Case Study: Real Estate
Extend the life of QuickBooks
Regained time through recurring billing automation means CompStak extended the life of QuickBooks accounting software and now has time for more strategic action.
CompStak is the leading crowdsourced commercial real estate data platform.
CompStak is the leading crowdsourced commercial real estate data platform used by a growing list of top tier banks, private equity funds, owner/operators, REITS, and advisors. The company creates transparency in commercial real estate markets by gathering information that is hard to find, difficult to compile, or otherwise unavailable from over 30,000 members that share lease comps, sale comps, and property data, receiving other data in return.
CompStak licenses data out to it clients, typically with annual subscriptions of one or more years. The customers are invoiced on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. With a small accounting team, CompStak didn’t want its finance team spending time on tasks such as billing that could be automated. Ideally, sales orders would flow directly from the CRM application into a billing system and then the appropriate journal entries would be posted to the general ledger.
Small team spending too much time on billing
CompStak’s VP of Finance Terry Talerman needed to change things so that his team could help the business accelerate. His team was spending days each month managing their annual, quarterly, and monthly billing, as well as closing the books and properly recognizing revenue. They were using SaaSOptics to manage contracts and report SaaS metrics to the business. They realized their evolving business model would not work well with this legacy system. The SaaSOptics contract was expiring and Terry initiated a search for a new partner.
One option was to upgrade to its accounting from QuickBooks to an ERP application with a billing module. However, the finance team didn’t want to have to invest time in upgrading to a more complex ERP system. CompStak briefly looked at Zuora, but according to Talerman, “we were told by them, and by the work that we undertook, that it wasn’t suitable for us.” After CompStak made the choice to adopt the Ordway platform, a team was put in place, and CompStak got up and running over the course of a weekend.
”We looked at Ordway and I was totally blown away by Ordway. I knew this was a system for us as we scale. This is really gonna help the business because I was looking for the full functionality from Salesforce, which is the CRM that we use all the way through to QuickBooks,”Terry TalermanVP of Finance at CompStak.
Adoption of Ordway creates automated, end-to-end, Salesforce-to-QuickBooks workflow
The CompStak team connected their Salesforce instance to Ordway which means that contract details (amount of the deal, billing start date, terms, etc) automatically flow, error-free, to the Ordway platform. CompStak now initiates error-free billing and revenue schedules by simply marking an Opportunity in Salesforce as “Closed Won.”
Additionally, one of the main reasons the Ordway platform was selected was to extend the life of their QuickBooks accounting system. Because much of the transactional side of the equation is managed in the Ordway platform, the CompStak team doesn’t need to worry about check receipts from customers, credit card processing, and details of the customer reconciliation back to QuickBooks.
Regained time through automation means CompStak has time for strategic activity
A billing process that took the team many days each month, is reduced to hours because CompStak decided to invest in a next-generation SaaS subscription management system via the Ordway billing and revenue automation platform. Errors and time spent were drastically reduced because of their new, automated sales-to-finance workflow.
Next-generation sales-to-finance workflow automation at CompStak looks like:
- Close win an opportunity in Salesforce
- Automatically set up contract in Ordway with proper terms, discounts, billing frequency, etc
- Send monthly journal entries to QuickBooks
- Report SaaS metrics, and CompStak specific metrics, to the executive team on regular schedule