Accelerating efficiency and collaboration at UrbanFootprint

Impact at a glance

10+ hours saved each month

Ready to report 3-4 days earlier

Created a culture of data-driven decision-making

UrbanFootprint is trusted by some of the largest energy utilities, financial institutions, government agencies, consulting firms, and technology companies across the US to deliver resilience insights and find where to invest, where to deploy resources, and where to take action and build the next generation of resilient infrastructure and communities. 

UrbanFootprint’s finance team was manually managing modeling and financial reporting in Excel, taking up significant time for the small team each month and preventing them from being more strategic partners for the business. They needed a streamlined way to manage reporting, budget vs. actuals analysis, and maintain rolling monthly forecasts so that they could focus on broader initiatives and drive forward business goals. They also wanted a solution that wouldn’t require individuals on their team to learn a whole new complicated system to utilize. 

“We’re not a giant enterprise. We can’t afford to have a dedicated administrator or have our team learn what’s essentially a new language to use the tool. We needed a place where business users and finance could easily interact together. Vareto looks and feels pretty close to Excel, just a lot more powerful. That was great for us.” — Judd MacRae, VP of Finance, UrbanFootprint

Driving deeper impact across the business

Prior to leveraging Vareto, Judd MacRae, UrbanFootprint’s VP of Finance, individually managed the recurring reporting tasks for the business. Every month, he’d spend considerable time preparing dashboards and individual reports for department heads, the executive team, and the board manually in Excel, leaving little time for more strategic work. 

Vareto’s integrations with HRIS, ERP, CRM, and other systems bring data into Vareto’s platform automatically and in real time. Vareto acts as a single source of truth, removing the need to manually compile information from different systems and decreasing the risk of copy-and-paste errors. For the UrbanFootprint team, Vareto’s real-time integrations and the automation of manual recurring tasks alone save over 10 hours per month, giving the finance team the bandwidth it needs to be more impactful across the business.

“I personally did all the reporting, so taking that time back has allowed me to spend more time in other areas of the business, working with other leaders and digging deeper into performance. We worked cross-functionally to orchestrate a go-to-market pivot that’s proven fruitful, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the time back. It’s allowed me to go where needed instead of just focusing on finance.”

Judd MacRae, VP of Finance, UrbanFootprint

Empowering department leaders to own their numbers

Implementing Vareto transformed how the finance department and other business partners work together. Collaboration features in Vareto allow the finance team to grant user-level permissions to individuals across the organization, giving them access to all the information they need — and only the information they need. Now, the executive team and departmental leaders can securely access up-to-date information whenever required. Since the department leaders have access to real-time data throughout the month, budget vs. actuals conversations have transitioned from typical “keep the lights on” reporting to deeper, more strategic conversations focusing on broader business goals.

“I’ve never had a planning tool that other business functions could use. It’s a nice change for us to have people in the tool natively. We can focus discussions for leadership teams on the overall company picture and spend time assessing how we’re performing against overall company targets.” — Judd MacRae, VP of Finance, UrbanFootprint

Plus, as leaders dig into their numbers, they can instantly drill down into transaction or vendor-level data. For example, suppose members of the executive team are on the phone with the company’s board or investors. They can instantly drill down into detailed financial information within Vareto. They’re able to answer granular questions in real time because all of the information is readily available and up-to-date.

UrbanFootprint's adoption of Vareto supports a cultural shift across the organization, where every departmental leader can truly own their numbers and be empowered to contribute effectively to the business's overall success. Conversations across the company are more collaborative and productive, and the team can work more effectively.

“If you can get people looking at the numbers and thinking about the numbers regularly in the terms of where the overall business is performing against the plan, then that makes everything easier and more effective. When they know the key milestones that indicate that the business is set up for success and understand each subsequent stage or goal post, then they can think about where they’re going to invest, double down, hire, or pull back from investments more effectively.” — Judd MacRae, VP of Finance, UrbanFootprint

By leveraging Vareto's real-time integrations and collaboration features, UrbanFootprint has fostered a culture of data-driven decision-making and empowered departmental leaders to take ownership of their numbers. The streamlined and accurate financial reporting saves time and facilitates more productive and strategic conversations across the organization, ultimately driving UrbanFootprint's growth and success.