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Zest AI becomes ASC 606 compliant and cuts costs 60% through financial automation with Sage Intacct
Machine learning pioneer successfully pivots to SaaS financial management and adopts new accounting standard while scaling finance efficiently amid 100% growth
ATLANTA – March 17, 2021 – Sage (FTSE: SGE), the market leader in cloud business management solutions, today announced that Zest AI recently upgraded to Sage Intacct for core financial and revenue management. Moving from its original accounting software and transforming financial processes with Sage Intacct ensures timely, accurate financials across its eleven business entities. The organization has shortened its monthly close process by 33 percent, cut annual accounting contracting costs by 60 percent, adopted ASC 606 practices, and supported due diligence for its $15 million capital raise – all while keeping up with 100% year-over-year growth.
Zest AI, currently one of the fastest growing fintech software companies, was founded in 2009 with the mission of making fair and transparent credit available to everyone. Lenders using its software make better decisions and better loans—increasing revenue, reducing risk, and automating compliance. In order to support the switch to new ASC 606 accounting standards for revenue recognition required for its new subscription model and to gain more robust reporting, Zest AI migrated to Sage Intacct.
“We saw a great opportunity to put scalable processes, financial controls, and the right software in at the ground level in order to make us more productive in the future,” said Walter Luceno, director of accounting at Zest AI. “With Sage Intacct, we now have accurate, timely financials in any managerial format we want, so everyone has more confidence in the numbers.”
By modernizing its multi-entity finance processes, Zest AI scaled without the need for additional finance headcount, even as revenue doubled. Sage Intacct added significant business value along this journey, including:
- Enabling ASC 606 compliance and providing flexibility for SaaS contracts: As Zest AI’s new products and pricing evolved, Sage Intacct empowered the finance team to adopt subscription billing best practices. “Sage Intacct’s capabilities are granular enough to support increasingly complex arrangements like usage-based billing, while helping us standardize contracts and stay on top of all of our different schedules to get customer invoices out faster,” said Brandon George, director of accounting at Zest AI.
- Shortening the monthly close by 33% and cutting costs by 60%: The team used Sage Intacct to overhaul its monthly close process and establish a single chart of accounts across all business entities. By replacing time-consuming Excel-based revenue recognition schedules with automated workflows and eliminating manual report preparation, Zest AI reduced its reliance on an outside vendor for its monthly close process – savings that exceeded the annual cost for Sage Intacct.
- Streamlining accounting workflows through best-in-class integrations: After integrating Sage Intacct with systems like Bill.com, Expensify, Paylocity, and Brex, Zest AI has one financial system of record that flows seamlessly through the business. “As a direct result of the integrated software solutions we have in place, we can redirect our time from accounting maintenance to strategic projects,” said Luceno.
- Delivering effortless visibility to support due diligence for $15M capital raise: During last year’s funding round, Sage Intacct’s reporting capabilities helped the Zest AI finance team field intense due diligence deep-dives and track key SaaS metrics. They could quickly answer all the auditor’s questions and easily provide any additional analysis requested. The system’s statistical accounts help them calculate ongoing key performance indicators required by investors, such as annual recurring revenue (ARR) and customer lifetime value.
“The system’s flexible dimensions for tagging transactions with departments, vendors, and customers completely changed our reporting,” said Luceno. “Sage Intacct also allows us to speak about margins and spending with authority, which helps our CEO and other executives make important decisions for the business quickly.”
For more information on how Zest AI benefits from the Sage Intacct financial management solution, read the full case study here.
Sage is the global market leader for technology that provides small and medium businesses with the visibility, flexibility and efficiency to manage finances, operations and people. With our partners, Sage is trusted by millions of customers worldwide to deliver the best cloud technology and support. Our years of experience mean that our colleagues and partners understand how to serve our customers and communities through the good, and more challenging times. We are here to help, with practical advice, solutions, expertise and insight.
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