“Imagine the way the world should work.”
I’ve heard this mantra countless times over the last 15 years from my friend and partner, Steve Singh, co-founder and CEO of Concur, and now Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group. While this concept always resonated with me, it wasn’t until I left my previous role as the CFO and COO at Docker, that I felt compelled to act on it -- to leverage my learnings from a career in finance, and tackle the challenge of digitally enabling the strategic finance function in a rapidly evolving, data-centric world.
At Docker, I was responsible for a G&A organization that included Accounting, Finance, Legal, IT, HR and Real Estate. Across these six organizations, there were 65 talented individuals who excelled in their roles and worked tirelessly to keep the machine that was Docker humming.
While I have deep respect for the contributions of each of those organizations and team members, I felt the strongest connection with the three members of my Finance team. They, like me, had started their careers within the financial services industry, and were trained to be analytical thinkers in all things related to financial and operational performance. Despite their ability to dig into the numbers, identify key trends and communicate their findings to P&L owners across the company, their capacity to do this work was limited due to the countless manual and administrative tasks with which they were burdened -- pulling CSV extracts from our systems of record; slicing and dicing data to calculate KPIs; creating reports to analyze actual performance relative to budget; exchanging spreadsheets with various stakeholders to gather revised forecast assumptions; reconciling inconsistencies in data across different systems; preparing bespoke reports for our venture capital investors; and providing financial performance data to our banks to ensure compliance with covenants.
While each of the tasks was critical, it always seemed there had to be a better way. I started to imagine the way the world should work -- a world in which the finance team could be a pro-active, strategic enabler of the business. To accomplish all of this, my partners and I created Stratify.
Stratify enables a software-defined workflow for strategic finance that is collaborative and leverages our proprietary structured data model. From democratizing access to real-time analysis of operating and financial performance, to proactively engaging key stakeholders across the company to directly participate in the budgeting and forecasting process through a new engagement paradigm that we call Tasks, Stratify is introducing functionality that enables Finance to be truly strategic.
Get in touch to learn more about our mission.