Heap

How Heap is empowering budget owners and execs with Pigment

With
Ada Johnson
,
VP Finance
at
Heap
Heap
Ada Johnson
Ada Johnson
VP Finance
Number of employees
201-500
Used by
Finance and Sales & Revenue Operations teams
Headquarters
San Francisco, US
Industry
Technology
Use cases
  • Headcount Planning
  • OPEX Planning
  • Revenue Planning
  • P&L Reporting
Implementation time
Integrations with
Netsuite, BambooHR, Salesforce

At a glance

  • Google Sheets made it impossible to maintain a source of truth
  • Heap wanted a modern tool with an innovative approach to data architecture
  • Budget owners now have near-instant access to numbers post-closing
  • CFO self-serves within Pigment
  • Finance team has saved significant time on compiling the quarterly closing package and can now add more strategic commentary and recommendations
“If you want finance to be strategic and to bring lots of models and teams together, Pigment is the best choice. It allows us to enable better decision making and partner with other teams more effectively than more typical FP&A, P&L types of tools.”

Ada Johnson, VP Finance at Heap

Unifying data for faster delivery of results and insights

B2B software provider Heap is a very collaborative organization by nature. Their approach to budget ownership is relatively decentralized, and the company uses collaborative tooling like G Suite to align and strategize.

For FP&A, however, Google Sheets as a solution presented more challenges than benefits.

Version control, for example, was a particular pain point. With each department owning their own budgets, spreadsheets could easily spawn new versions without finance oversight or involvement, making it harder to manage key processes like headcount approval.

Additionally, the quarterly reporting package and budget allocations took so long to consolidate and compile – involving copying and pasting data from Netsuite – that it left little time for commentary, strategy and recommendations. Everyone in the organization was getting what they needed, but at a huge labor cost to the finance team.

Thanks to the innovative approach of VP Finance Ada Johnson and CFO Steven Love, the search began for a tool that would allow them to create a single source of truth, reduce time spent consolidating data, and unify their planning and reporting processes. 

Simply put, they wanted to give quicker access to numbers and more transparency to the budget owners while also improving efficiency for the finance team.

Love’s mandate was for a modern tool with an innovative and scalable architecture, which meant older tools such as Anaplan and Adaptive weren’t even considered. Pigment’s reputation for innovation drew Heap to the platform, which would allow them to build out flexible and powerful models, and the deal was sealed.

Improving time to insight for budget owners and time to delivery for FP&A

During implementation, Heap has built out their core financial data model, as well as Workforce Planning, Headcount Spend, OPEX, and ARR modeling. This centralization of the business data has allowed them to create a single source of truth for reporting and analysis.

“At Heap, budget owners own their budgets, and finance supports and gives guidance… so it’s useful to be able to give them that ownership while still being able to manage the approvals.”

Ada Johnson, VP Finance at Heap

It’s now much easier for the team to slice and dice data according to different dimensions and assumptions. The fact that data from across the business is in one place means they can get vendor- and category-level insights about spend that they couldn’t get in spreadsheets. Another example is partnering with revenue operations on the sales capacity model in Pigment, which previously would have required separate spreadsheets pulling from multiple data sources. 

The goal of improving time to insight for budget owners has been realized as well, allowing them to get access to their numbers almost immediately after closing the quarter rather than days later. The Google Sheet connector has made it so they can serve additional access to those budget owners while they build out ways for them to input directly into Pigment. Meanwhile, CFO Steven Love is already self-serving within Pigment, and he’s expressed happiness at how much time Pigment has saved the team.

A powerful tool for powerful collaboration

Even since Heap began implementing Pigment, the product has already grown to help them even further, especially when it comes to enabling their budget owners, including more visualization options and native commentary. The templates have also been a helpful way to jumpstart introducing new use cases.

There are many features that make the Heap team’s life easier in Pigment, like the ability to view all formula components and drill-down when modeling, but the real benefit has been in uniting the data and therefore the teams who own and operate from that data. This allows finance to be a strategic partner to the business, due to both the improved insights and the increased bandwidth Pigment has provided.

“If you want finance to be strategic and to bring lots of models and teams together, Pigment is the best choice. It allows us to be more strategic and partner with other teams more effectively than more typical FP&A, P&L types of tools.”

Ada Johnson, VP Finance at Heap

Moving forward, Heap is looking forward to implementing Cash Flow, Pipeline, AWS spend and professional services revenue models in Pigment.

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