Traction on demand’s CFO transforms finance into a strategic business partner

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With nearly two decades in finance leadership roles at technology companies, Corinne Hua brought a vision for how accounting and finance should evolve into the role of strategic business partner when she joined Traction on Demand as its CFO in September 2015.

The opportunity for finance transformation was clear. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Traction on Demand was growing rapidly into one of the largest dedicated Salesforce implementation and application development partners in North America. Continued growth required strong financial leadership to help guide business decisions.

“I came in with a passion for the concept that finance should be partnering with the business,” said Hua said. “Finance back then was really just a collect-the-cash division. We wanted to move into the new world of the CFO, where finance isn’t just a historian, but a strategist and a business partner.”

That transformation required an agile financial management platform that could provide the robust and sophisticated capabilities that Traction on Demand lacked with its previous QuickBooks and Excel accounting environment. Sage Intacct proved to be the ideal solution, as outlined in our Traction on Demand customer success story.

Traction on Demand – Case Study

Traction on Demand, North America’s largest dedicated Salesforce consulting and application development firm, experienced revenue growth north of 200% over the past 3 years – in addition to expanding its workforce from 150 to nearly 500 employees.

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New Insights and Efficiencies for Growth

With its upgrade to Sage Intacct, Traction on Demand has a scalable platform that helps it sustain revenue growth of 200% over the past three years. In that time, it’s expanded the workforce from 150 to 500 employees, and has today handled more than 4,700 Salesforce implementations for its customers.

Key to that growth have been new financial insights and automated efficiencies achieved by utilizing Sage Intacct as a system of record while integrating it with Salesforce and other applications in Traction on Demand’s best-of-breed environment.

Monthly invoicing time has been reduced by almost 60%, from 24 hours to just ten hours. The monthly close has been accelerated from seven to five days, even with the addition of multiple new entities since going live. As a result of this consistent short close, management reporting gets to key stakeholders while the information is still relevant to making business decisions. Traction on Demand’s Corporate Controller, Tanis Hoeltgen, works in Sage Intacct every day and has been able to configure the environment herself as the company scales. “I’ve been able to add new entities easily and update our consolidation accordingly since we’ve gone live with Sage Intacct. Given the recent growth we’ve had, I can’t imagine the manual work and time that would have gone into doing consolidated and management reporting on our old platform,” Hoeltgen said.

And cash forecasting accuracy has improved from an average variance of 10% to 3%, providing new insights for confident decision-making. “Because of our integrated solution, we’re able to forecast our cash with a fair bit of precision, and that’s pretty phenomenal because cash is one of the hardest things to forecast,” Hua noted.

A Strategic Role in Business Decisions

Dimensional reporting in Sage Intacct, as well as extensive use of dashboards, has elevated visibility across the business and supports data-driven decision-making. For example, Traction on Demand was able to make an informed decision to open a new office in India, helping address the IT talent shortage in North America.

“We’re a very data-heavy company running the business on metrics, but before we’d argue over numbers,” Hua said. “Once we had Sage Intacct and integration across the business, the conversation immediately changed to, ‘How do we make the right decision based on this information?’”

With time saved through eliminating manual processes, Hua’s team can focus on analyzing numbers and collaborating with business leaders. “Our finance team has come a long way to become a strategic partner to the business, and Sage Intacct has been critical in that evolution,” she said.

One of Hua’s favorite things about Sage Intacct is that “my finance team loves it.” They have new flexibility to innovate and be strategic. Finance team members used to measure success by how hard they could work. Now, success is viewed by the impact of strategic contributions.

“It’s about the whole finance team evolving,” Hua said. “That takes technology, it takes a review of processes, and it takes people who are engaged and empowered. When you bring those three together, you can have real success.”