CFO needed modern billing and revenue management automation. Read BAO Systems video transcript.

I really care about the customer experience. As a CFO, often that may not always be the case but I care about customers having a seamless experience. And, I also care about putting as little friction as possible in the financial and administrative parts of the customer’s experience.

They didn’t sign up with us to pay bills and deal with invoices. They signed up with us because of the services we provide.

BAO Systems is a technology company focused on supporting international public health programs. Our customers are government customers as well as many NGOs and other types of aid organizations. When I joined the company, the process for billing was fully manual. There was no automation at all there was just a single person, who would do her best to keep track of what invoices needed to go out and when. The result of that was despite her best efforts, a lot of missed billing, a lot of billing errors, a lot of issues where we didn’t know, for example, how long somebody’s contract was or things like that.

So it was to be, to put it very bluntly,  it was a mess and one that needed to be cleaned up very quickly.

When I was evaluating what system to put in at BAO, what I was looking for was a modern, flexible, easy to use, easy to get up to speed with and I spoke with the Ordway team. They were very clear about what the system could accomplish for us. We evaluated this tool against other tools and what we saw was that this tool has the most potential to provide us that one-stop shop for billing and for revenue management.

It’s really important to me to be able to be a partner to our CEO and executive team. With automation of the billing, it allows me to focus more on getting cash in the door, making sure our customers are paying on time, it helps me focus on working on strategic plans, all the things that as a CFO you want to be able to spend all your time on.

The more I can automate, the more the bills are accurate and have all the special nuances I need for a particular customer, the more I can rise above the day-to-day and really focus on the big picture.

The goal is we get really good quality data out of this so that we can see things like project-level profitability, we can see for example, which customers are paying on time and which customers we need to work with a little more closely. At the end of the day, all of this rolls into our accounting and our operational reporting so that we can really understand what’s working in the business what might need to improve over time. And that’s really the goal for me to get to a place where the data just flows and the billing data ties with the project data, and I can see exactly what’s going on in the business at any time.

BAO Systems is a technology company focused on supporting international public health programs. Their customers are government customers as well as many NGOs and other types of aid organizations. They realized their manual billing process was causing internal and external friction and needed to fix it fast.

Man and woman discussing revenue

The challenge

BAO Systems realized they needed to augment their finance team through automation and invest for the future

BAO Systems is scaling their operations to better serve public health programs around the world. When Michael Spitzer joined the team as a new CFO, he quickly realized that their manual billing and revenue recognition process was leading to missed billing and frustrated customers. “I care about putting as little friction as possible in the financial and administrative parts of the customer’s experience,” noted Spitzer.

He also understood that he needed to support his team with technology so they could be more efficient in their efforts to improve health outcomes around the world. The manual effort to compile hosting and professional service fees and map them to unique contract terms prevented the team from having time to focus on the big picture.

Components of the BAO Systems business model (custom to each customer):

  • SaaS platform fee for data hosting
  • SaaS modules (e.g. – additional security/compliance) sold as add-ons
  • Professional services to support public health initiatives
Michael Spitzer at desk

The solution

Flexible, modern platform creates one-stop shop for finance and revenue management

The BAO Systems team evaluated many tools as part of their process when selecting the Ordway billing and revenue automation platform. Some point solutions they looked at fit parts of their hosting services business model, and some were designed specifically for professional services organizations. Only Ordway offered a flexible, modern approach to billing and revenue recognition that addressed all of their requirements. BAO Systems chose Ordway for the following reasons:

Flexibility and power. The Ordway platform is designed to meet the needs of BAO Systems today as well as the needs of their team as they continue to grow. BAO’s customers all enjoy custom contract terms and billing is complicated by the fact that their fees combine both a recurring charge for their technology hosting service, as well as professional services hours that fluctuate month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter. The Ordway platform enables BAO to automatically generate accurate invoices and revenue schedules.

Modern approach. As BAO Systems evaluated solutions, Michael quickly realized that much of the software on the market was designed for the dot-com era nearly 20 years ago. These rigid systems lacked the scalability of a modern enterprise-level platform. Ordway’s modern billing architecture and RESTful API means Ordway will grow and adapt as BAO Systems’ needs change over time.

Customer success orientation. Ordway is democratizing enterprise-level billing and revenue management capabilities for the SMB market. Part of the approach means ensuring industry-leading responsiveness when it comes to the needs to the client. Spitzer noted that the Ordway team was, “very clear about what the system could accomplish for us.”

two men discussing billing

The results

Elimination of manual workarounds in the billing and revenue management process

BAO systems augmented their staff via the Ordway platform and are now generating error-free invoices for their clients. Previously stretched thin with basic tasks, the team now has time to focus on the big picture: strategic planning, understanding project-level profitability, and identifying where the business needs to improve.

What took endless hours is now accomplished with little or no effort, and the team has the peace of mind that as their business model evolves, the Ordway platform and team will be there to support their continued scaling and growth.