Vestwell automates complex usage-based billing workflows. Read the transcript.
Dave Sheen, CFO Vestwell: [00:00:00] I would describe Ordway as really the next generation of billing and subscription management tools in the same way that I consider Vestwell to be the next generation of managing a retirement plan for small businesses. We had faith in Ordway very quickly in our decision making process because I could see that it had a level of flexibility that we needed and could combine usage based billing with subscription and more typical SaaS based billing. It could combine one-time charges with regular recurring charges and it also had the functionality around reporting that we needed. And then the final component it was important to us was the ability to integrate both with our own systems here at Vestwell and also with Salesforce. I would estimate the time we used to spend on manual billing processes. It was very concentrated at quarter end, which unfortunately was the same time we were trying to close the books, so we had a lot of busy times there. But over the course of about 10 days at the end of every quarter, a substantial component of that would spent on billing and calculating invoices, sending them out, chasing people, etc..
Brendan Keogh, Controller Vestwell: [00:01:30] The Ordway software now allows us to work in really complex billing schedules that are just a part of being in this industry. So whether you’re considering the waterfall effect of billings or the usage based effect of billing, it helps customize and calculate that at a click of a button. And being able to present that in an invoice the way we’d like and email them out to the customer. So pretty streamlined from the calculation all the way to the customer.
Dave Sheen, CFO Vestwell: [00:02:00] One of the ways in which Ordway has really helped us with our month-end close is actually allowing us to prepare accurate estimates of our revenue at month end and provide accurate reporting for our monthly investor updates and also the board .
Brendan Keogh, Controller Vestwell: [00:02:20] Ordway frees up my time by doing the calculations that I otherwise couldn’t without the software. If not for the software, we would probably need another full time person just to handle our billing.
Dave Sheen, CFO Vestwell: [00:02:31] The time savings we’ve had from implementing Ordway actually really opens up my day to be able to spend more time working directly with our CEO on things that are critically important and strategic for the business.
Vestwell is scaling quickly and in an industry that requires them to have complex billing that includes accounting for 3rd-party fees. By adopting the Ordway billing and revenue automation platform, the Vestwell finance team streamlined quarterly usage-based billing and illuminated real-time revenue data to effectively report to the C-suite and their Board of Directors.
Team wanted more finance automation and visibility into revenue
Every quarter, customer billing coincided with trying to close the books. This meant many long nights getting manual invoice calculations correct. Vestwell used spreadsheets to combine usage-based billing information from internal systems, as well as contract information from Salesforce, to accurately send invoices to their customers. This manual process meant many hours rechecking work before invoices could be sent. The Vestwell finance team also struggled to accurately report real-time revenue snapshots and forecasts to internal management as well as external investors.
Sales-to-finance automation produces accurate billings for complex customers at scale
Adoption of Ordway creates automated, end-to-end, Salesforce-to-QuickBooks workflow Vestwell’s recurring SaaS business which includes a usage-based portion of their fee structure.
After evaluating others in the market, they realized only Ordway could handle their complex business model and their revenue reporting needs.
“Ordway is the next generation of billing and subscription management tools in the same way that I consider Vestwell to be the next generation of managing a retirement plan for small businesses.” Dave Sheen, CFO Vestwell
The Vestwell team integrated both their Salesforce instance with Ordway as well as their internal retirement planning software system. This means contract details (amount of the deal, billing start date, terms, etc) automatically flow, error-free, to the Ordway platform. Additionally, each quarter, usage fees are automatically imported into the Ordway system from Vestwell databases to produce an accurate invoice for their customers.
Next-generation sales-to-finance workflow automation at Vestwell includes:
- Close win an opportunity in Salesforce
- Automatically set up recurring SaaS contracts in Ordway with proper terms, discounts, billing frequency, etc
- Automatically import usage-based billing information from Vestwell servers
- Send journal entries to QuickBooks
- Report monthly revenue via scheduled reports: SaaS metrics, Vestwell specific metrics and KPIs, etc.
Finance automation generates worry-free invoicing, reduced expenses, and focused time for the CFO
A billing process that conflicted with their quarter-end close process, is now running smoothly in the background and saving them more than 10 days per quarter for simply getting invoices out the door. As a result, Vestwell has redeployed resources to more strategic activities for the business.
In fact, Vestwell estimates that the adoption of Ordway meant they didn’t need to hire a full-time billing person in the high-cost, New York City market. This in itself could represent $40-60K of savings annually. Those dollars are now used to fund other Vestwell initiatives.
“Ordway frees up my time by doing the calculations that I otherwise couldn’t without the software. If not for the software, we would probably need another full time person just to handle our billing.” Brendan Keogh, Controller, Vestwell
In addition to smooth billing, Vestwell is now able to report revenue snapshots as well as provide visibility into future revenue schedules at a moments’ notice. This line-of-sight into future business is helping the finance team be a strategic partner to the Vestwell management team.