Edsembli Inc. publishes a SaaS school management platform used by public and private schools across Canada and the United States. The Edsembli suite is an all-in-one education application that delivers financial management, student information, plus human resources and payroll capabilities supporting more than 1.4 million students. As a leader in its industry, Edsembli embraces technology that allows it to drive efficiencies and grow market share. That’s why the company selected The Answer Company and Sage Intacct to help move their technology stack to the head of the class.
Sage Intacct – A Grade Ahead
When Gabriel Lawrence (Gabe) joined Edsembli as its Director of Finance & Administration, the company’s back-office technology was, well, barely passing. “We’re owned by a larger organization, and were piggybacking on their accounting software,” he says. “While it worked great for them, it wasn’t a good fit for us. We wanted a cloud-based application that supports the subscription billing and revenue recognition that’s integral to a SaaS company. We are a modern company and we were relying on outdated software.” Edsembli reviewed leading cloud applications, including NetSuite, before selecting Sage Intacct. “When we looked closely at Sage Intacct, and spoke to The Answer Company, we were convinced this was the better option,” recalls Gabe.
On Time and On Budget
Gabe praises The Answer Company’s structured implementation approach. “They know what works and very effectively guided us through the process. I’ve worked with other implementors and can spot a good one. They advised us to phase in various capabilities rather than try to do it all at once. That approach worked very well as it allowed our staff to gain confidence in the product’s core functionality before introducing other elements. As a result, there were no surprises and we were live on time and on budget.”
Assembling a Powerful Lineup
One of the many factors driving Edsembli’s choice of Sage Intacct was its native integration with Salesforce. “We had already decided to move from Zoho to Salesforce,” explains Gabe. “NetSuite doesn’t offer Salesforce integration that is as robust as the native integration in Sage Intacct.” The integration provides sales teams with access to contract data from Sage Intacct, empowering them with the information they need to secure timely renewals and deliver a higher level of service. Additional integrations Edsembli leverages include an AP Automation application.
The Sage Intacct Contracts module provides sophisticated and flexible capabilities that fit the way Edsembli does business. “It’s a night and day difference compared to what we were doing before,” says Gabe. “We had been using spreadsheets to manage multi-year contracts and manually calculating invoice amounts. It took too much time, and there was always the concern we’d missed something. Sage Intacct automates the whole renewal process.”
Gabe says that the company now completes monthly invoicing tasks much more quickly, which saves time and speeds the company’s cash flow. “We are easily saving 20 hours a month on invoicing tasks,” he says.
Similarly, the company used to manually calculate deferred revenue figures at the end of each month. “Now, the software does that automatically for us. It adds up to at least a six-hour savings every month,” says Gabe. “In all, the combined efficiencies allowed us to eliminate one full-time equivalent in our finance department.”
Insight and Efficiencies
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential tools to help SaaS companies understand their financial health. The Answer Company configured a dashboard within Sage Intacct that provides continually updated KPIs such
as annual recurring revenue and renewal rates — and it’s having an impact.
“By analyzing profitability by various attributes, we identified sectors where we could focus more resources and others that weren’t as profitable as we thought,” Gabe explains. “That information prompted us to fine-tune our pricing strategies to better align with our goals.”
The Answer Company helped Edsembli redesign its chart of accounts, simplifying it by incorporating Sage Intacct dimensions to represent attributes such as department, location, customer type, and product line. “We now have a chart of accounts that’s designed for a software business,” Gabe says. “It’s streamlined and nimble — yet by using dimensions we are tracking revenue and expenses in even greater detail than before.”
A Higher Degree of Success
With Sage Intacct, Edsembli has a business management platform — and a business partner — that will support its growth and expansion for years to come. “We’ve already expanded into China, Vietnam, Egypt, and have plans to expand into the U.S. market and elsewhere,” Gabe explains. “Sage Intacct has the global functionality required to support multinational operations and its scalability ensures it can keep up with us.”
He concludes, “The level of service that The Answer Company offers is unique. I’ve never experienced it before. I have tremendous confidence in their understanding of SaaS companies’ business challenges and their ability to implement solutions that solve those challenges.”