Customer Success Stories: Achieving Operational Efficiency
Recently, Vareto President Lalit Singh led a conversation with Health Gorilla SVP Sun Choi and Ada Sr. FP&A Manager Joon Suh on their journey to achieving operational efficiency with Vareto.
- How do you make a business case for an FP&A platform? Present tradeoffs and pain points to bring stakeholders along on the journey. That way they understand firsthand the urgency to invest in an FP&A platform that benefits not only the finance team, but the entire business.
- Truly understand the implementation process and time it takes before selecting a vendor. A solution with the bells and whistles now but takes too long or is too complex may not be the best solution for you today. Weigh your short term and long term needs against the deployment and customer success plan that your prospective vendor offers.
- Clean up your data before implementation. Ensuring that you have clean data and good data structure before deploying a solution may cost some time upfront but will help you avoid doing rework downstream.
- Don't boil the ocean. Start with quick wins like reviewing automated budget vs. actuals reports with your departmental leaders so that you can show the value of your investment with Vareto (e.g. accessing reports without waiting on finance).
- Define goals to track success. For example, how is the process improved (time spent, headcount saved) after implementing Vareto? Ada's primary goal was to reduce the time it takes to close the books. Before Vareto, finance waited on accounting and that left little time to make adjustments. With Vareto, they can review in parallel with the month-end process and they can turn around management reporting much faster, cutting the time down from 10 days to 8 days.
- The Vareto difference. Wrapbook's FP&A leader Carson Yeung shared, "So overall, I think there’s two philosophies that FP&A systems fall under. One philosophy is more 'finance' centered, and so you’ll see when looking at certain vendors that they’re focused on supercharging Excel with more capabilities to make things easier for Finance professionals, but not necessarily the business users. Business users still rely on Finance to push out spreadsheets or PDF’s, and as a result, the relationship between Finance and the business can feel passive.
The other philosophy is more 'business' centered, and that’s where I think Vareto shines because it empowers business users to proactively manage their results. It’s extremely easy to set up dashboards and distribute those to business users, who can login anytime they want, comment on items, ask questions, all within one platform. And so the role of Finance isn’t necessarily diminished, but it’s more active and feels more like a partnership."
- Understand where you spend your time in terms of FP&A work. Health Gorilla's SVP of Finance Sun Choi advised to invest in a tool that pays dividends in not only saving money but giving back your valuable time to focus on strategic work.
- Technology alone doesn't solve your challenges. Ada's FP&A Manager Joon Suh noted that before implementing a solution, understand your current process and your north star of where you'd like your business to operate.