Mindtickle is a sales readiness platform that leverages data insights to train leading sales teams. It’s critical that Mindtickle’s finance team operates with speed and agility to serve a business with over 750 global employees and customers from Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000 companies.
When Ankur Verma joined Mindtickle as CFO, he immediately saw opportunities to transform the finance function. The finance team’s existing reporting process was manual, taking four to five days after the accounting team closed the books each month. Finance would publish a 50-slide deck for the executive team and set up monthly calls with the execs and department heads to go over budget versus actuals in Excel. If there was any delta, Finance would go into NetSuite to extract data and report back. This time-consuming budget variance analysis process slowed down the finance team and its business partners.
“I’ve been in finance at early-stage companies as well as scaled companies with hundreds of millions in revenue, and I’ve seen the same problem — information often sits in silos,” said Ankur. “Customer data sits in a CRM. Headcount data sits in an HRIS. Accounting systems such as Netsuite and SAP have data sitting in that tool. None of these systems would talk to each other, and we needed a way to extract data. Our team needed to figure out how to enable decision makers to make the right decision based on the right data.”
However, legacy business planning and reporting software didn’t meet Mindtickle’s needs, given their long implementation time and high costs. Mindtickle had previously spent a year trying to implement a legacy FP&A tool.
“To extract any helpful data, we needed one to two dedicated persons to manage that tool in addition to the cost of the software,” Ankur said. “Implementing any changes to reporting or forecasting took too long. It was also critical that we have a platform that was easy for our executive team to use and understand. We needed something more intuitive and user-friendly that didn’t require logging into five different places to get data.”
Ankur found that Vareto offered a cutting-edge finance platform that met Mindtickle’s needs, with implementation in weeks and self-serve functionality. Finance built automated reports that captured vital company and department metrics piped in directly from their key business systems. The executive team and department heads could go into Vareto themselves, double-click on any number in the reports, and look at transaction data without needing to send a request to Finance.
“Prior to Vareto, because we didn’t have one source of truth for all data, everyone had their own definitions in their own tools. Now, everyone is looking at the same dashboard with the same definitions. It’s eliminated the debates and noise that consumed a lot of time. Everyone is focused on the numbers versus how we arrived at that number. Vareto has built transparency and trust in the reporting.”
Ankur Verma, CFO at Mindtickle
Vareto also eliminated the inherent risk of building models in Excel or Google Sheets. With multiple stakeholders providing input, it was challenging to manage real-time collaboration and changes to formulas. Spreadsheet tools made it difficult to maintain versions and build complex models. Given that many departments were not used to working in spreadsheets, Finance had to provide significant back-and-forth guidance to get inputs.
“With Excel, if you built the model and are familiar with it, it’s easy to maneuver, slice, and dice,” Ankur explained. “But if you assign it to someone else, they’ll fall flat because it’s not their model. The output won’t be error-free. We needed to be able to keep nimble and foolproof at the same time.”
Vareto has also given the finance team valuable time back to focus on strategic initiatives.
“Because we cut down reporting time by at least 60-70%, we’re able to focus on next-level work that adds more value to the business. For example, we used that time saved to work on a customer growth analysis, so we know exactly which customers are producing what margin. Vareto has freed up time to focus on things that allow us to see and fix gaps and inefficiencies.”
Ankur looks forward to leveraging Vareto to surface more opportunities for business growth.
“Historically, when we look at the finance function, there’s the accounting side and the FP&A side. Accounting is generally backward-looking — reporting events in the past. FP&A by design is forward-looking — what could go wrong and when. With Vareto, we’ve rewired our entire executive team in a forward direction. We’re able to see leading indicators and red flags and then take immediate action. It’s changed how people think about FP&A.”