“THIS IS THE WEEK! There will be no issues! I will be able to get my work done and start pulling reports for month end close,” were the words Saly sang with excitement while getting ready for work on Monday.
“First things first, I am going to pull my reports from excel so that I can start prepping invoices”. Saly said while at her desk. But no sooner than her first sip of coffee, the phone rings… “Hey Saly this is Ted from Sales, quick question for you.” Ughh, the dreaded call from sales. Nothing was ever quick in the back office, she thought. “A customer's invoice is wrong. Mark (Sales Mgr.) made an exception, so we sold an old product and now the pricing and the products are wrong. I need your help!” Ted demanded.
Slumping back on her chair, Saly knew her day was over before it started. Because they didn’t follow the process, she would have to spend the rest of her day: 1. Getting a hold of Mark to find the contract; 2. Pulling the original invoice; 3. Investigating what was wrong; 4. Contacting the customer to provide live updates; 5. Getting a new invoice generated for distribution; 6. and Correcting all the revenue records that were sent down. “Today is gone,” Saly mused and she started working on Ted’s problem.
“This is it!! Today IS the day for month end close!!” Saly convinced herself as she walked into the office. However, the thought quickly changed when she saw her CFO, Kelly, standing at her desk.
“I was running through the revenue reports from last month and it looks like we recognized revenue we shouldn’t.” said Kelly. And Saly learned she missed an email from the fulfillment team regarding an issue on getting customers provisioned and on the platform.
Saly immediately understood the severity. She knew that according to ASC 606 regulation they couldn’t recognize revenue until the service was provided. Over 100 customers were sold one-year long contracts two months ago that are still not on the platform. However, the revenue was recognized. As a result, recognized, deferred and forecast numbers are all off. Saly would have to update her excel report (which took 5 years to build) and revise all the other systems manually. Another day… gone.
As Saly begin working through her excel file her daydream of winning the lottery came to mind and she thought what would this company do if she did win the lottery? No one knows how to run this spreadsheet or report any of the financials. No more daydreaming, I must get this stuff fixed so I can do my real job and work on closing of the month.
With the song ‘HAPPY’ by Pharrell Williams blaring in her car as she pulled into the parking lot. Wednesdays were always Saly’s day to get stuff done. But as soon as she opened her laptop, Saly knew it would not be the case today. “URGENT – DECLINED PAYMENTS EVERYWHERE!!!” was the subject of the first email. Her counterpart John was out on PTO enjoying the beautiful sands of Mexico. Saly was supposed to cover him and run the report that shows all the credit cards on file and identify ones that were expired before processing payments. Buried with so many to-dos… she forgot. “Kelly, is going to be so mad when she finds out we didn’t get payments on these,” she thought. Saly would have to spend the rest of her day sending out emails and calling customers with expired credit cards and getting them, all updated in the systems. Yet another day… gone.
After correcting all the reporting from this week’s issues stripped away her Thursday morning. Saly simply had to ignore everyone else’s problems, start pulling her reports and jump into her magical spreadsheet to get the month end ready. With a combination of working through lunch and a late night dedicated to order corrections, missed billings, re-invoicing, creating new customer templates, and generating invoices, Saly was finally able to finish what she set out to do on Monday.
Wanting to have the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ but feeling like ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ - Saly looked into the mirror Friday morning and was simply drained.
She kept thinking, ‘Everything I do is so reactive, and I am always chasing down something. I can never be proactive and use my skills to give the company data that they really need. If we could just automate a lot of this my life would be so much easier.’
Doing a final check of the news before she left the house – Saly saw a Salesforce Revenue Cloud ad in her Facebook feed. “That’s IT!! That’s the solution.” she thought. Hopefully no more days… gone!
Whether you are the Saly of your company, the Finance Manager, CFO or the CEO, this story is all too common in the world of financial operations. It’s a reactive business!! Always chasing payments, chasing collections, adjusting and swivel seating.
Though work is getting done, the hidden cost via OPEX bleed is detrimental to the growth of a company. The flexibility of Salesforce Revenue Cloud can give your back office the time it needs to proactively forecast and analyze data for operating results and profitability, address redundancies and wasteful process, and truly have time to deep dive into areas to increase your company’s economic efficiency and cost.
These are just a few of the proactive duties that all finance operations team wants to do but typically can’t due to reactionary duties.
On Thursday, October 21st @ 2:00 pm est we will have a Panel who had the same experiences as Saly. Now on the Salesforce Revenue Cloud platform, they will the discuss the benefits of working in a proactive environment and how their companies have grown as a result.
Written by Danny Poling, Executive Director - Salesforce Delivery at Kavaliro