As a small finance team of 3 at Rise Vision that maintains the books for two separate legal entities, the team’s goal is to keep processes simple, look for means to automate, and define controls around the automation.
What ended up happening, however, was that the third-party analytics tool would show visibility only into invoice-level data. So metrics from the tool were always lower than what Chargebee showed — which meant a lot of time spent on reconciling numbers with monthly financials. Since it ran their metrics on invoice information, their MRR was not a true representation of their revenue numbers as it did not take into account information such as promotional credits — something that Rise Vision issued in abundance to push for better product engagement and higher renewal.
In Debbie’s words, “The issue was that they're pulling from different data sources. In a perfect world where your invoice represents what the subscription is set up at, you never have to make any changes. For instance, you never have to credit an invoice. Or offer any promotions — and if that’s the case, you could rely on the third-party tool, but nobody ever does. You can never get around a credit being issued. Right? That's the biggest difference in my mind — it is that it's not driven by what the subscription is saying in the other tool. It's driven off an invoice. And that's not representative of true MRR.”
The need to push for FinOps automation to increase process efficiency stemmed from a necessity to grow and meet Rise Vision’s EBITDA targets. Keeping it simple to minimize work and risk of error, automation was a key component, along with the need to realize an improved operating profit %.
To do that, the finance team at Rise Vision sought a single source of truth, rather than waste time shuttling between two systems. Debbie explains it best — “I told the team, we should be using Chargebee because it's our billing system. It's what feeds the financials. And I only care about what feeds the financials.”
After understanding the metrics — both in terms of definitions and calculations — in RevenueStory against their previous tool, the finance team pushed for a complete migration to RevenueStory.
With Xero as the G/L system for accounting, Chargebee for managing billing automation of their subscription business, Avalara for sales tax filings and calculation, and Stripe for credit card payment processing, their finance tech stack was completed by using RevenueStory for their subscription analytics.
Having migrated to RevenueStory has significantly impacted how they report their MRR as well as resulted in terms of an overall boost in productivity.
Single source of truth: RevenueStory gives a 360-degree view into transaction-level, invoice-level, subscription-level, and customer-level, with the ability to view underlying data (VUD).
Drill-down into Subscription and Customer-level data: RevenueStory gives access to a great depth of information with Drill Down, which lets Rise Vision get the complete story — from big-picture issues to customer-level specifics such as revenue per account, MRR after credit notes, promotional credits, etc.
MRR Accuracy: Since the metrics are based on subscription data, the data is not crunched unlike almost every other BI tool — which means Rise Vision does not lose insights into individual historic data points. This leads to greater MRR accuracy. This is typically not included in third-party analytics tools resulting in lower MRR.
Time saved in reconciling numbers: The time spent reconciling numbers between RevenueStory and their monthly financials has been reduced by 50% compared to the time spent between their previous tool and their financials.
Time saved in generating weekly numbers: The finance team is able to create weekly financial reports in 20% less time than they did before.
Most of the third-party analytics tools are running off invoicing. So, they're getting their metrics starting about from them, when you invoice a customer as opposed to RevenueStory which runs the majority of stuff from the subscription standpoint.
Debbie Barrafato, Chief Financial Officer, Rise Vision
Stripe, Chargebee, Xero, Avalara, RevenueStory
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