Transforming a Global SaaS Business with Data and Automation
I recently had the chance to sit down with Pete Tantillo, CFO and COO, and Elliot Goldman, Finance Director for RapidRatings.
RapidRatings provides sophisticated analysis of the financial health of public and private companies around the world. The company’s analytics system provides predictive insights into third-party partners, suppliers, vendors, customers, and securities issuers, and is transforming the way the world’s leading companies manage enterprise and financial risk.
During our conversation, Pete and Elliot both shared why RapidRatings selected Sage Intacct, prior challenges they experienced with QuickBooks as a growing company, and how Sage Intacct Contract Revenue Management has been so helpful to their business.
Andrew Sevilla: Pete and Elliot, thank you so much sitting down with me for a few minutes! To start, can you please tell the readers a little bit about RapidRatings?
Pete Tantillo: Absolutely! We’re both happy to be here! RapidRatings is a global SaaS company transforming the way the world’s leading companies manage enterprise and financial risk. We provide the most sophisticated analysis of the financial health of public and private companies in the world.
Andrew: That’s a great description; Thanks, Pete. Can you share a bit about the challenges you experienced with your previous financial software application?
Pete: The challenges that we had with our previous software application was that it wasn't able to handle the growing, scalable needs of our business. RapidRatings was growing and, becoming more complex, including adding subsidiaries around the world. We couldn't do a complete consolidation and had a lot of revenue recognition and processes that were completely outside the system which were done with error-prone, manual Excel processes. With Sage Intacct, we are able to automate all of that, whereas our previous financial application could not really handle our scale.
Elliot Goldman: Specifically, the cumbersome processes were around order to cash. We had Salesforce and QuickBooks, but the process of getting the deals closed and accounting for them properly in QuickBooks was very manual. We would have to download a report from Salesforce, manually add the details of each of our closed deals to an Excel spreadsheet, do a reconciliation to make sure all our billing was done, and then do more calculations to make sure revenue was recognized. It was too long of a process.
QuickBooks was okay when we were small, but as we started to grow, we quickly realized that we needed something better. We used Excel spreadsheets that were continually growing to support our month-long reconciliations. Closing the books and consolidating the books was becoming more tedious every month.
Andrew: That’s really helpful. Thank you for going into such detail, Pete and Elliot. Did you look at any other financial management systems before selecting Sage Intacct? And what ultimately led to you choosing us versus another solution?
Pete: I really liked the strong focus Sage Intacct has on the software and technology industry for companies that are growing and emerging, like ours. We looked at some other packages, such as Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics, but it made sense for us to consider a package that had best in class capability and the commitment that Sage Intacct does to our industry. This really was what made the decision quite easy.
Elliot: Yes, we were looking for a product that was not only better than QuickBooks, but was also innovative. We knew with Sage Intacct, innovation was key to them. They were already looking forward to ASC 606, thinking about how they could help companies adapt, and having that mindset was key to us. It's why we ultimately chose Sage Intacct over competing products such as Oracle NetSuite.
Pete: That’s a great point, Elliot. Sage Intacct allows us to scale our business, and when I look across different providers in the marketplace, I think Sage Intacct is way out in front in terms of how they approached ASC 606 – well before some of their competition had.
Elliot: It’s also worth noting how helpful Sage Intact Contract Revenue Management and Sage Intacct Contract and Subscription Billinghas been for us – it’s the core of our business at RapidRatings because contract billing is the first step to the entire process. If a contract doesn't get billed, then deferred revenue doesn't get set up, and revenue ultimately doesn't get recognized.
Before implementing the contracts module, we were trying to figure out what was billable based on a very large Excel spreadsheet that crashed half the time when we tried to open it, and there was no confidence on my end that all the billing was getting done properly; And it definitely wasn't getting done efficiently. All those problems went away once we had Sage Intacct, and Contracts up and running.
Andrew: That’s fantastic to hear, and I’m so glad that we’ve proven to be such a good fit for RapidRatings. Your organization worked with a Sage Intacct partner during the implementation process as well... Can you describe how that went?
Pete: Yes, that’s right. The combination of Leap the Pond and Sage Intacct was an ideal fit for us. I've spent a lot of time in the software industry myself, and I know firsthand that what can happen if you don't have a good team helping you make decisions and implement in a fast manner so that you can get quick results.
Leap the Pond presented a roster of very, very talented, experienced consultants who were able to help us quickly assess our needs and be able to configure the system so that we could get it up and running.
Elliot: In regard to getting up and running, we also have Salesforce and Sage Intacct completely integrated and pushing data back and forth. The entire order to cash process is now streamlined. That alone has been extremely powerful and has saved us a good four to five days off our close…Once the deal gets pushed over, the revenue recognition calculation, the commission expense calculation – all that being automated is extremely powerful. We're able to close that whole process down within the first couple hours of the first day of the business month.
Sage Intact has saved us from hiring at least two, possibly three, incremental people to my team. So right away there's a significant return on that investment; it more than pays for our subscription.
Pete: The streamlined process has been extremely beneficial to me, as the CFO of the company. I haven't had to staff up my accounting department to do a lot of busywork, in terms of Excel reconciliations, checking data, and making sure that one thing ties to another. With our Sage Intacct system, I know that everything is automated and there's no need to do that. I have a lot of confidence that, as my business scales, I can manage the internal processes with Sage Intacct.
For more information on how Sage Intacct has impacted RapidRatings, be sure to check out their video and case study.
With 12+ years of global high tech customer marketing experience. Andrew has lead global customer reference team responsibilities for generating awareness, building sales pipeline, creating customer success evidence, and growing revenue. As the Director of Customer Marketing at Sage Intacct, he is responsible for leading the customer reference and advocacy program.