changes. Gunter noted: “On the customer service side, they were just doing what was right for the customer and we never gave a thought about how that information might flow through a system because it wasn’t flowing through a system before. We had to create some business rules and change our internal process to provide more clarity on what was happening then flow the changes through with the APIWORX integration to be reflected in both Shopify and ShipStation.”

The integration further flows the data into their Sage Intacct order and inventory management processes and maintains the data integrity needed for accurate and timely reporting.

“We’ve eliminated about 100 hours of reporting work each month…”

“We keep asking, how could we be using this better,” commented Gunter. “Every 30-minute task you eliminate adds up over time. Financial reporting was a big one we were spending a lot of time on. We’ve got all these entities and we’re a pretty small team so we’re big on automation.”

For example, now to see spend-by-vendor across all companies, rather than cobbling 22 reports together, their former QuickBooks method, it takes around five minutes to gain a single pane view of the data. “We’ve eliminated about 100 hours each month by automating many 30-minute tasks across the team and eliminating the need to manually consolidate data,” she added.

As CFO, Maria is positioning BASE for continued success by building the framework with Sage Intacct to confidently be able to scale for growth, remain agile for change, and keep costs low with efficiency and automation.

Quickbooks’ shortcomings are holding you back

If you’re using QuickBooks Desktop, you have a problem, and chances are you’re aware of it if you plan to stay competitive in the digital age. According to a new tech dossier on QuickBooks from CIO, “businesses outgrowing the capacity of QuickBooks should factor cloud migration into their plans for transitioning to more powerful software.” Many of you are ready to make a change, according to CIO’s recent research on the attitudes of senior financial executives at small and medium businesses toward their existing finance and accounting software and their desired areas of improvement.

QuickBooks: What Its Users Say

Two recent surveys of current QuickBooks users help define some of its shortcomings. CIO, one of the leading publishers focused on business technology and digital transformation, released a tech dossier based on a survey of 207 QuickBooks users. These users represented a wide range of industries in the SMB segment, with an average of 358 employees.

The top challenges reported with QuickBooks were:

  • Suboptimal speed and efficiency
  • Limited data integrity checks
  • Limited customizability

Half of SMBs who use QuickBooks said they would like to see better reporting capabilities, followed closely by the 45% who want more accurate data and 44% who see the need to improve efficiency and/or reduce costs.

Among the other QuickBooks frustrations are:

  • Lost productivity due to time-consuming manual processes
  • Staying current with compliance and security requirements
  • Aggregating data from multiple systems and sources

The second recent survey, conducted by CFO Dive, found similar results, all captured in a new report entitled How QuickBooks isn’t Keeping Pace with CFO Needs. CFO Dive spoke with 164 financial executives and found that three out of four finance executives say going back and forth between QuickBooks and spreadsheets is frustrating for their financial teams. Finance executives use these spreadsheets to get the information and reporting they need in their daily work, which points out a significant shortcoming in QuickBooks reporting.

In addition, these survey respondents noted additional QuickBooks challenges, including:

  • Data accessibility issues (29%)
  • High occurrence of imbalances/troubleshooting (27%)
  • Too much manual data entry and reentry (26%)
  • Upgrades/maintenance (26%)

Both surveys reinforce the benefits of moving to a cloud-native financial management platform rather than using a lightweight online version of desktop software.

As CFO Dive found, certain triggers usually signal companies are outgrowing QuickBooks and moving to a robust, modern, cloud-native solution. These include:

  • Spending too much time on spreadsheets
  • Multiple business entities with no consolidated charts of accounts
  • Seeking outside investment that would require you to be GAAP-compliant
  • Remote data access requirements

CIO noted the following in its tech dossier: “Monolithic software is challenging to update and troubleshoot because the entire application must be put on the operating table. That’s why software makers have historically updated their products no more than once or twice a year. Even relatively small bug fixes can require a complete reinstallation and test cycle.

“Modern, cloud-native software takes advantage of cloud constructs to reimagine how software is built. Microservices are loosely coupled software components that each perform a specific task. Developers can chain services together to build sophisticated applications much more quickly than they could in a monolithic environment. Each microservice is tested and optimized for performance.”

You can read more about these reports by following these links – CFO Dive survey, CIO Tech Dossier. These posts go into further depth with links directly to the reports.

Moving to the Cloud

For many of you using QuickBooks Desktop, the notion of replacing it with a cloud platform might sound crazy. What you have today seems to work. But there may come a point when the benefits of a cloud-based platform make sense. Cloud-based solutions have lower upfront costs and capital expenditure, faster deployment, and easier administration.

Cloud-native financial management platforms combine the customizability of on-premises offerings with 24×7 access, higher security, and lower cloud maintenance. Cloud-native solutions deliver the full benefits of the cloud due to their use of cloud technology, de facto standards, and open APIs. They are easier to integrate, scale, and adapt, delivering confidence and a flexible system to meet your future needs.

QuickBooks Sells Professional Services Short

Professional services organizations are diverse. They provide a vast array of services have widely varying customer bases, and different models of service delivery. What professional services organizations have in common is how they generate revenue – they sell services in the form of consultants’ time. These organizations are also unified by a need for accurate project billing, detailed reporting, and business-process automation to maximize their operations.

What professional services organizations don’t need is QuickBooks. Instead, these organizations need a QuickBooks alternative that can help them boost revenue, improve customer satisfaction and make strategic data-driven decisions. Don’t take my word for it, but instead, learn the benefits that some former QuickBooks users now enjoy that improve project billing, reporting, automation, and application integration.

QuickBooks Comes Up Short for SaaS Companies

SaaS companies need financial reporting and forecasting to expand and scale, especially as they look for funding or seek to take the company public. There is efficient and effective software out there that provides what SaaS companies need to grow, and QuickBooks is not one of them. QuickBooks simply cannot offer the same level of detail and accuracy needed, with dimensions, recurring revenue, and forecasting. 10 reasons why QuickBooks is the wrong call for SaaS companies, especially as it relates to:

  • Revenue recognition
  • Subscription contracts
  • Financial controls
  • Forecasting
  • Application Integration

QuickBooks Users Depend on Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets and finance have gone together for decades. Accounting directors, managers, controllers, and CFOs have mastered the complexities of Excel. VLOOKUP, INDEXMATCH, pivot tables and reporting, macros, Excel visual basic, and data simulations are all advanced tools accounting departments have employed to get information out of complex spreadsheets.

Useful as they are, spreadsheets are a crutch and a weak one at that. And if you’re using QuickBooks, you don’t have a lot of options other than using spreadsheets to get the information you need to make data-driven decisions. Fixed-asset management, consolidation, and revenue recognition are just three of the areas where QuickBooks falls short. If your current accounting solution forces you to use spreadsheets to get the insights you need, it’s time to look for a better alternative.

The Hidden Costs of QuickBooks

Most small businesses begin their financial lives using Intuit’s QuickBooks. With more than 80% market share, it is by far the most popular small business accounting application. It’s well known. It’s easy. It works, and it offers the functionality a business needs when it’s starting out.

If your business has moved beyond the entry-level, your organization may be facing several challenges as you hit QuickBooks limits. It wasn’t designed to provide professional financial management capabilities to growing organizations with sophisticated, evolving demands. How do you know when it’s the right time to make the move? Which options should you consider? What are the hidden costs of waiting? How can you measure the costs against the benefits?

QuickBooks Reporting Can Kill Your Business

Is QuickBooks killing your business? QuickBooks might be a good option for some organizations, but there may come a time when you outgrow its reporting capabilities. While manual reporting in spreadsheets can be sustainable for a while, a reporting solution that doesn’t grow with your needs can actually stunt your ability to make quick decisions and the best strategic choices for your organization.

What are the downsides of limited reporting? Consider the impact of poor visibility on costs, profit, and loss. This can result in decreased market share and missed revenue and growth opportunities, as you don’t have the information you need to grow and react to market changes and opportunities. Lacking real-time data, you’ll make less informed decisions. You can lose your competitive position and end up with dissatisfied customers. Your colleagues will lose their confidence in senior leadership. Poor decisions can mean the difference between business growth and failure. Is it worth it?

A better reporting solution gives you more insight and visibility into your data and gives you the tools to make better decisions with improved strategic planning. You’ll have what you need to optimize margins and pricing and to increase time-to-market with better market fit. The right information at the right time can help you increase shareholder value and market share.

How construction firms can collect and distribute key data to deliver on KPIs

It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused a rapid acceleration of mobile work for the US construction industry.

In the past, back office staff, often working on-site, would be vital in processing physical documents and helping to manage authorizations.

But in the ‘new normal’ world of reduced physical contact and mobile working, teams across multiple trades and services need to ‘self-serve’ administration on projects.

The best way to control potential risk and cost in mobile teams is to implement a management system that generates a ‘single version of the truth’ with maximum data visibility and processes across disparate groups of staff and subcontractors.

By enabling people to input data, you can reduce time and cost, track and mitigate potential problems, create a digital ‘paper trail’ to streamline critical reporting, understand performance, build resilience, and develop actionable insights.

Read this article to learn how to digitalize your construction business and how a data-led approach could be your secret weapon for maximizing performance, productivity, resilience, and profit so you can successfully deliver on your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Why data is so important

In an industry as complex and interconnected as construction, businesses should be cautious about going with a gut feeling and instead look to data to make robust decisions and optimize resilience.

Data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report significant improvements in decision-making than those that rely less on data, according to a survey of more than 1,000 senior executives conducted by PwC.

Harvard Business Review adds that this approach enables you to make more confident decisions, be proactive, and realize cost savings.

In addition, businesses that implement digital practices have seen savings of up to 20%, according to McKinsey.

That’s a statistic to take seriously when the construction industry has long-suffered margins of around 2%, where even small slippages in time or cost can have knock-on effects that determine whether you make or lose money on projects.

With the benefit of insight and digital systems, you’ll be able to spot patterns and trends, helping you to navigate a business landscape and get ahead of the competition as COVID-19 continues to reshape the industry.

Data to collect and distribute

Most construction firms are familiar with Lean working – a way of systematically reducing waste from every stage within a business.

To support this and minimize costs and risk, it’s sensible to collect and manage data relating to the seven main areas of waste: transport, materials, waiting, motion, re-work, overproduction, and over-processing.

You’ll also need to collect and analyze day-to-day data relating to critical aspects around approvals, budget control, and work in progress (WIP), including:

  • Health, safety, environment, and quality (HSEQ): Details of accidents and near-misses.
  • Actual costs: Estimates against actual cost, details of purchase orders, and evidence of materials delivered to the site.
  • Materials and labor: End-to-end paper trail of purchase orders and approvals, hire of plant and subcontractors.
  • Task management: Copies of all critical policies and procedures.
  • Time: Including timesheets, holidays, and absences.
  • HR: Disciplinary records, the HR calendar, and file copies of qualifications and certifications.
  • Phasing: Details and completion of specific phases – which impact other teams.
  • Management reports: Cover details the management team needs around budgets, project timelines, and KPI tracking.

Being able to distribute that data in real-time will help your firm to track KPIs and identify issues as they arise, rather than discovering problems further down the line – that could harm budgets and timelines.

How technology can help with data collection and distribution

Collecting data via manual processes can result in errors, teams working in silos, and project delays, which can be detrimental to the objective of achieving KPIs.

By using technology, your construction firm can stay on track, and your staff can work more effectively.

Here are a few examples of how technology can help your firm when it comes to data collection and distribution:

  • You can view data according to the project, current stage/phase, and type of materials used.
  • Supporting technologies such as barcode recognition and mobile apps can be used to manage documents.
  • You can generate real-time data on individual equipment hires, labor costs, hours worked, accidents and incidents, compliance status, and projected vs actual costs.
  • You can create reports within a few clicks about specific financial workstreams within your business – according to project stage, month, individual, or material type.
  • You’ll be able to compare estimated vs actual costs to ensure your business stays on track.

How to help staff adapt to new data collection methods

When adopting new systems and processes, getting your team on board and providing them with the right skills will help. Here are four steps you can take:

1. Communicate

From the start, clearly explain what you’re trying to do, and get input from everyone involved to maximize engagement and support for new systems, rules, and processes.

This will save you a lot of effort in the long term.

2. Provide support

People will unlikely master new apps and processes for the first time. Check-in, solve problems and provide refresher training where needed.

3. Keep things flexible

Give people the option to ‘self-serve’ where and when needed. That means offering browser and mobile app versions of any business system, which are operational 24/7 to meet individuals’ needs.

4. Digitalize the distribution of information

Give everyone access to a single business information platform, and you can instantly communicate with staff and contractors.

This removes the need for face-to-face communications or physical newsletters.

Final thoughts

There’s no doubt that coronavirus is reshaping the construction industry. While providing challenges, it’s also creating new ways of working – for the better.

Technology can help your firm tackle these challenges head-on – and when it comes to delivering on KPIs, using the proper solutions will allow your staff to collect and distribute critical data effectively.

How data transparency puts restaurant operators in control

This year has been a tough one for many restaurant operators. In its 2023 State of the Industry report, the National Restaurant Association found that exactly half of all operators expect to be less profitable than the previous year. While consumers still love restaurants, economic headwinds force many to cut back on discretionary spending, and restaurants are experiencing higher prices for line items that include food, labor, utilities, and occupancy. Operators are doing what they can, but rising costs and fewer customers are like a vise with mounting pressure on all sides.

While nearly all restaurants are raising prices, changing menu items, and cutting back on other areas to move closer to profitability, these actions raise the question of how decisions are made. No one alive today has previously faced the unique challenges of a pandemic coupled with inflation, so doubtlessly, many operators are making gut decisions based on their own experiences. However, there is a group of savvy restaurant operators who are making data-driven decisions that guide their actions to:

  • Improve revenue and margins
  • Increase guest satisfaction
  • Decrease costs
  • Improve efficiency

Data Transparency Relies on a Common Backbone

With multiple data sources flowing through a restaurant operation, it’s essential to ensure that maintaining visibility isn’t time-consuming. A flexible, open API in a modern financial management system allows real-time integrations with all data sources, including legacy or third-party systems. This creates a complete picture of operational performance. Synthesizing that data into a single source of truth gives restaurant operators the information they need when they need it.

A robust reporting solution gives insight and visibility into data and delivers the tools to make better decisions. Restaurant operators will find what they need to optimize margins and pricing and better meet guest requirements. Access to real-time data helps restaurants react faster and solve any problems more quickly. Improved visibility and reporting in real-time let restaurant operators rapidly analyze data and isolate any issues with numbers, locations, or menu items. This enables deeper dives into transactions to determine where problems occur. Furthermore, with customized dashboard features, restaurant operators have better visibility into financial performance in real time and can drill down and get answers quickly without relying on the finance team. This transparency and detail allow them to make better decisions faster than waiting weeks after the monthly close.

Pulling all this together requires a solid financial management system as a platform backbone. A single connected system helps eliminate time-consuming manual processes and takes full advantage of the connectivity and digital features of today’s smart devices and applications. Implementing automated digital operations for functions such as timesheets, inventory, and guest receipts can improve efficiency, enhance accuracy, cut costs, and prevent revenue leakage. As well, automation reduces errors and improves accuracy. Automation enables better integration with other business applications and suppliers and allows for the bidirectional sharing of information so restaurant operators can better manage their supply chain and transactions.

What the Data Can Tell You

According to industry benchmarks, prime costs (cost of goods sold and labor) make up about 60% of a restaurant’s expenses. While that may seem high, lower premium costs may indicate poor quality and service. Staying in control of your prime costs starts with consistent and routine monitoring.

The cost of goods sold (COGS) measures food and beverage expenses. Integrating an inventory management system with a financial management platform that tracks accounts payables allows a data-driven restaurant operator to compare each line item and category period-over-period, so problem areas are quickly identified. For example, if the cost of a particular item is too high compared to the budget, it might be time to renegotiate with the current vendor or seek a different supplier. Also, the issue might be that employees are inaccurately measuring ingredients and more training is required, or the issue might be that menu items are priced too low. Taking corrective actions starts with precise insights to know where to start. As a key performance indicator, COGS can be displayed as an easy-to-read dashboard with drill-down capabilities to examine each dimension for further examination. This provides real-time visibility into COGS to help make data-driven decisions.

The same discipline can be applied to the other significant components of prime costs. Labor should be calculated as a percentage of total sales spent on salaries, wages, and benefits. Staff, such as host stands, restaurant servers, kitchen staff, and management, can be assigned to unique categories. A data-driven restaurant operator can easily see what’s driving costs by creating different reporting dimensions. Drill into these dimensions to generate labor reports that show whether your restaurant is staffed at the proper levels for the correct times of the day so you can course-correct if needed.

By integrating your point-of-sales and reservation systems with a financial management platform, you can further quantify areas that include:

  • Average check to measure the average amount spent by customers in the restaurant.
  • Occupancy rate measures the percentage of seats in the restaurant that are occupied at any given time. It can help operators optimize seating arrangements and staff levels.
  • Table turnover rate measures the number of times tables are turned over a given period. This helps determine how many customers you can serve during a specific timeframe.

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t See

Start by defining your restaurant’s goals and what is most important to your overall strategy. Balance this approach with measures that reflect the complete picture of your restaurant’s health and program impact. Measuring and reporting outcomes will require extra effort. But doing so brings immediate and long-term benefits.

Sage Intacct tops G2’s winter 2023 grid geports in customer satisfaction and wins 100+ awards

Customers rated Sage Intacct #1 in customer satisfaction for the 9th year in a row, in the newly released G2 Winter 2023 Reports. Sage Intacct soared to great heights winning 106 awards, including 23 #1 rankings in Grid and Index Reports.

These results are testimony to our dedication to build authentic human connections. After all, Sage Intacct is all about people–we listen to our customers and value their input. We provide people with the insight they need to build their businesses, and flow at work, with simple and straightforward products. It is a huge honor to be ranked at the top in so many categories, thanks to our community of users, partners, and colleagues.

Here are some highlights of the winter report:

Sage Intacct places #1 in 7 Grid Reports

The independently validated reviews of users ranked Sage Intacct #1 in 7 Grid Reports, which are awarded for customer satisfaction, popularity, market presence, and more.

Sage Intacct ranks #1 in 14 Index Reports

We earned the top spot in 14 Index Reports for the usability of our products, relationships we build, quality of support, and more. We are especially excited about these rankings because we had a huge jump, earning more than twice the amount this quarter compared to last quarter.

Sage Intacct takes 1st place in 2 Momentum Grid Reports

G2 also awarded us 1st place on 2 Momentum Grid Reports for year-over-year change in employee growth, review growth, social growth, and web growth.

Sage Intacct ranks #1 in Customer Satisfaction in 17 categories

Sage Intacct rated #1 in Customer Satisfaction over all true competitors in a whopping 17 categories this winter. Users LOVE Sage Intacct!

  • Overall Project-Based ERP
  • Overall ERP Systems
  • Overall Revenue Management
  • Mid-Market Accounting
  • Mid-Market Nonprofit Accounting
  • Mid-Market Project-Based ERP
  • Mid-Market Subscription Management
  • Mid-Market Subscription Billing
  • Mid-Market Revenue Management
  • Enterprise Accounting
  • Enterprise Project-Based ERP
  • Enterprise Revenue Management
  • Enterprise AP Automation
  • Small Business Project-Based ERP
  • Momentum ERP Systems
  • Momentum Project-Based ERP
  • Momentum Revenue Management

This customer satisfaction score is based on things like how easy it is to use our product, set it up, and work with us, as well as how likely customers are to recommend us, and more. We are grateful for our customers’ support and honest feedback.

Sage Intacct wins 83 additional awards

On top of all that, Sage Intacct received 83 awards and regional recognition for our strong placement on reports across various market sizes. Included are 41 Leader awards for being in the Leader quadrant in various categories such as Accounting and Revenue Management. We also won multiple Easiest to Use badges for earning the highest Ease of Use rating in its category, as well as a ton of other badges such as High Performer in India and Europe. You’ll hear from our customers following these award details so be sure to keep reading.

G2 Winter 2023 Wall of Badges Graphic-1

How we help customers

The winter reports were a sweeping success. It’s proof that our customers are happy, and Sage Intacct is the best choice for cloud financial management.

Sage Intacct helps finance professionals automate manual tasks such as issuing and processing invoices, keeping track of budgets, creating financial reports, and more. Revenue recognition, your close, and metrics can all be done automatically and with accuracy. Automation frees up time so finance professionals can focus on strategic, higher value work that’s more engaging. We help accounting continue to thrive and make people more productive by finding their flow. Sage Intacct truly elevates the work lives of people.

Our customers LOVE us

Of course, the best way to understand how we help companies and why customers love Sage Intacct is to listen to what they have to say…

Outstanding software for financial reporting!

“One of my favorite features of (Sage) Intacct is its ability to create duplicate invoices and make simplifications (in) the invoice process easily. When modifying a journal entry, rather than having to determine which account to record it in, you can return to a previous entry and change the numbers there. Additionally, exporting data into Excel is a very convenient feature of this software. We rely significantly on Excel exports from the built-in export function within Sage Intacct. Overall, Sage Intacct has proved itself as an exceptional resource–particularly for month-end reconciliation and invoice verification before payment tasks.”

— Liz C, Controller, Small Business

Excellent money management software

“The best things about Sage Intacct Dashboard are the financial reporting, user-friendly layout, and real-time report generation. I’m glad it’s used extensively in our accounting group because it makes changes easy to track and revert if needed. Using the help center is thorough and easy to use, which is excellent when confidence in one’s ability to make alterations without harming process flow is lacking. Being able to modify journal lines immediately is a nice feature as well.”

— Tiju T, Regional Account Manager, Small Business

Sage Intacct is the real deal application for accounting and financial management

“Sage Intacct is an excellent and outstanding solution for accounting which enables us to quicken our accounting processes. It is super easy and fast to implement, set up, and get started with. I like the fact that it is highly customizable to suit your needs. Also, since we started using it, we have been able to avoid human errors since everything is done digitally. I like the cloud-based platform which is amazing and great.”

— Audrey J, Senior Accountant, Mid-Market Company

Best solution for cloud software

“I have used Sage for the last 3 years in 2 different companies. I couldn’t be happier than this. I can do my job from every corner of the globe, at any time. It is fast and easy to navigate. The best part is the import and the integration with other software. Basically, it takes me 30 seconds to import a journal entry that would take me 30 minutes to enter in QB (QuickBooks). I had experienced data loss in the past with QuickBooks, and data integrity was my problem. Not anymore. I would never work with another software after I tried Sage Intacct.”

— Silvana G, Assistant Controller, Small Business

Sage Intacct is the perfect solution for venture-funded startups

“What I like best about Sage Intacct is the readability and comprehensiveness of its reports. Before submitting an account, you can make any necessary modifications or deletions without needing to export the information to Excel first to manipulate it by adding and removing data and calculations. This saves a great deal of time. It is invaluable to know members of our board are confident in the reports we provide them–understanding the findings–while not requiring us to adjust the pieces manually.”

— Lisa W, Director of Finance, Enterprise Company

Sage Intacct is a valuable resource

“The best things I like about Sage Intacct are its powerful reporting features and how you can “customize” the data. The software is also easy to pick up and operate due to its aesthetic design. Another great thing is that Sage (Intacct) users can combine their software with those of other industry giants. Our organization has integrated Sage (Intacct) with various applications, such as Expensify and Bill.com. For the most part, Sage Intacct has exceeded my expectations. I’m delighted we made the transfer to it from our old accounting software.”

— Wendy C, FP&A Manager, Enterprise Company

We would like to take this time to thank our customers for taking the time to share their honest feedback on G2. We value your voice and appreciate your time.

Why we use G2

Now that you’ve heard from customers, we would like to share why G2 is more than just proof points. G2 is the leading platform for software reviews. It collects and analyzes feedback of customers and shares the results each quarter in Grid Reports. These Grid Reports help us understand how well our products are serving our customers. This information is important to us because we are driven to create ground-breaking solutions to help organizations and the people behind them and meet and exceed their needs.

G2 is also a valuable resource for technology shoppers. The review platform gets 80 million buyers coming to their site annually. G2 helps buyers make informed decisions on what to purchase for their organizations based on customers testimonials. The reviews influence their decisions. In fact, according to G2, 86% of software buyers use peer review sites when purchasing software, and 100% of Fortune 500 businesses use G2 to discover new software.

We are inspired with the results of the G2 Winter 2023 Grid Reports. They motivate us to continue to improve. In the coming year, Sage Intacct will continue to build simple, straight-forward products that save you time, and enable you to build deeper connections in your community. We look forward to seeing how we can help you thrive and flow.

How to Control Your Cash Position and Reduce Customer Churn with SaaS Metrics


For SaaS CFOs, guiding the direction of their company is a lot like someone steering a massive ship. The ship itself is so much larger than the person controlling it that it seems almost shocking that they can exert so much influence over the vessel’s direction and trajectory.

In an accounting department, your “helm/steering wheel” or primary point of control is your SaaS metrics. A ship’s wheel allows a single person to guide it through stormy waters, and your metrics allow you to maneuver your company through the markets bringing everyone along with you.

This article will help you heighten control of crucial accounting issues:

  • Strategize effectively around resources: Knowing exactly how much money you have at your disposal and how long you can expect it to last is essential. We’ll give you the tools to help that happen.
  • Keep a lid on your churn rates: For recurring revenue companies, churn is always a non-starter. Do you know the different types to monitor and the various strategies you can use to decrease both of them?
  • Centralize for massive results: In today’s world, manual data transfers are one of the biggest wastes of time for SaaS accounting staff and leadership. Reconciliations are the #1 thing that Finance teams dislike about their jobs.  If your team is still losing time tracking down data through endless mazes of emails, we can show you a better way.

What’s the first question you need to ask yourself to start taking more control of your company’s finances? Let’s find out.

What is your cash burn rate?

Cash burn rate (CBR) is one of the best metrics you can use to get a clear image of your company’s finances and cash flow. It tells you how long your money will last, given your financial obligations. In other words, it’s equivalent to your financial runway.

Knowing where your recurring revenue company stands with its CBR matters significantly. A pilot can’t get a plane off the ground if the runway is too short, and a SaaS CFO can’t take a company further than its financial runway will carry it.

This metric is an inseparable part of your cash flow situation. It helps you plan for future hiring decisions, marketing campaigns, product rollouts, and other financially essential activities.

Your CBR is divided into the following types. Each one is ideal in different contexts, depending on the data you’re looking for:

  • Gross burn: Your gross burn tells you how much money you spend per month. It doesn’t factor in your revenue or anything else: it’s purely a measurement of your SaaS company’s financial liabilities.
  • Net burn: Your net burn is similar to your gross burn but includes your monthly revenue. It offers a more complete picture of your company’s financial position. To find your net burn, subtract your monthly revenue from your gross burn.
  • Runway: To calculate your financial runway, take your total cash holdings and divide that figure by your net burn rate. The result will be a financial runway measured in months.

Maintaining a sense of realism about cash flow is invaluable for recurring revenue firms, especially when times get tough. It will help you keep a clear head about what matters and what doesn’t when you’re forming plans for the coming financial quarters.

Can you add as many new sales staff as you were planning? Is your marketing budget for the next quarter going to be lower than anticipated, and if so, by how much exactly?

With automated SaaS accounting software, you’ll be able to find your CBR easily and combine it with robust forecasting to answer complex questions like these. Just plug in your starting data, and you’ll be able to generate forecasts for layered, multi-factor scenarios.

Getting a handle on churn rates

In his landmark business classic, The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker says that the point of a company is to create and keep a customer. Understanding and proactively managing churn deals with the second half of that process.

A certain amount of churn is unavoidable for SaaS companies. But as soon as you notice it happening at a rate that concerns you, do your best to answer two critical questions.

First, why are customers churning (or churning in higher-than-average numbers)? Second, what measures can you take to plug those leaks as quickly and fully as possible?

The reason behind churn varies depending on which of the two types of churn you’re looking at. Voluntary churn occurs when users have actively chosen to unsubscribe from your services for one reason or another. On the other hand, involuntary churn happens when users cannot complete their subscription transaction and are automatically churned for that reason.

Involuntary churn is an easy fix. If it comes down to an issue with your payment processor, it’s simply a matter of getting everything patched up on your end. If the problem is on the customer’s side, they’ll need to update their card info.

When the issue is voluntary churn, your customers might be leaving for any number of reasons. You may be pricing yourself out of the market relative to your value offering. You may be missing service options or product features that your customers would like access to. Automated accounting software can offer detailed tracking of your churn figures.

Once you’ve determined that voluntary churn is the reason for dwindling subscription numbers, it can be very useful to look through customer reviews and forum content for your industry. In those spaces and other types of user-generated content like social channels, customers will often directly say why they churned from your service or similar ones. All you have to do is listen and take notes.

Now that you know how to manage churn, let’s move on to the third vital way that SaaS CFOs can increase their level of control over their department’s direction.

Save time with role-based financial dashboards

One of the biggest wastes of time for SaaS accounting companies is manual data transfers between departments and team members. And beyond just being an unprofitable use of time, it opens you and your colleagues up to many different (and potentially expensive) mistakes and inaccuracies.

Cloud-based accounting software uses consolidated financial dashboards to give finance leaders immediate access to all the data they need. In a single glance, your team leaders will be able to see everything they need to keep track of:

  • CFO Dashboard: Instantly view your assets, expenses, net income, detailed and categorized cash flow data, and much more in one convenient screen. As a CFO, don’t you have too much on your plate to be hunting down your data manually?
  • Controller Dashboard: Controllers have a considerable amount of data they’re responsible for keeping track of. They need seamless access to salary and wage info, cash flow metrics, budgeting data, and much more.

With role-based financial dashboards in your team’s accounting toolbox, you’ll never have to send another email for data-gathering purposes again.

Take control of your SaaS accounting

Automation can revolutionize your relationship with your SaaS metrics, your department, and your standards and practices around data consolidation.

To learn even more, check out our recent webinar about cutting down on churn by leveraging revenue operations.

The Terminator and the Promise of AI

It was 1984 when I first started thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Granted, it was in a movie theater where I was being introduced to Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, and the last thing I was thinking about was how technology could have a meaningful impact on how entrepreneurs run their businesses.

The ways businesses can use the power of AI have opened the door for banks to provide even greater value for their clients–and generally lessened my fears of Skynet.

Automating Businesses

Today, AI serves as a chief technology in supporting business automation and can reduce manual processes and create more efficiency in the business environment. Today, 62 percent of businesses believe that automation can resolve three or more process inefficiencies they face. Leveraging AI to drive that automation is an opportunity to decrease those manual tasks, reduce errors, improve speed, and transform business operations as a whole.

AI plays an integral role in that transformation. Some of the most advanced platforms supporting back office automation are using machine learning to systematize the invoicing and payment processes for businesses by:

  • recognizing and intercepting human error;
  • initiating approval processes;
  • recognizing workflows;
  • and automatically creating business rules on behalf of customers.

These new workflows and processes mean time and cost savings for businesses: those using platforms that leverage AI have reported that they save on average 5.5 hours per week, which translates to more than 36 business days annually.

Leveraging AI to Support Business Customers

So, where does that leave financial institutions? How can banks help their business customers save time and resources with AI? There are three strong possibilities for banks in the near term:

  1. Providing data-rich insights for products and services that help businesses detect customer patterns and habits and uncover unmet needs where product enhancements or new products may be warranted.
  2. Offering streamlined back office through automated invoicing and payment collection/reconciliation, as well as options to auto-pay recurring bills.
  3. Enabling enhanced fraud monitoring by providing data and machine learning and anomaly detection to help ensure approval of every good transaction.

The AI Opportunity

While the benefits are numerous, AI adoption, particularly by small and medium businesses, has much room to grow. Today, only 8 percent of SMBs are using AI.  But nearly half of SMB leaders (46 percent) believe their businesses are ready to use AI, and 32 percent have plans to implement AI. That’s why this was a key topic that René Lacerte, Bill.com’s CEO and Founder, addressed in this session at Money20/20.

As I have aged (let’s go with ‘matured’), my perspective has changed a bit, and I have been able to balance the specter of The Terminator with the promise that AI brings.  I feel very lucky to be part of this positive impact, as well as helping many of our partners by offering the same to their customers.

PS – One of my favorite parts of The Terminator was the small role by a young Bill Paxton.  If you don’t remember, check it out.

This content was originally published here.

Bill.com is a leading provider of cloud-based software that simplifies, digitizes, and automates complex, back-office financial operations for small and midsize businesses. Customers use the Bill.com platform to manage end-to-end financial workflows and to process payments. The Bill.com AI-enabled financial software platform connects businesses and their suppliers and clients. It helps manage cash inflows and outflows. The company partners with several of the largest U.S. financial institutions, including most of the top 100 U.S. accounting firms and popular accounting software providers. Bill.com has offices in Palo Alto, California, and Houston, Texas. For more information, visit www.bill.com.

The Future of SaaS Finance: Machine Learning and AI

Machine learning and AI will help SaaS CFOs tremendously.  How and where?  Let’s start with the FP&A function in SaaS organizations that relies on detailed data visualization and financial storytelling. CFO automation tools make those two tasks much simpler and more intuitive for finance teams, among many other benefits. 

In this post, we’ll explore the latest trends in financial planning and analysis (FP&A), the benefits and risks of machine learning in FP&A, and how to build a SaaS financial model with machine learning and AI. 

What’s next for FP&A? 

Financial planning and analysis is the process of budgeting, forecasting, and analyzing financial performance. As SaaS companies continue to grow and mature, they must keep up with the latest FP&A trends to remain competitive. 

Some of the top trends include: 

  • Moving away from spreadsheets and towards dedicated FP&A software
  • Automating routine tasks to free up time for analysis and strategic planning
  • Focusing on key performance indicators (KPIs) that drive business outcomes
  • Using data visualization to communicate financial insights to stakeholders

The challenges facing the FP&A process

Despite these trends, FP&A professionals still face several challenges. Some of the most common include: 

  • Data silos: Financial data is often stored in different systems and is difficult to access and integrate. 
  • Manual processes: Many FP&A tasks are still done manually, leading to errors and inefficiencies. 
  • Lack of automation: Even when software is used, many FP&A tasks are not yet fully automated, leaving room for error and inconsistency. 

Automating processes at scale

One way to address these challenges is through automation at scale. Machine learning and AI can help automate routine FP&A tasks, freeing up time for more strategic work. 

Machine learning in finance

Machine learning is a subset of AI that uses statistical algorithms to learn from data and make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed. In finance, machine learning can be used for tasks such as fraud detection, credit scoring, and forecasting. 

Benefits of financial machine learning in FP&A

Financial machine learning enables companies to use algorithms to program software to perform tasks that require human cognition. This has been a game-changer in SaaS FP&A. Some of the top machine learning use cases for SaaS finance include: 

  • Multiply efficiency: Since it uses algorithmic deep learning, machine learning offloads much of the burden of creating financial models. This increases finance teams’ effectiveness and overall freedom to maneuver. 
  • Eliminate human error: Using CFO automation tools to create financial models, reports, and forecasts increases the likelihood of human error. This is due not only to errors in the deliverables themselves but from problems with the manual financial processes used to create them.  
  • Enable rapid data scaling: machine learning enables finance departments to easily work with very large datasets. This makes scaling much smoother and faster by enabling back-end financial processes to keep pace with front-end growth. 

When you rely on manual financial processes, you can expect to run into various internal and growth-related bottlenecks. CFO automation tools equipped with machine learning and AI go straight to the source of those problems–manual process reliance–and remove it from the equation. 

Machine learning use cases in finance

From presentations to pricing rollouts, machine learning software has a broad range of potential use cases for FP&A teams. Some of the top use cases include: 

Flexible and dynamic spending 

Machine learning can help companies optimize spending by analyzing data in real-time and adjusting budgets accordingly. 

Integrating across daily desktop tools 

By integrating machine learning into everyday tools such as email and chat, finance teams can stay on top of financial data without switching between different systems. 

Data available across the organization 

Machine learning can help break down data silos and make financial data available across the organization.

Automation of processes 

By automating routine tasks, machine learning can free up time for more strategic analysis.

Financial visualization in a board meeting

During board meetings and presentations, financial visualization with financial machine learning software can help your audience easily make sense of complex ideas and relationships. 

Building flexibility into your campaigns 

One of the major benefits of algorithmic FP&A is the ease and simplicity of altering your financial models. Compared to manual accounting methods, this leads to higher accuracy and lets teams quickly compare and contrast small adjustments. 

Process unification across departments 

Siloed data and disconnected processes scattered across departments can lead to serious operational liabilities over time. Financial machine learning software uses the cloud to sync data updates and operations across departments. 

This has a positive impact on revenue recognition and many other financial processes. 

As appealing as it is, however, machine learning for SaaS finance isn’t necessarily foolproof or without its limitations. Let’s examine a few of them. 

Risks and limitations of financial machine learning in FP&A

Despite the above benefits, there are also risks and limitations to using machine learning in FP&A. Some potential hurdles to be mindful of include: 

  • Lack of data: If you’re a brand new company or you’ve only recently launched, you might not have sufficient data to justify an investment in machine learning. Remember, machine learning models must be trained on your specific datasets before they’re of any use to you personally. 
  • Bias in the data: Biased data refers to data that’s unbalanced and therefore difficult for machine learning to accurately work with. You might get “workable” models from biased data, but they won’t be accurate. If your company only recently launched, your dataset might be overbalanced to reflect an initial adoption rush of one type of customer. 
  • Inability to blend with legacy tech: Unlike cloud-enabled accounting tools, machine learning applications are incapable of “lifting and shifting” onto legacy accounting tech. This requires a firmer commitment to moving away from older tools before you make the machine learning leap. 
  • Model continuity problems: Often, only one or two people on a finance team fully understand how to craft and manipulate machine learning models. That can be a considerable liability if they leave the company. 

With all this in mind, how would you ideally get started with AI and machine learning in your SaaS finance department?

Getting started with machine learning and AI 

Now that we’ve covered the benefits and risks of machine learning in FP&A, let’s dive into how to build a SaaS financial model with machine learning and AI. When you’re first getting started with AI and machine learning, keep these four important best practices in mind: 

1. Make sure everyone in your department–as well as your other stakeholders–understands why the shift matters and what will be gained.

2. Take a second to double-check that you won’t be stuck relying on outdated tech that will complicate or slow down implementation. 

3. Talk with the other leaders at your firm and get ideas and thoughts on clear FP&A goals and results that people would like to see. What’s their mental image of your company’s FP&A before and after implementing machine learning and AI?

4. Continue to check back with stakeholders and department members as the rollout unfolds, and periodically afterward as well. How are they feeling about the recent change? Have any of their stated goals around machine learning and AI been met? 

Let’s dive back into specific benefits and use cases of FP&A advanced analytics machine learning for SaaS accounting teams. 

Financial machine learning for SaaS FP&A

Financial analysis relies on quickly and accurately working with large datasets that are split into many different categories. CFO automation tools make it considerably simpler to scale, manage, and use your data. 

Finance pros use  FP&A advanced analytics machine learning to help companies chart their present and future cash flow. This helps organizations: 

  • Make effective hiring calls: Because effective hiring often involves multiple layers of “if-then” forecasting, FP&A advanced analytics machine learning can be very helpful. Built-in model flexibility makes it easier to forecast potential scenarios, and the elimination of manual forecast assembly reduces variance significantly.  
  • Successfully navigate recessions: One of the biggest benefits of AI and machine learning is the clarity they bring to recession FP&A. Accounting software equipped with AI and machine learning allows finance teams to manage their cash flow in a much more granular and effective way than legacy systems are capable of. When the markets head south, this is invaluable. 
  • Cut operational costs with automation: Financial process automation enables finance teams to maximize their budgets by relegating repetitive but essential tasks to software instead of humans. Rather than eliminating the need for employees, this frees them up to make more valuable contributions. 

Let’s look at machine learning as it relates to financial models. 

Building models with financial machine learning?

As the name implies, machine learning enables software applications to autonomously learn to create predictive models. This is the backbone of FP&A advanced analytics machine learning. 

Let’s compare legacy financial modeling to financial modeling done with CFO automation tools. With legacy accounting systems, financial modeling has two primary steps–speaking very broadly of course. 

Step one is to gather and organize large sums of financial data, customer data, and other types of info relevant to FP&A. (Machine learning and AI simplify and streamline this otherwise complex and lengthy task.)

Step two is to manually organize this data, and then use tedious spreadsheet formulas or a similar method to assemble reports and forecasts. 

When accounting teams invest in FP&A advanced analytics machine learning, step two is taken care of automatically. CFO automation tools equipped with machine learning can autonomously use existing data pools to create forecast models, budget models, and pricing models, among other varieties.   

What is the use of machine learning in forecasting?

FP&A advanced analytics machine learning gives CFOs more confidence in the various forecast models they use. 

Machine learning plays an important role in SaaS FP&A forecasting by: 

  • Considerably reducing forecast variance. 
  • Enabling more complicated multifactor forecasts. 
  • Significantly extending forecasts’ effective timeframe. 
  • Allowing teams to alter financial projections with a single click. 

FP&A advanced analytics machine learning simplifies and streamlines SaaS FP&A for modern accounting teams. CFO automation tools make it easier for SaaS finance professionals to get an accurate read on a company’s financial future. 

See what the future holds 

SaaS finance is changing at a more rapid pace than ever before. AI and ML are causing teams to think about workflows and employee roles in a new light. Advances in accounting technology are allowing finance leaders to work much more effectively, but are also making the landscape much more competitive.  

That’s why we created the Modern SaaS Finance Academy, a collection of online courses taught by industry leaders and experts designed to help SaaS finance pros level up their FP&A results, cut down on forecast variance, and much more. Each curated lesson helps finance and accounting leaders learn the skills and perspectives to scale the business to IPO and beyond.

AI Software Engineer

Responsible for developing, programming and training the complex networks of algorithms that make up AI so that they can function like a human brain. This role requires combined expertise in software development, programming, data science and data engineering.

Objectives and Responsibilities

    • Manage and direct processes and R&D (research and development) to meet the needs of our AI strategy
    • Understand company and client challenges and how integrating AI capabilities can help lead to solutions
    • Lead cross-functional teams in identifying and prioritizing key areas of a partner’s business where AI solutions can drive significant business benefit
    • Analyze and explain AI and machine learning (ML) solutions while setting and maintaining high ethical standards
    • Advise C-suite executives and business leaders on a broad range of technology, strategy, and policy issues associated with AI
    • Work on functional design, process design (including scenario design, flow mapping), prototyping, testing, training, and defining support procedures, in collaboration with an advanced engineering team and executive leadership
    • Articulate and document the solutions architecture and lessons learned for each exploration and accelerated incubation
    • Manage a team in conducting assessments of the AI and automation market and competitor landscape
    • Serve as liaison between stakeholders and project teams, delivering feedback and enabling team members to make necessary changes in product performance or presentation

Skills & Qualifications

    • Experience in applying AI to practical and comprehensive technology solutions
    • Experience with ML, deep learning, TensorFlow, Python, NLP
    • Experience in program leadership, governance, and change enablement
    • Knowledge of basic algorithms, object-oriented and functional design principles, and best-practice patterns
    • Experience in REST API development, NoSQL database design, and RDBMS design and optimizations
    • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science or related field
    • Experience with innovation accelerators
    • Experience with cloud environments

Sr. Technical Project Manager

The Sr. Technical Project Manager will lead NetSuite ERP and Salesforce CRM system implementation projects for Exafort. You will ensure that Exafort continues to deliver innovatively, high-quality projects on-time and on-budget to enterprise customers.

Our ideal candidate will have strong enterprise business processes knowledge in Finance and Accounting, Sales, Customer services, and business operations, enabling and integrating enterprise applications coupled with exceptional project management and technology skills. Experience in working in high-performing small to midsize companies is highly desired.

Objectives and Responsibilities

  • Lead project teams through kickoff, discovery, design, implementation, prototype review, deployment, and adoption processes

  • Lead and manage both internal and external project resources, including both functional and technical team members, and have ownership of project delivery

  • Define project plans and schedules, resource requirements, and project dependencies

  • Manage project scope, cost, and stakeholder expectations

  • Manage risk, perform risk analysis and provide communications

  • Communicate project status to the project team, business owners, and Exponent Partners leadership/management

  • Track and communicate project deliverables, challenges, and decisions

  • Track action items, open issues and assignments, and ensure completion of tasks

  • Help develop best practices and effective, consistent repeatable delivery process in a fast-paced environment

Skills & Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in computer science, business management, or a related field, and at least 8 years of experience in information technology, Sr. Technical Project Manager candidates will meet the following qualifications:

  • Experience leading ERP/CRM projects is a must

  • Demonstrated success in client-facing roles

  • Successful track record of proven project management experience delivering full lifecycle technology projects on time and within budget

  • Demonstrated leadership skills are mandatory

  • Experience delivering information technology projects to multiple clients. Enterprise clients experience is highly desirable

  • Strong business process focus and skills

  • Significant experience facilitating and participating in business analysis with clients

  • A sense of humor, a positive outlook, and an easygoing manner when working with others

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills as applied in project plans, status reports and e-mail communication, systems documentation, client meetings, team interaction, and everything in between

  • Experience working in a small company environment

  • Experience with leading remote, geographically diverse domestic teams

  • Experience with structured software development methodologies/processes (SDLC, Agile methodologies, Scrum, XP, etc.)

  • Proficiency with project management tools (Microsoft Project)

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) PMI Project management certification is a pl