Drake Software is a Tax Preparation software company founded by Phil Drake in the late 1970s. Known for its commitment to innovation and customer success, the company has continued to expand product offerings, integrations, and customer-service efforts—more than doubling its customers over the past decade. Now, Drake Software serves more than 70,000 tax professionals and processes more than 33 million tax returns each year.
Being a founder-owned and operated business since its inception, Drake Software didn’t need to switch to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) framework immediately. It operated on a cash-based accounting model where the revenue was recognized when the payment was made. However, in 2021, when a private equity firm invested a majority stake in the company along with the founder, there was a huge impending shift — their finance team, led by CFO Jennifer Dills, had to reimagine their processes from the ground-up to be GAAP compliant. Switching from cash to an accrual-based accounting became table stakes in this transformation.
But this wasn’t an easy change, given Drake Software’s diverse and complex revenue streams built over four decades — SaaS products (cloud), desktop licenses (on-premise), and services like implementation and support, each having different performance obligation periods. And time was of the essence, too — they had to complete this switch and undergo an external audit within four months.
Amidst the tight timeline and need for a simplified process for their first audit, Jennifer’s team wanted a future-proof solution that would grow with them.
After deciding the best approach would be to go with a solution for revenue recognition rather than building and maintaining it in-house, Jennifer evaluated Salesforce and Chargebee RevRec. Chargebee RevRec’s native support for complex revenue recognition models, the rapid time-to-value, and recommendation from their CPA firm made it a clear winner.
"The Chargebee team was extremely responsive and offered expert guidance and direction. That meant a lot of handholding, especially since we had such a tight turnaround. While other vendors were committed to a much longer sales process, Chargebee continued to show faster time-to-value. Having an organization willing to go the distance to ensure we were taken care of at every step is invaluable," said Jennifer Dills, Chief Financial Officer, Drake Software.
With the help of the Chargebee RevRec team, the Drake Software team configured its Standalone Selling Price (SSP) Library and revenue rules to conform to its newly adopted accounting policies for each of its product offerings. Within a couple of months, their implementation and onboarding were completed, and they also successfully made it through their first financial statement audit.
Besides accurate revenue recognition and reporting, Chargebee RevRec provided revenue insights they couldn’t tap into earlier. Viewing and tracking KPIs and metrics became much more pronounced as they grew. And as they were growing, Chargebee RevRec was there with them.
“From a revenue perspective, Chargebee RevRec provides crucial insights that we weren’t able to consume before. It has made a huge positive impact on our decision-making as well as reporting,” Jennifer said.
According to Jennifer, Chargebee RevRec plays a crucial role in their tech stack by
Automating the revenue recognition processes
Accelerating their month-end closes
Helping them stay GAAP compliant and audit-ready, and
Being the single source of truth for revenue data
By leaving Chargebee RevRec to handle the revenue recognition of their existing and new revenue streams, Jennifer could now shift her focus to more strategic initiatives.
North Carolina, United States