Yesterday, at Sage Transform, Sage’s annual customer conference for Sage Intacct, we announced our SaaS Industry Customer Success Award winner, Springbuk. Earlier in the week, James Norris, CFO of Springbuk, joined our Industry Keynote and shared his team’s tremendous story of business, team, customer, investor, and personal success.
As Springbuk grew into a leading health data analytics SaaS solution provider, there was no question that the company needed to upgrade from its entry-level QuickBooks system and heavy Excel usage.
The question facing Springbuk is familiar to many growing SaaS companies — which cloud-based financial management platform would best meet its needs? Sage Intacct and Oracle NetSuite emerged as top contenders, and Springbuk conducted in-depth evaluations.
“It felt like NetSuite was going to be much harder to use and get information from,” recalls CFO James Norris. “That would have been a challenge, as we were a small accounting team at the time. We needed a solution that would work well for a small team, and grow with us as the team got larger.”
Feedback from other users validated Norris’s decision.
“I checked with some peers who had used both Sage Intacct and NetSuite, and got better feedback on Sage Intacct,” Norris says. “That made me feel comfortable. We chose Sage Intacct not only because it was the best way to support our SaaS business today, but to also support us five years from now.”
Reporting Time Cut from Days to Minutes
As Norris explains, Sage Intacct has helped to automate and transform accounting at Springbuk, which empowers self-insured employers and benefits advisors to sharpen their health benefits strategy, advance employee health, and contain costs.
Live on Sage Intacct in 2018, the Indianapolis-based company has:
- Reduced close time by 73%, to as few as five business days
- Scaled amid 4x growth in contract volume
- Reduced churn by 7% through automated renewals and upsells
- Cut reporting time from days to minutes
- Leveraged reporting insights to help boost gross margin by 8%
- Extended revenue and cash forecasting out to 12+ months
- Achieved clean audits for four consecutive years
Recognized as a key differentiator in Springbuk’s comparison versus NetSuite, the Sage Intacct Contracts module has equipped Springbuk to automate monthly invoicing and recurring revenue recognition, dramatically reducing manual work and providing strong compliance controls.
And Springbuk relies on Sage Intacct Contracts to power incisive revenue and cash forecasting that supports data-driven business decisions.
“The Contracts module in Sage Intacct allows us to see our current contracts and how they forecast out going forward,” Norris says. “For me as a CFO, it’s an incredible value to have that information in seconds, versus running loads of reports and crunching data to get to a potential forecast scenario.”
Data-Driven Decision Boosts Gross Margin 8%
Several years ago, robust dimensional reporting supported Springbuk’s decision to invest in bringing some technical functions in house, instead of continuing to outsource to a third party.
Ultimately, that decision improved Springbuk product quality, reduced costs by 50%, and drove an 8% improvement in gross margin.
“As the CFO and member of the executive team, it’s been extremely valuable to have information at my fingertips through Sage Intacct,” Norris says. “I can be at an executive table meeting and inform my peers, ‘Here’s what we’re seeing from a finance perspective. Here’s how that could impact some decisions we may want to make.’”
Back in the QuickBooks and Excel days, it might take Norris a few days to round up information to address a question raised at an executive meeting. As the CFO notes, “In today’s business environment, that’s not acceptable.”
Scaling to New Volume and Complexity
In its four years on Sage Intacct, Springbuk has scaled effortlessly to a 4x increase in contracts.
“Volume has increased exponentially, and we haven’t seen any hiccups with Sage Intacct,” Norris notes. “Complexity has increased as well, as we’ve continued to add new products and features and services that need to be incorporated into contracts. I don’t foresee any challenges if we grow at the same rate over the next few years.”
Norris is especially gratified to find that Sage Intacct seamlessly accommodates amendments to contracts.
“If you have a contract amendment, it’s really helpful to be able to make adjustments so that revenue changes going forward and you know it’s being captured correctly,” Norris says. “It’s much more scalable than trying to do it in Excel and then importing it.”
And even as it’s grown in size and complexity, Springbuk has reduced its monthly close time by roughly 73%, to five or six business days.
“We’ve been able to get financial information out in just multiple business days, as opposed to multiple weeks. That’s s been huge,” Norris says. “We’ve also had a clean audit every year since we’ve been on Sage Intacct.”
‘A Great Solution for Us’
Audits were a trigger back when Springbuk first began exploring an upgrade from QuickBooks. A venture funding round required audited financial statements and Norris, as a former auditor, recognized that QuickBooks didn’t have the appropriate structure or controls.
Now with Sage Intacct, Springbuk has the key characteristics it was looking for — strong controls, flexibility and scale for a growing SaaS company, and sophisticated reporting for insightful forecasts that help grow the business.
“Sage Intacct has been a great solution for us,” Norris says. “I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a cloud-based finance and accounting platform that’s going to grow with their business, especially from a financial reporting perspective.”
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