Going Global. Competing with lean teams and efficient technology

Watch a discussion featuring finance professionals from MyDigitalOffice and Ordway. With entities doing business in the U.S., Canada, and Sri Lanka, Ordway’s platform helps MyDigitalOffice invoice customers all over the world and keeps their entities’ accounting separate.

Topics covered in this webinar

Ordway-multi-entity-organization-support-platform-960 copy

About the presenters

EricMagas-MyDigitalOfficeEric Magas, CPA, Controller at MyDigitalOffice

 

Brannon-Adlesh-headshotBrannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway

 

Eren-KoontEren Koont, Platform growth, Ordway 

 

 

 

 

Watch the archive

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:00:01] Today, we're going to talk about going global and competing with lean teams and efficient technology, and really this is about using a multi entity framework to help scale and grow your business. And so we've got a great set of panelists here today, Brannon Adlesh who is our product manager of of finance and revenue, and he's based in the Bay Area and really an expert came out of Coupa and is has a wealth of knowledge on the topic. And then Eric Magas, who is a CPA and a the Controller at MyDigitalOffice, they are a global company and are doing amazing things to to grow their business. And I will be sort of in the background helping facilitate the conversation and what we will be doing. Just a couple of housekeeping things. Please use the Q&A function in Zoom to ask questions, we will queue those up and then answer those at the end and we will have a couple of polls throughout the session just to keep it a little bit more interactive and and enjoy and have it be as two directional as possible. But without further ado, just a little context about who Ordway is. For those who are new to Ordway, we're are a billing and revenue automation platform. And really order to revenue is in our DNA. We serve subscription based businesses and transaction based businesses around the world. Our executive team has deep experience building ERP and financial systems and our founder came was an early and early employee it Intacct. And Zuora launched lots of incredible products that you all know and love. And we're backed by amazing investors like CRV.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:01:57] I'm going to turn it over to Eric just to say a few things about MyDigitalOffice before we get kicked off.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:02:06] Thanks, Eren. Yeah, just super high level, MyDigitalOffice is a software as a service, and we mainly serve the hospitality industry, specifically hotels and hotel owners. Our major product is a paperless night audit product. Surprising to me when I first joined my digital office is that the hospitality industry is a little slower and their software and technology than you would expect or even kind of slower than the rest of the rest of the world. So what we do with our main products is take a paper report that they are printing out nightly and turn that into a paperless and have that stored on a cloud. And then our second major product just is pretty much data driven and data analytics and gives hotel group owners, spits out data for their portfolio and how they've been performing, how they can budget, how they can forecast, etc.. We are based in Bethesda, Maryland, like Eren said, and we have companies in Canada and Sri Lanka.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:03:10] And what I think is amazing about your business is hospitality. Obviously, it's been impacted by the pandemic, but the fact that you're continuing to grow and solve problems for your customers means that you're really driving along efficiency for those customers and really meeting the moment that is within the industry. And so thank you for helping all those hotels and properties continuing to thrive the best they can in the current conditions. So I'm going to turn it over to Brannon now for a little bit and we'll we'll yeah, let's turn over to Brannon.

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:03:48] Thanks very much.

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:03:49] Yeah. So, you know, as we as we look at this slide here, what is how do we define a multi entity oriented organization? And, you know, businesses approach every business is a little bit different when they think about multi entity and maybe open up a new sales division in Europe or the APAC region or maybe segmenting your different product lines or business lines within the US. You know, many times it's just thinking about scalability and growth of your business and, you know, how you can be flexible and really be nimble when you do see a growth opportunity in a new region or in a new part of your business.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:04:30] And so, Brannon, we're going to take the opportunity to do our our first poll here and ask you all. Out there has your business established. Multiple entities and you can the answers are no less than a year ago, yes, more than a year ago.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:04:52] We'll give people about 10 seconds to. Finish answering their.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:05:00] Question and we see that things are beginning to slow down a little bit and we'll we'll go ahead and give people five, four, three, two, one.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:05:14] So the poll was evenly split between note no multiple entities and then also, yes, more than a year ago. So not very many of you out there have just established a new entity or established entity. So you're either in the know we haven't done it yet or yes, we've done it at least a year ago. So with that Brannon, I'll turn it back over to you.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:05:41] Thanks, Eren.

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:05:43] I think it's important to consider when you think about it, you know, from a system standpoint, you know what the multi-entity, you know, framework allows you to do if you don't have multiple any set up today, you know, your sales and marketing organization. You know, they can be they can be thinking, you know, 18, 24 months down the road. And they do see an opportunity to expand. Like I mentioned earlier, amea the APAC region and being prepared today enables those those teams to truly go after a new market. They're not going to be held back by, you know, G&A constraints, if you will, where, you know, the finance team isn't ready to invoice and, you know, in Europe or they haven't figured out how that how they should be charging tax in Singapore. And a lot of these things that can slow down that process, you know, the multi entity framework. So even if you're not doing it today, if you're thinking about it tomorrow, you want to be in a position where you're prepared to to make those transitions pretty seamless. But, you know, when is the time to think about multiple entities is, you know, just going through a few of the bullet points here is here. You know, obviously the new market approach is important. Now you're segmenting different parts of your business across the world. Maybe, you know, existing line of business is going to move in a slightly different direction. You want to be able to report across all business lines, but allow them to function in their own respect. You know, tax reporting is big and one that I'm not sure you mentioned on this slide is also thinking about, you know, mergers and acquisitions. The multi entity framework really allows for you to make those transitions much more seamless and smooth. And it really goes to show how if you can make those, for instance, a merger execution can get through that process quickly, just goes to show how efficiently run your back office is and how well they're positioned to make those transitions.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:07:48] Yeah, and maybe this is a good time to ask your question about sort of the MyDigitalOffice set up, and you know what, I know it was before your time, but what are some of the reasons why MyDigitalOffice decided to set up entities in Canada and Sri Lanka?

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:08:07] Yes, yes, yes, so we kind of if you're America central, we kind of had a backwards approach to becoming America Central. So our company was started in Canada and then brought over to America and about twenty seventeen not totally sure why we settled on Maryland. It's probably a question for our CEO, but so we start in Canada, built a Canadian customer base. They saw that it could be brought over to America and be applied to the American hospitality industry as well. So America kind of being the secondary part, isn't a traditional, I guess I would say for most of US companies. But I think that our entire customer base can or basically the entire world is our customer base. So we're looking to expand elsewhere as well.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:08:55] So that that story touches on a lot of these points on the slide here, just moving into new markets and making sure that the infrastructure is there to support it. So, Brannon, back to you.

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:09:10] Yeah, I think so, and so when we were thinking about building multi entity out in respect to Ordway and I think a major you know, a major goal for me was to, you know, think scalability. Right. So we preach automation, but automation is only valuable when it's scalable. Right. And that's you know, that's that's how we how we approach it. You know, the ability to, you know, share product lines across all of your entities and report on a single product across all of your entities is valuable, you know, consolidated revenue reporting. And, you know, these are complex. I mean, if you try to do this in a spreadsheet, it takes you hours and hours and hours to pull these numbers together. And there's a reason that this type of technology is limited to kind of the big dogs, the enterprise players. You know, it takes years to develop and support your customers. Well, in this framework and, you know, we wanted to democratize it a little bit and open this up to the SMB market and others as well, that can gain huge efficiencies and have the opportunity to really scale in a much more, you know, future looking and thinking about where they're going and where their business can grow. Yeah, great, so, yeah, and this next slide, I think, you know, we pulled some of the some of this data from from Deloitte here, and it really is just highlighting, you know, what your business can be thinking about and, you know, strategically thinking about really when you can, you know, increase efficiency across your business. So, you know, greater than 50 percent or 50 percent of people's time is usually mundane tasks. I think, you know, spending prior Ordway, spending my career in corporate finance, we all know what, you know, mundane tasks look like. And we know we get excited about as well as, you know, the analytic side being able to to help the sales and marketing organization be, you know, in a position where they can make some aggressive decisions. And we know that you can support it from a DNA standpoint. So. Efficiency is key, it really allows your business to grow and highlights, you know, where you have some fat to trim, where you have opportunities and. Yeah.

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:11:49] Awesome.

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:11:52] So I think, you know, one thing I wanted to highlight with with this slide here is first thing to looking over at the graph, the graphic to our to our right here. You know, there's a lot. There's a lot there's a lot going on there. And our goal at Ordway is to make it to make it simple. And that's one of the things, you know, I mentioned earlier about, you know, sharing products across entities, being able to have the same product that you're reporting on, but have different price points and in different currencies for your different entities. You know, you want to be able to have that unified approach to your billing and be able to to if you're in the US being able to run billing for your European and your European customers or your immediate customers. And then all comes back to then the revenue reporting side, as well as being able to pull all those, you know, be able to break them out independently, but also be able to pull all those entities together and report in a consolidated fashion. Yeah, and just kind of continuing on with the few points I made there. You know, we're pretty excited about what we've built. You know, there's you know, we're we're we're still you know, we're still, you know, in the early stages of maturity. But we we think we've done a really, really good job of of hitting the kind of the key areas that are important to the customers that we've interviewed and the prospects that we've talked to as well about, you know, these kind of three key points, you know, billing unification, being able to bill across all entities irrespective of tax implications. And what that looks what those nuances look like in a specific region, being able to then report revenue on that billing and then, you know, being able to pull it together in one single chart of accounts or map your chart of accounts in a way where when it comes to consolidated reporting at the end of a month or very close, you know, you can get through that process. But sometimes we take days. You know, we think you can take hours when it comes to the billing and revenue side of the house during your close process.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:13:55] Great. So at this point, let's turn it over to Eric to just walk through a little bit about the specifics of what his business is doing.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:14:06] Yet so kind of this SaaS just gone through the multiple entry approach that MyDigitalOffice. So again, we're based in Maryland and us, but we have customers in Canada and then we also have a company in Sri Lanka. But that's basically just an expense region. So we don't have any customers there yet. Hopefully one day we will. But right now we'll just discuss the US and Canada. So the bespoke contracts, the first bullet point, it's just kind of hitting home the fact that as a software company and I'm sure a lot of startups are somewhere in this in this area, but I haven't seen the same contracts come through the door in my 13 months of being in my digital office, whether that be, hey, we're billing these five properties directly or, hey, I'm a hotel group owner that has 40 properties and I'm going to bill them, but I want them build I want some billed monthly, I want some build quarterly, and I want some build annually. Our contracts are all custom. And like I was saying with the startups that just, hey, we want the we want this sale and we want the money in the door. So we continue growing. So a lot of it is prorated like the second bullet point set. So some of the children are saying they might go live Jan one with ten other properties, but then they might have another 10 go live February 15th. And they want those properties billed, prorated and then match on the same billing schedule. So Ordway has been super helpful with all of that and implementing our structure and helping us out with that. And then also for us, taxes and manual taxes for the Canadian customers brand touched on this a little bit, but. Ordway has been super helpful with our implementation with Avalara. It's probably the easiest connection that I've seen across any of the software products that I've dealt with so far. Just one click of the button and all of our statistics and data right into Ordway and pulling the correct data. And then for our Canadian customers, we don't use Avalara and don't have an instance for Canada. So we're able to very quickly upload our tax table for our Canadian customers. And then again, same thing with QuickBooks integration was as smooth, as smooth and clean as a whistle to clicks. And our general ledger was right there and it was matching perfectly.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:16:32] Yes, Eric, as you think about these entities, what what was the process like just to to set it up with with the team?

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:16:44] Here at Ordway, it was it was a tenuous process just because the way our customer base and our contracts are built. But the Ordway team, I mean, I couldn't speak highly enough of our onboarding and implementation team at Ordway, specifically Max Rosenberg. Anybody who has Max as their onboarding specialists going forward is definitely in good hands. But everybody on board at Ordway was all hands on deck. Any time that we had a question whether it be regarding what kind of reporting we're getting, how do we import these customers, how like how are we dealing with two different general ledgers between the US and Canada? Somebody was there to answer the question. And if didn't know, somebody else stepped in at the at Ordway and it was great. And honestly, I couldn't even see how it got done so quickly. But we're super appreciative at MyDigitalOffice for what is done. Great.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:17:41] And I think that's great to hear. And I'm sure Max is going to ask for a raise now, which is well deserved. So I think you mentioned the prorated contracts. I think this next slide really talks through some of the complexities of your business. If you want to just sort of explain sort of what what all the different moving pieces that are within your business and how that is operationalized.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:18:05] Yeah. Yes, I touched on it a tad, but basically in the hospitality and hotel world, there are certain number of hotel group owners. So one owner might have five to 10 hotels. And then Marriott, for example, has four hundred under their portfolio. So Marriott, we billed monthly at any time a hotel comes on, say it's in the middle of the month. At the end of the month, we're billing it pro-rated. You shouldn't have to do those calculations by hand. But now Ordway does it automatically for us. And now that you're talking four hundred hotels, you don't want to do all those calculations by hand. Even if it is just one or two. It's always it's nice to have it set up automatically. But for our smaller customers, it is also super helpful because they do like to see it build on the same schedule. So, for example, if we do have a hotel owner that has seven properties in their build calendar annually every January one, and they say they have three or four additional properties that go live in the middle of the year, they'd like to see it match up to that January schedule. And again, we are doing that by hand. And now at the Ordway, it's just a couple of clicks of the button and it's automatically and I know it's clean because it's right there in front of me. And Ordway is super easy with the user interface.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:19:24] And.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:19:28] And then this kind of can just build off what we were talking about with the last couple of slides previously, we had to use QuickBooks for invoicing, and that made it pretty, pretty tough on our accounting department to make sure that every invoice was sent out correctly for the right amount and tax correctly, especially before we got set up with Avalara and Ordway. And then also with the statements you see here on Ordway, we had to send those out manually through QuickBook's. And now we have a process where Ordway will send them out for us automatically, whatever schedule we'd like. Right now we have it biweekly and that's been a huge help with our collection process. And we know it's in local currency and the correct tax and the statements are going to be correct with the open invoices.

 

Eric Magas, CPA, MyDigitalOffice [00:20:19] Yes, it sounds like you've got a lot of moving pieces across multiple entities, and I know the team here is really proud that we're able to support the complexity and something that our CEO likes to say. There's no business model too complex for us. And I think you're proof that that we're able to stretch, stretch the imagination and help help companies like your scale. So thank you for for sharing that. And I think just in summary, that the the goal and hopefully saw with with the MyDigitalOffice experience is that we're trying to help teams like Eric's run efficiently, scale globally and not have to build out massive teams to support this global growth. And really also, like Brannon was saying, democratize some of the functionality that was only available to enterprise customers. We're hoping that companies like MyDigitalOffice will be able to compete with their enterprise competitors in a way that wasn't possible before and gives them a competitive advantage over companies that may be a little stuck and stuck in their ways. So I think that ultimately we want companies to be able to act on rolled up reporting and make decisions based on looking at data across lots of looking at the revenue data from all of their entities. And instead of having to manually look at everything individually to see all of that rolled up into into consolidated reporting.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:21:55] So thank you for listening to us. We're going to switch over to Q&A here if you want to get your Q&A into the chat window. We'll get started. And I think just while Q&A is starting to populate a little bit more, check out our webinar archive at resources, dot Ordwaylabs, dot com slash webinars. And there's all sorts of great topics around invoice template design to different ways that customers of ours have helped their customers during this covid pandemic to just even our CEO talking about. He's a product guru, talking about the product roadmap framework that we use to help our team prioritize their efforts. So definitely check us out with the next webinars and we'll switch over to Q&A a couple here. And we'll start with Eric, one for you. It looks like if you were to expand into another country, is this something that you're going to be able to set up on your own or do you need to enlist the Ordway team's help?

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:23:10] I mean, we could set it up on our own, but I couldn't see us expanding into another country or another market without Ordway, I think we'd work hand in hand with Ordway and that in that sense and they'd be our number one and pretty much only billing platform and AR platform.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:23:30] Great, thanks for that. And then the next question, Brannon, this is probably better for you, but it's one company is asking that they have different configurations for products in each country they're in. And is this Ordway unify that product list or do they have to manage them individually?

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:23:56] So we've taken the flexibility approach so that the parent entity level, you can create products and then share those with your child entities or your sub entities, if you will. With that said, you can create different products that just sit within one of your sub entities. So if you so, you know, kind of comes back to what we're speaking to a little bit earlier about if you have different business lines that may have completely different products, you can set those up at the entity level or, you know, we have total flexibility, their pricing and currency, those all play a factor into how you approach your product catalog. But the answer is you can do both. You can you can have a single set or one product catalog that's applied across all of your entities. Or you can create products, entity, specific products that only only apply and are only relevant and applicable to one line of your business or one region.

 

Eren Koont, Ordway [00:24:58] And then last question and maybe I can take this one. Does it cost more to have multiple entities in the Ordway instance? And we definitely want companies to scale globally. So we'll follow up with you after this. And but we definitely don't multi entity is part of the license fee that Ordway has. And we don't we don't charge extra for it. So with that, it looks like there are no other questions. On behalf of Brannon and Eric, we really appreciate your time today. And we look forward to seeing you at the next webinar. And thank you for joining us. And hopefully you learned a little bit more about the Ordway multi entity framework and onward and upward.

 

Brannon Adlesh, Revenue Product Manager, Ordway [00:25:46] Awesome, thanks, everyone.